(Photo Credit: Sheffield Tiger/Flickr)
1. Make it relevant, not generic. There’s a huge misconception that cover letters aren’t read by hiring mangers, but that’s not the case. “Each [hiring manger] has his or her own likes and dislikes and there are many who put a huge amount of value on cover letters,” says Aimee Bateman of TheUndercoverRecruiter.com. She goes on to say, “A cover letter is an opportunity to connect with the hiring manager. It is your opportunity to make them want to meet you over the many other [résumés] they have in their inbox.” Generic cover letters are a dime a dozen, and hiring managers can recognize them immediately. Therefore, take the time to construct a cover letter that compliments your résumé and qualifications. Business Insider provides excellent tips on constructing a personalized cover letter, here.
2. Tell your story. Everyone has a story, so share it with the hiring manager. A conventional résumé is more cut-and-dry, outlining the hard facts of what you’ve accomplished in your education and career – it doesn’t leave much room for painting a picture of the person behind the piece of paper. It’s important to note that you’re not writing an entire biography for the recruiter, you’re simply putting a personal touch on why you’re qualified for the job, how you fit into the organization, and why you chose the company. Keep your cover letter short and concise, a couple of paragraphs, as to not overwhelm the hiring manager with a novel-of-a-cover letter.
3. Get creative. According to a Mashable post, Alice Lee, a 20-year-old job seeker, turned to her trusty design background to construct an “interactive website” that linked to her design portfolio when she applied for a job with the popular picture-sharing site Instagram. Although she did not land the job at Instagram, Mashable reported that Lee was awarded “an internship with another company,” thanks to her unique approach to her cover letter and résumé. For more creative and unique ways to present your cover letter, check out Mashable’s post, here.
Landing a dream job takes more than a bit of luck and a whole lot of work – it also takes diligence. Every submission should be considered your one and only shot at a lifelong career opportunity, rather than yet another useless job application.
Tell Us What You Think
Are you a hiring manager who wouldn't mind lending your advice on what constitutes a noteworthy cover letter? Share your thoughts with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below.