A cover letter is an essential component of any job application process. It is your opportunity to introduce yourself, highlight your skills and experience, and convince the hiring manager that you are the right fit for the job. However, writing a cover letter can be a daunting task, especially if you are not sure what to include or how to structure it. In this article, we will provide you with the dos and don’ts of writing a killer cover letter that will help you stand out from the crowd and land your dream job.
1. Do your research
Before you start writing your cover letter, it is essential to research the company you are applying to and the job you are interested in. Look at the company’s website, social media pages, and any other relevant information you can find. This will help you tailor your cover letter to the company and show that you have done your homework.
2. Do address the hiring manager by name
Addressing the hiring manager by name shows that you have taken the time to research the company and the job. It also adds a personal touch to your cover letter and makes it more engaging. If you cannot find the hiring manager’s name, use a generic greeting such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
3. Do highlight your relevant skills and experience
Your cover letter should highlight your relevant skills and experience that make you the ideal candidate for the job. Use specific examples to demonstrate how your skills and experience match the job requirements.
4. Do use keywords
Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen job applications. These systems scan resumes and cover letters for specific keywords related to the job. To increase your chances of getting noticed, include relevant keywords in your cover letter.
5. Do keep it concise
Your cover letter should be no longer than one page. Keep it concise and to the point, highlighting only your most relevant skills and experience. Use bullet points to break up the text and make it easier to read.
6. Do proofread
Before you submit your cover letter, make sure to proofread it carefully. Check for spelling and grammar errors, and make sure that your sentences are clear and concise. Ask a friend or family member to read it over and provide feedback.
1. Don’t use a generic cover letter
A generic cover letter is a sure way to get your application tossed in the trash. Tailor your cover letter to the company and the job you are applying for, highlighting your relevant skills and experience.
2. Don’t repeat your resume
Your cover letter should complement your resume, not repeat it. Use your cover letter to provide additional information that is not included in your resume.
3. Don’t use cliches
Avoid using cliches such as “I am a team player” or “I have excellent communication skills.” These phrases are overused and do not provide any real information about your skills and experience.
4. Don’t focus on what the company can do for you
Your cover letter should focus on how you can benefit the company, not the other way around. Avoid language that makes it sound like you are only interested in what the company can do for you.
5. Don’t be too informal
While you want your cover letter to be engaging and conversational, you should still maintain a professional tone. Avoid using slang or overly casual language.
6. Don’t forget to follow up
After you submit your cover letter and resume, follow up with the hiring manager to show your interest in the job. This can be a simple email or phone call to inquire about the status of your application.
Writing a killer cover letter takes time and effort, but it can make all the difference in landing your dream job. Remember to do your research, highlight your relevant skills and experience, use keywords, keep it concise, and proofread. Avoid using a generic cover letter, repeating your resume, using cliches, focusing on what the company can do for you, being too informal, and forgetting to follow up. By following these dos and don’ts, you can write a cover letter that will help you stand out from the competition and get noticed by hiring managers.