What is the most valuable part of your job search? Have you ever asked yourself that?
Well, don’t bother.
Looking for a job is a gradual process. First, you need to be considered by a recruiter. Then you need to make it to the interview, through the interview and salary negotiation, to the offer letter. The journey is as far from a cakewalk as you can imagine.
Every step is important. You need to make sure the impression you are projecting on a recruiter or interviewer at any point is your best.
The importance of a cover letter is, simply put, an opportunity to impress the interviewer and make them want to read your resume. But, given how 50% employers don’t bother reading cover letters and the rest scan it in the short span of 5-10 seconds, the window of opportunity is tiny.
How Important Is a Cover Letter When Applying Online?
You may call it the first contact with any employer.
A cover letter is a weapon you’ve to utilize to attract an employer so that they consider your resume. If it stands out among the lot, the likelihood of your selection, or at least of getting an interview will increase.
A well-written cover letter should-
- Introduce you
- Clarify what job you’re applying for
- List down your abilities, skills and top reasons why you will act as a good fit for the company and the position
- Lays down your professional goals with the offered job
- Showcases you as a credible prospect
- Make the employer want to know more about you
Now that you understand the importance of cover letters, try these tips to help you along.
How to Write a Proper Cover Letter
- Do Your Homework
Just because you like a job description, it doesn’t mean you should immediately draft a letter and email it to the recruiter. Research the potential employer. Take a good look at what the job advertisement says.
Figure out what information about you is worth mentioning in the cover letter for this particular post and what is irrelevant.
- Show Your Personality
The structure, word choices, and layout of a cover letter shows off some part of your personality as well.
The way you introduce yourself, describe your interest in the opportunity, and talk about yourself as a fitting candidate for the job can have an equally impressive effect on the recruiter.
- Proofread Your Content
A resume is primarily a record of data about your career experience, education, skills, etc. A cover letter is a chance to connect with the employer. Focus here, I said ‘connect to’ and not ‘gush over’ the employer.
Keep it short. Start with what you can do, and how it’ll help the company get the results they want. Mention what you know about the organization, but keep it in context. Use bullets to demonstrate things like your skills, the different kinds of projects you’ve handled, the versatile work you’ve done, etc. Mention instances where you solved a situation, resolved a conflict, and talk about how you did it.
- Bring It Home
Conclude by asking the recruiter to take a look at your resume. Assure them that they can contact you afterwards, that you’re delighted to connect with them, that you’d call them in a few days to talk about the job and your prospects.
Then, follow up with a call. Talk about your knowledge, strengths, and possibilities.