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Make your cover letter stand out from the crowd

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 9 years ago
  • Author: Sue Pallot

​Anyone in charge of recruitment will have to read several – perhaps dozens – of cover letters and resumes every time their company advertises a vacancy. Your cover letter is your first impression. For many applicants, it will also be their last. Here are some inside tips to help yours stand out from the crowd.​

Start strong

‘I am writing to you because I am interested in the Sales Manager role which you advertised…’ If your first sentence is anything like that, you’ve already lost their attention. Instead, start listing your skills and experience right away. You should really be writing something more along the lines of: ‘My experience securing and maintaining large orders for clients similar to your own makes me the perfect choice for Sales Manager’.

Use numbers

One problem with cover letters is that it’s hard to appear confident and competent without looking like you’re overstating your own skills. Your letter might read extremely well, but you need to back it up if it is to remain credible. The solution is to incorporate some statistics and figures. Nobody can argue with cold, hard facts, so try using a few throughout the letter.

Write to the right person

Unless absolutely unavoidable, never start a cover letter with either ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear [company name]’. This is the 21st Century, and that kind of information should be easily available online. Just look for either the HR representative or hiring manager associated with the position. If you can’t find that information online, don’t hesitate to call the company and ask.

Personalise each letter

This is a natural extension of finding the right person to write to; next, you need to speak directly to their company. Anyone working in a recruitment capacity can spot a form letter a mile away. Using the same letter for different roles and simply changing a few words will not help secure you an interview. You should be able to find information concerning their latest projects, overall business plan, and major clients on their website. Use that information while you explain why you would be perfect for the role.

An effective cover letter should demonstrate all of the qualities which an employer is looking for. Make sure you don’t neglect these tips next time you’re looking for a new position.