The job market has finally reached a point where it could be considered “good” compared to a few years ago. Prospective workers no longer have to deal with mass downsizing and hiring freezes in most industries. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get the job you want.

Most people still contend with countless others when applying to open positions. You’ll need to understand how to write a cover letter to gain a potential employer’s attention and separate yourself from the pack.

This will help substantially during your job search. Let’s explore the key information you need to keep in mind when moving forward.

Expand on your resume

Writing a cover letter is a great opportunity to expand on your resume. These are often an entire page in length, so you have plenty of room to talk about how you’d be a great asset to the company.

Key points to mention include your work history and unique skills. Don’t copy and paste information from your resume, as this will only create redundancy.

The more insight you provide into your experience and skills, the more of an impact you’ll make. Avoid including fluff, though.

This can detract from your cover letter’s overall quality. Hiring managers will also quickly discern that you’re trying to take up as much space as possible with unnecessary statements.

Say as much as possible without embellishing. If you don’t take up an entire page, that’s nothing to worry about. It’s better to trim the fat and keep your letter straightforward than bloat it with irrelevant information.

Customize your letter to a specific job

You can’t write one cover letter and then mass-apply to different jobs. The entire purpose of a cover letter is to illustrate why you’re a good fit for the company.

This means they should be highly specific and avoid generic language. For instance, consider a cover letter that conveys the worker is diligent, proactive, and has strong communication skills. While these are great attributes to have, they’re mentioned in a vague way that doesn’t help hiring managers envision you at the company.

Instead, the cover letter should be contextual and mention how these skills can be put to use at the company. Someone applying for a tech job could talk about how they’re well-versed in conveying difficult concepts to team members without a tech background. This is far more effective than saying “I have strong communication skills.”

Showcase your personality

Hiring managers aren’t just looking for workers who can achieve top-tier performance. People are often hired based on their future value instead of their current value. Every employer knows that it will take time to get new workers up to speed and expand their skill sets.

The primary differentiating factor between applicants in this regard is their personality. If someone isn’t a good personality fit for an organization, hiring managers will likely overlook them. This is true even if they have strong professional skills and substantial experience.

In some cases, hiring managers could overlook their applications even if they’re the only ones who have applied. Your tone, vocabulary, and phrasing are the primary ways you’ll illustrate your personality in your cover letter.

For example, someone outgoing and confident might use many action words and maintain an energetic tone. You should avoid misrepresenting yourself in your cover letter for the sake of generating employer interest. Two possibilities could occur:

  1. You get an interview and they quickly find out you’re not who they thought
  2. You get the job and don’t resonate with anyone else at the company

This will waste the time of everyone involved, and it could even get you a bad reputation in the industry. The last thing you want is to unnecessarily burn bridges.

Stay professional

It can be tempting to get too casual when writing your letter. This often occurs when focusing on showcasing one’s personality.

While your intention might be to illustrate your uniqueness as an applicant, it could come off as informal. To avoid doing so, you can maintain consistency in your writing and use a professional vocabulary.

Research the company

Research the company before writing your cover letter so you can include information that aligns with their values. You can do this by looking at their website, LinkedIn profile, and their overall presence in the industry. Their social media profiles will also offer insight into the values the company cares about the most.

It’s imperative to look into their company culture, as well. Hiring managers look for candidates who will have no problem assimilating.

This means that not every company you encounter will be the right fit for your needs. It’s much better to continue your search for the right company than try to fit in where you don’t belong.

Edit before you submit

Under no circumstances should you submit a cover story before you thoroughly edit it. Even a single spelling or grammar error could ruin your chance of getting the position you apply for.

It’s not a bad idea to get a second pair of eyes to look over your cover letter. They might notice awkward phrasing or areas of concern that could be improved.

Some people make the mistake of foregoing this obligation due to the extra time it takes. However, a few extra minutes could mean the difference between concluding your job search or having to continue looking for additional weeks/months.

Understand how to write a cover letter

It’s crucial to understand how to write a cover letter when looking for jobs. It won’t necessarily get you a job, but not having the right one could lose you a job. The information in this guide will help ensure you make the best decision for your needs when moving forward.