How to nail your cover letter to secure your job interview invite

In today’s digital age it might be tempting to think the essence of a cover letter has diminished over the years, but if you consider it to be more than just a summary of your resume it’s the perfect way of leaving a great first impression. As long as you know how to stand out from the crowd, your chances will drastically increase of landing that job interview. Today, we’ll delve into how you can truly deliver a cover letter that will blow away recruiters far and wide.

Although it’s true that the chance of you actually sending a print version of your cover letter is minimal, that doesn’t mean that the idea of cover letters is outdated. The main reason why it’s so important is because of the personal touch behind it. A cover letter is a perfect tool to introduce who you truly are, by transforming yourself into an unforgettable candidate if you play your cards right. The secret lies in sounding authentic and unique, by making the working experience on your resume come to life. It’s crucial here that you steer clear from clichés. No recruiter will be impressed if you state you like to ‘think outside the box’ or you are a real ‘people person’. In fact, chances are that the reader of your letter feels the urge to reach for a bucket when seeing these chewed-out phrases. So, what is the right approach? Let’s start with exploring ways on how to write a catchy introduction.

Grab your reader by the hand

We don’t want to up the pressure, but we’ll be honest. If you fail to grab the recruiter’s attention with your introduction, your letter will most likely end up in the trash straight away. A successful introduction should consist of at least three things, starting with creating the right tone of voice. The right thing to do is to radiate your enthusiasm about the job since your enthusiasm will work contagiously and will affect the reader’s mood instantly. Another way to leave a good impression is to highlight one of your major achievements to underline your experience and expertise, a strong statement that will definitely grab the attention. Last but not least you need to tailor your introduction in such a way that it’s clear you’ve done your research on the company you’re applying to. If you manage to put all three aspects in a strong yet short introduction, you’re guaranteed to make a grand entrance leaving the recruiter craving for more.

Show (don’t tell) your experience

The body of your cover letter should be all about elaborating on your relevant past experiences. Make sure that you’re being precise, and don’t just list your former employers as already shown on your resume. It’s better to mention a few specific examples of projects in the past you are proud of than trying to fit in as much as possible. Try to think of times you really had to rely on your skills to succeed and explain thoroughly how you handled these situations to show you’re an asset to your potential future employer, and make sure the examples are also relevant for the job title you’re currently in the running for. The best practice here is to build a link between your past and future by showcasing how you’re hoping to solve future challenges in similar ways, but also think of new challenges that could arise at the organization in question. At the end of the day, your purpose is to convince the reader you’re the perfect fit for the job – and providing proof of concept will definitely ensure you’re a force to be reckoned with.

Finish with a gripping call-to-action

The closing statement of your cover letter is your last shot of hitting it out of the park. Your aim here is to once again highlight your previous statements of why you are in fact the ideal candidate for the job. You can also use the occasion, to sum up a few of your most important skills, but make sure you do use different language to describe them to show your reader you’re eloquent and tend to think things through. Try to come across as confident but don’t overdo it: there’s a thin line between confidence and cockiness. Always end your statement by thanking your reader for their time, while at the same time trying to persuade one final time why you should be invited for an actual job interview. As long as you don’t throw in demands, adding a call to action shows the hiring manager you’re committed and passionate: two very interesting traits to have as an employee.

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