Sometimes you need to give yourself the winning edge. Think Clint Eastwood with the sun behind him in a gun fight. Sometimes in giving massive importance to the CV, the value of a strong cover letter is often neglected. The key to securing that dream job is a combination of a well-crafted CV and a killer cover letter. While the CV lists your important achievements and skills, the cover letter coerces your prospective employer into hiring you. The cover letter very finely articulates your desire to work for the company. To stand apart from the competition and make yourself an attractive hire, you need to draft a killer cover letter. Here are the 9 Steps to landing that job…
- 1. Knowing what they want, what they really really want
The cover letter offers a window to your personality and qualifications. But apart from that, it is also a way to demonstrate how much you really know about your prospective employer. To do this, you need to research on the company, the financial growth statistics, the industries that your employer serves, etc. Learn about your potential firm and showcase that. Only when you know what they want and who they are looking for, will you be able to portray that in your cover letter.
- 2. Giving it that personal touch
When you are searching for a job and have focused on one, make sure you find out the name of the contact person. Beginning your cover letters with formal salutations such as “Dear Sir or Madam”, gives the impression that you don’t know whom the letter should be addressed to. Personalise your cover letters while retaining a semi-formal tone. Lack of knowledge in these areas can significantly impact your chances of getting the job you want.
- 3. The Art of the Powerful Opening
Avoid the clichéd opening paragraphs and instead strive to make an impact with the introduction. In a powerful opening paragraph, you have to briefly state your objective in applying for the job and how you heard about the opening. While being creative in your openings, don’t forget that cute introductions do not work. Give your cover letter the necessary gravitas without being too sycophantic.
- 4. Start Right
After the introduction, comes the body of the cover letter where you detail your achievements without repetition. In this part of the cover letter, you are expected to expand upon your achievements as mentioned in the CV and provide further examples of how you can help your potential company grow. For example, if you are applying for marketing positions then be sure to explain how you can develop a marketing strategy to bring in additional revenue for the company. Simply said, put your best foot forward.
- 5. Finish Strong
The closing of the letter should definitely express gratitude for the HR manager’s time and patience. End the letter by outlining the next steps on your part. Never expect a potential employer to follow up with you. Demonstrate your proactive nature by stating that you will follow up for the job. This will also indicate your enthusiasm for the job. Remember to include a phone number or email address so that the firm can get in touch with you first if required.
- 6. Money Later
The motivation behind taking up any job is money. To be happy in your job you need to be paid well. Don’t become hasty and quote any figures in the letter. Wait for a formal meeting to discuss salary issues.
- 7. Details Matter
Remember to spell-check your cover letters and get them proof-read from friends or family. Be sure to thoroughly check your cover letters till you are completely satisfied with them.
- 8. How does it Look?
In case you are submitting your cover letter by email, make use of word processing software such as MS Word. Write your cover letters in Word, making use of a standardized format. Align the text correctly and ensure that the letter is cleanly formatted. Punctuation should be in place. While you spend a tremendous amount of time on preparing the CV, you sometimes end up neglecting the cover letter. Formatting is essential otherwise the HR manager reading your cover letter might just have to spend his or her time deciphering it.
- 9. Check That Grammar
Make sure that you adhere to grammar rules and make use of them while writing your cover letter. Incorrect grammar used in the wrong places can not only create a wrong impression, but also change the meaning of what you intended to convey.
These are such simple steps to write a killer covering letter.
ü Draft your letter so that it highlights your skills, achievements, goals, and motivations.
ü Don’t meander from the main topic.
ü Stick to the basics and be direct in your approach.
Do the above and nothing can stop you from getting that job.