It’s been said that almost everyone can make a good first impression. The real challenge, though, lays in making a lasting one. And this, in many ways, is the key to writing an effective cover letter.
Here are six techniques that will help your cover letter be intelligible and memorable.
#1: There’s always room for less
Always. Hiring managers will likely spend under five minutes reviewing your application. And if there’s a large amount for them to get through, it may take them just seconds. Make the most of your opportunity by cutting out any sections that seem to repeat things you’ve already said or that could come off as rambling. Getting a second pair of eyes to read your letter is a good way of going about this.
#2: Show don’t tell
It’s easy to say you’re dependable and a self-starter. But unfortunately, it’s also easy for hiring managers to forget. Replace simple statements about yourself with more noteworthy ones that show how you’ve been dependable rather than just state it.
#3: Refer to your resume
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your cover letter is to simply repeat what you will say in your resume. Constantly check your resume as you write your cover letter to make sure you aren’t simply reiterating it and you’ll end up with a letter that complements your list of skills.
#4: Tailor your tone
In this day and age, a little bit of quick research can tell you a lot about a company: their ideals, their office culture, even their dress code. A start-up company’s website, for example, may show a distinctly different personality than that of, say, a large investment firm. Using this information to your advantage can help your cover letter be less cookie-cutter and more memorable.
#5: Don’t do what you’ve always done
You’ll send a lot of cover letters in your life, which means it’s easy to get caught in the same conventions. The fact is, though, many of these conventions are changing. To whom it may concern, may not be needed because it’s quite possible you can find out who will be reviewing your letter. Sending your cover letter as a document may not work for everyone, so converting it to a PDF can be a smarter choice. Think outside the norm and you’ll come off as just that.
#6: Include a stat
How often do you think employers see that an applicant helped get 10,000 hits on a video in their past position? Or that they helped raise website traffic by 15%? Adding a statistic about yourself is both a professional and unique way to make your cover letter memorable.
How do you make your cover letter stand out? Tell ACI on Twitter at @ACISpecBenefits or on facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or YouTube. Also feel free to contact ACI Specialty Benefits at (800) 932-0034, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.