When you are trying to land a new job, your cover letter plays an important role. Often, it introduces you to the hiring manager and serves as the basis for a first impression. As a result, you want to make sure yours is exceptional. Otherwise, your application may end up in the discard pile with surprising speed.
Getting your cover letter ready for your new career doesn’t have to be complicated. With a bit of time and attention, you can make a great impression and increase your odds of being called in for an interview. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some cover letter tips to use today.
Keep It Concise
When you write a cover letter, your goal should be to be succinct. You want to get to the point quickly, creating an impactful summary of what you have to offer. In nearly all cases, your cover letter shouldn’t exceed one page. Three to five paragraphs is usually enough to outline what you bring to the table, so embrace brevity and resist the urge to discuss every detail of your career.
Don’t Rehash Your Resume
While you want to touch on critical points regarding your skills and experience, your cover letter shouldn’t merely be a retelling of your resume. Instead, you want it to augment what is in your resume by discussing details that wouldn’t otherwise fit into your application.
When you write your cover letter, showcasing the value you could provide the employer should be your objective. Consider any relevant accomplishments or details that genuinely highlight why you are an exceptional candidate and focus on sharing that information above all else. Use your cover letter to tell your professional story, as a narrative approach is more engaging.
Address Any Elephants in the Room
If you have a recent gap in your employment history, are transitioning to a new field, or have another situation that a hiring manager might consider a red flag, consider speaking to it in your cover letter. If the information may put the hiring manager’s mind at ease, it could be worth sharing.
For example, if you had an employment gap after a layoff, mentioning the reason you are no longer in that position could work in your favor. Hiring managers understand that layoffs aren’t the fault of the employee, so they may be less inclined to be wary of the gap.
Similarly, if you are transitioning to a new field, you can use your cover letter to discuss your enthusiasm for your new career path and how your skills transfer. Plus, it prepares the hiring manager for the fact that your experience might not align with what they’d expect to see, but that it could still be relevant to the position you want to land.
While you only want to use this approach, if a brief explanation may work in your favor, it’s worth considering it. That way, you can address any potential red flags directly, increasing your odds of landing an interview.
If you’d like to learn more about writing a great cover letter, the staff at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our recruiters today and see how our job application expertise can benefit your Michigan or Ohio job search.