You probably already know what is a cover letter. This short document helps you present yourself to your potential employer in the best light and explain why you are qualified for the position.
Cover letters are an important part of the job application process, yet many job seekers do not take the time to customize each one.
A generic cover letter that does not take into account the specific job you are applying for will not do you any favors.
In one of our past blogs, we listed the ten worst cover letter mistakes. And, not tailoring your cover letter for every job you apply to is on the top of our list.
Keep reading to find out why should you customize your cover letter and what is the right way to do it!
When you are applying for a job, your cover letter is your first chance to impress the hiring manager.
You want them to see that you have carefully read and considered the job ad. You also want to show them that you are the best candidate for the position.
Sending a generic cover letter aimed at all jobs will reduce your chances of landing the interview, let alone the job.
On the other hand, if you take the time to tailor your cover letter to each job you apply for, it will show that you are truly interested in that particular position. It will also show the recruiter how your experience and skills are best suited for the needs of the company.
For example, if you are applying for a job as a marketing manager, and you see that the company’s website is in need of a redesign, you can mention this in your cover letter.
You could say something like, “I was excited to see that your company is in need of a marketing manager. I am confident that I could help you achieve your goals, and one of the first things I would do is revamp your website.”
This will show the hiring manager that you have taken the time to learn about the company and that you have some great ideas for how to contribute to their business.
Now that we covered the basics, let’s go to what you came for in the first place – customizing your cover letter!
Here are five tips that will help you create an amazing cover letter, stand out from all the other applicants, and land that job!
Some companies tend to use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to weed out undesirable candidates before their recruiters even have a look at the resumes and cover letters.
ATS works simply – it scans your cover letter for keywords that are related to the job you are applying for.
The more keywords you include, the better your chances of passing the ATS test and getting your cover letter seen by a human being.
To find out which keywords to use, take a look at the job ad and make a list of all the required skills and qualifications. For example, if you are applying for a job as a content writer, some of the keywords you could use are “content creation,” “SEO,” “copywriting,” etc.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t just throw in a bunch of keywords in your cover letter. Once you pass the ATS test, a recruiter will read it so your sentences have to make sense.
The opening paragraph of your cover letter is the most important one.
In just a few sentences, you need to explain why you are writing and how you can help the company achieve their goals. The opening paragraph is also your chance to grab the attention of the hiring manager and make them want to read on.
Your opening paragraph should include the company’s name, position and other identifiers included in the job description. Don’t use any personal greetings (e.g., I hope this letter finds you well), as this will make you seem unprofessional.
Focus your intro paragraph on the topic and outline of the cover letter. Here’s an example of a good opening paragraph:
“I am responding to your job advertisement I came across on your LinkedIn company page. As a professional project manager, I believe I am a good fit for [Company Name]’s IT Project Manager position. My attached resume details more than five years’ experience managing technology solutions for competitive companies. My previous experiences include…”
After writing the opening paragraph, you should briefly describe your past experiences and accomplishments.
In the last paragraph (not the closing paragraph), make sure to point out why you want the job. Feel free to say why you would like to join the company, and try to explain how you can help company reach their goals, as well as how the company can help you reach yours.
“I would like to become a part of [Company Name] because both our goals align. [Company Name] seeks to promote self-awareness and compassion within the community through its [program name]. Along those same lines, I have…”
When you are trying to convince the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job, it is not enough to simply list your skills and accomplishments.
You need to use specific examples that will show how you used those skills to achieve great things in your previous positions.
This will make your cover letter more concrete and more persuasive.
For example, instead of saying “I am a great leader,” you could say “In my previous position as a team leader, I was able to increase productivity by…”
Your cover letter should not be longer than one page.
Hiring managers are busy people, and they will not appreciate having to read a novel-length cover letter.
Keep your sentences short and to the point, and focus on the most important information.
If you can, try to avoid any unnecessary filler words, as they will only make your cover letter weaker.
Popcorn Recruiters is a recruitment agency with a significant difference: we’re border-less. Located in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are in touch with ambitious and talented professionals across Europe. With a deep pool of IT and foreign-language speaking talent, our Popcorn Recruiters are leading the way to successful matches.
As a recruitment agency, our goal is not only to meet the needs and demands of our clients. We also look out for our candidates and make sure they find their ideal employer.
Once you apply to one of our open positions and join our talent network, we become your representatives – something like your personal agents.
First, we’ll have a chat (that is a brief prescreen interview) to get to know you better – your needs, skills, interests, and requirements. Then, we’ll match you with a company we know you’ll fit in with perfectly, help you prepare for the interviews, and help you land that job!
Sounds good? Drop your CV and we’ll get in touch