Your resume will be stacked up against more competition than ever before – so be sure to make your cover letter stand out from the crowd. Because unless a recruiter or hiring manager is impressed by your cover letter, they won’t even get as far as your resume.

Six Crucial Seconds

An employer or recruiter spends an average of approximately six seconds on the initial scan of a cover letter or resume. If it’s bland or generic, it immediately gets tossed into the “rejection” file. On the other hand, if your cover quickly addresses the unique qualifications you bring to the table and is relevant to the job and the company’s hiring needs, you have a winner.

Market Yourself

Think of your cover letter as your introductory piece of marketing collateral. Hiring is about more than just the qualifications outlined on your resume. It’s also about your communication skills, intellect, emotional intelligence, enthusiasm, and drive – all traits that can be highlighted in your letter.

  • Don’t just summarize your resume. You do yourself a disservice if you use your cover letter to simply repeat the same information included on your resume. The letter should add something new to your candidacy; for example, personal traits and reasons why you’re interested in the job.
  • Keep the tone of your cover letter conversational and engaging. Use it to make a convincing case that you are the best fit for this specific opportunity.

No Form Letters Allowed

Hiring managers can tell when they’re reading a letter tailored to their job. If your cover letter works for all the jobs for which you are applying, then it needs to be more customized.

  • Research the position and the company. Reflect this knowledge in your cover letter. Be sure to include keywords from the job description here, as well as on your resume.
  • Find the name of the hiring manager and address the letter to them. Uncover their name and title as part of your research. Salutations like “Dear HR Manager” or “Dear Sir or Madam” are not acceptable.
  • Tell how you can meet the company’s needs if hired. It needs to be all about them. Quantify and give specific examples that support the claims you are making. As you write your cover letter, put yourself in the hiring manager’s place and give them an answer to the question, “Why should I consider hiring this person?”

Remember, your goal is to get a phone call and an appointment for an interview, not simply to fire off as many cover letters and resumes as possible.

Turn to the specialized recruiters at Pridestaff Modesto for additional guidance as you perfect your cover letter and resume – and implement your successful job search strategy. And, keep an eye on our job portal for the latest openings in your field. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.


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