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Cover letters are a great way to show that you understand the environment and culture of the company and industry.Spending some time reading over the company website or stalking their social media before you get started can be a great way to get in the right mindset—you’ll get a sense for the company’s tone, language, and culture, which are all things you’ll want to mirror as you’re writing.One woman wrote a cover letter from her dog’s perspective.
We shouldn’t have to tell you to run your cover letter through spell-check (you should!
), but remember that having your computer scan for typos isn’t the same as editing.
When you know you have the potential to do the job—but your past experience doesn’t straightforwardly sell you as the perfect person for the position—try focusing on your skills instead.
That skills-based template we mentioned before will help you do just that.
Check out these tips for cutting down your cover letter to a page or less.
It’s tempting to treat the final lines of your cover letter as a throwaway: “I look forward to hearing from you.” But your closing paragraph is your last chance to emphasize your enthusiasm for the company or how you’d be a great fit for the position.
Here’s what that might look like: “I’m excited to translate my experience in [what you’ve done in the past] to a position that’s more [what you’re hoping to do next].” Hiring managers love to see stats—they show you’ve had a measurable impact on an organization or company you’ve worked for.
That doesn’t mean you have to have doubled revenue at your last job. Those numbers speak volumes about what you could bring to your next position, and make your cover letter stand out.
Used sparingly, great feedback from former co-workers, managers, or clients can go a long way toward illustrating your passion or skills.
Here’s an example of how you might weave it in: “When I oversaw our last office move, my color-coded spreadsheets covering every minute detail of the logistics were legendary; my manager said I was so organized, she’d trust me to plan an expedition to Mars.” If you’re applying to a more traditional company, then the tried-and-true three-to-five-paragraph format probably makes sense.