For some people, their first job out of college will be their lifelong career. For others, their first job might be a stepping stone to a different type of career. In either scenario, landing the right job with the right company will give you the right experience to further your career goals. With so many other people applying for the same jobs you are, you might be wondering how to stand out. We are here to tell you that the first step to putting yourself above your competition is through your cover letter. Here are 5 essential steps for drafting an impressive cover letter.
Know Who Is Reading It
Whenever possible, your research on the company should bring you to who is likely to be reading it. If you know someone at the company, then great. They can usually tell you who is responsible for hiring in the department you are hoping to work with. Generic salutations such as “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” might not hurt your chances of getting the job but if you can write to a specific person, you will have better chances.
Introduce Yourself with Power
Power statements are a great way to start out your cover letter. Wishy-washy words such as “hoping” as in “I am hoping to get a job as a technical writer” will not work. Starting out your cover letter with a strong statement such as “I am a technical writer” will be much more effective and will start out your introductory piece by telling the prospective employer that you are an authority.
It’s Not Only about You
When drafting a cover letter, remember it is not just about you. Sure, you are the one trying to get the job, but your resume shows off your skills. The focus of your cover letter should be about the value that you see in the company and their specific qualities that make you a good fit for them, not the other way around. Hiring managers need to know that the people applying for jobs at their organization care about them and what they do.
Show Your Appreciation
It is essential that you show your appreciation for the hiring personnel to even consider you for the position. During the job application process, you are going to be (at least you should be) writing thank you notes to the people you interview with, so get a head start on the gratitude train by thanking them for the opportunity to apply and for their consideration before you wrap up your cover letter. They could have just tossed out your application, so make sure you let them know that you are grateful.
Make It Easy for Them to Contact You
Finally, before you type in “Sincerely” and sign your name, make sure that you have made it easy for the company to contact you. If you give your phone number but email is a more reliable way to contact you, then let them know that. Give your email address along with your phone number and your preference for getting in touch.
Landing your dream job is going to take some effort but once you get in and you are a part of something that you are passionate about, it will all ultimately be worth it.