Whether you’re fresh out of college and new to the job hunt or looking change your career up, a stellar resume isn’t all you need to get an interview and, ultimately, a great job. A cover letter that is not only well-written but complements your resume effectively is essential. Follow these tips when writing your resume and cover letter and learn how to make the documents blend.
If your resume doesn’t stand out, chances are the company won’t even get to reading your cover letter. To make sure you get noticed right off the bat, it’s extremely important to start off with an excellent resume.
Even if you’re just coming out of college and feel like you don’t have a lot of job experience, you can still list the jobs and internships you’ve had and show how they relate to the job you are going for. While writing your resume, keep the job description close by and refer to it often. If the job lists specific qualities that they’re looking for in an employee, think of how you’ve demonstrated those qualities in your experience and tell them exactly how you’ve done so.
Potential employees are looking for resumes with key words that match key words on the job description, so studying the job description is a simple way to get your resume to stand out.
While not every job specifically mentions the need to supply a cover letter while applying, it can be the extra boost you need to separate yourself from the pack even if it’s not “required.” But it’s a waste of time to simply throw something together on the spur of the moment—it needs to be well-thought-out while catering it to the company and specific job description.
Before starting your cover letter, you need to know your audience. No company wants to read your life story or feel like they’re reading a page from the dictionary. It needs to be conversational while still professional, and concise while explaining why you’re the right choice for their company.
Blending the Two
The first step to making your cover letter blend with your resume is to remember that not everything on your resume needs to be rehashed in your cover letter, but everything in your cover letter should be found in your resume.
Your cover letter is another chance to tell the potential employer why you’re the best one for the job and expand upon what you couldn’t elaborate on in your resume. Including your duties at your previous jobs is important, but your cover letter is the place to tell them your accomplishments and how you have been able to get results in the past.
You know yourself better than anyone else, so don’t leave them guessing or they will move on. Spell out (concisely!) why you are the best choice. Talk about why you believe in the company you are applying to and how the industry has affected your life. Telling them about yourself while showing you know about the company will show them you’re a serious candidate and will get you that much closer to getting an interview.