“Dear Hiring Manager, I am applying for xyz job that I came across on abc website” 95% of cover letters have a similar beginning and unfortunately a similar end-landing in a big pile of HR database.
Cover letters are like movie trailers. They are teasers for our big story (our career). Teaser has to be engaging and interesting to drive the audience (hiring managers) to watch the full movie (your resume and interviewing You). A well written cover letter has power to distinguish you and help you stand out in those thousands of resumes.
Have a strong opening line- preferably your elevator pitch. Stay away from the standard opening lines. Write something that shows you are eligible and enthusiastic.
“I’m a graphics design professional with 12 years of experience and I’d love to bring my expertise and passion to your growing creative team.”
Keep it small- Your cover letter should ideally be one or two paragraphs and never more than a page. Remember, this letter needs to be customised for each role you are applying for and must highlight the skills you possess related to that role.
Do your Homework: Research the company and the job opening you are applying for. Read the news related to that company/industry/domain. Find the common grounds and then mention in your cover letter how you can contribute.
Use Keywords: Keywords are vital part of a cover letter and should be used judiciously to enhance the impact of your offerings. Analyze the job opening and look for keywords that define you best.
Analyzed, quantified, planned, programmed, designed, created, built, mentored, taught, trained etc are some talent defining keywords.
To show your achievements result oriented keywords like increased, reduced, redesigned, upgraded, initiated, implemented, reformulated, generated, and produced can be used.
In addition to these highlight your recognitions by keywords such as- honored, awarded, promoted, selected, lauded for, received a bonus for, recognized, chosen and credited.
Reflect your Personality: It is important to give that human touch to your cover letter. Do not write it as if you are a robot with certain set of specifications. Reflect your enthusiasm- write why you would like to work for this particular company, why you are a right person for this role.
And once again the most important task is to customize your cover letter for each and every job role you are applying for.
Spruce up your cover letter and see how this single page document can lead you to wonderful opportunities.