Writing a cover letter can be overwhelming, because you are trying to accomplish so much with so few words. Trying to think of everything you want to say and trimming it down to fit into a short note can be challenging. So in today’s blog, we’ll explain three core points that every cover letter should make. No matter the industry or field, these points are the foundation of a strong cover letter.
1. There is Mutual Interest
The main goal of your cover letter is to demonstrate your interest in the position itself. You don’t want to sound overly interested in the benefits, salary or compensation. You should sound energized about the possibility of getting the job, and the responsibilities that come with it. Even if you believe you would fit in well with the company culture, your first and foremost concern should be demonstrating interest in the role itself.
When we suggest making the point that there is mutual interest, you don’t just want to seem interested, you want to be interesting too. No matter how eager and interested in the position you are, no company will hire you if they’re not interested in you. Make yourself stand out, and start with an opening paragraph that makes someone say, “We should talk to this person.” If you aren’t interesting by the first paragraph, you may have already cost yourself the opportunity.
2. The Position Is a Good Fit
You should also set out to explain why hiring you would be mutually beneficial to both parties. One of the primary mistakes candidates make is highlighting why the position would be a good fit for themselves. It’s great that this position is everything you want it to be. However, you be should be more concerned with justifying why it is a good fit from the viewpoint of the company. What is it about your own unique skill set and background that makes it beneficial for the company to hire you? This is what you should be focused on.
If you want to think more like the recruiter, put your resume side by side with the job description, and look for the crossover. Looking at the job description as a hiring manager, what stands out on your resume? As you write your cover letter, you should be answering that question. Try to highlight the parts of your background that you think the company would be interested in. Doing this will help you stand out from other candidates who typically focus only on their own personal perspective
3. You Are Knowledgeable and Qualified
The two previous points highlight your interest in the position, and the job fit of your candidacy. The final point to make is that you are knowledgeable and qualified. This isn’t something you should just say, it should also be reflected in the tone of your cover letter. The way you talk about the crossover between your resume and the position should be indicative of someone who understands the industry.
The way the letter is written should exude confidence and understanding of the field, position, and it’s responsibilities. However, you don’t want to go overboard with jargon. Most cover letters are read by someone in HR. Before you start writing, make sure you have a firm grasp on the position and how it will serve the greater company. You don’t want to appear as if you’re just applying senselessly and hoping for the best. Demonstrate your qualifications and knowledge in the way the letter is written.
With cover letters, typically the most challenging part is putting pen to paper and getting started. We believe using these three goals as driving points for a cover letter will give you a great start. Cover letter styles may vary across industry, but they all wing up focusing on these three points. If you’re still wondering if you should write a cover letter at all, check out our blog here. Finally, happy writing and best of luck in your search!