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Writing a Job-Winning Cover Letter is crucial to landing that dream job you have been dreaming of. You need your cover letter to garner the right reaction from a potential hiring manager.
The bad news? You only have 2 minutes to convince your hiring manager not to drop your letter inside a virtual bin.
The Good news? You only need to take 6 minutes to learn how to write a job-winning cover letter that would impress your hiring manager and get you your dream job.
What Your Cover Letter Should Entails
If you plan to write a job-winning cover letter, it should include the following; Avoid the words in your resume, customize your cover letter, show confidence in your past achievements, keep it short, address the hiring manager, use keywords, explain, proofread.
1. Avoid the Words in Your Resume
A cover letter should not be a repeat of what was written in your resume, it tends to bore the hiring manager and could easily make them decide that you are not the right person for the job.
An easy way to get started is to use a job-opening paragraph for your cover letter.
This is where you introduce yourself, tell them what position you are applying for, what makes you the right candidate for the job, and let them know what you can do for them.
A job opening paragraph is usually one of the most important parts of your cover letter. You need to make sure that this paragraph catches the attention of the reader.
A few things to remember when writing this part of your letter include: using clear and simple English, presenting yourself in a positive manner, stating your career goal in the opening paragraph, and providing specific examples of experiences that show your knowledge of the job position you would like to be recruited for.
Use specific words and phrases in your opening paragraph that would demonstrate your expertise to the reader.
When you have completed your introduction and your paragraph, it is now time to start your job Winning Cover Letter.
This is where you create a detailed, concise description of why you are applying for the position, how you can help the employer to achieve their goals, and how your qualifications fit the needs of the company.
If you feel that your resume is weak in one area, then list the areas you believe are weak. This will allow you to highlight your best qualities and work those into your letter.
Be brief and to the point, but still provide a good overview of your accomplishments and references.
At this point, it is important that your cover letters take the employer through who you are and why you believe you would be a great fit for the company. Oftentimes, job postings require only a short paragraph about you and your qualifications.
2. Customize Your Cover Letter
You shouldn’t be like other job seekers that send out almighty general cover letter templates to any job they are trying to apply for.
You need to customize and tailor your letter to the specific job position and company that you are applying for.
Writing a customized cover letter that is tailored towards the job position you are applying for would leave a great impression on the hiring manager and increase your chance of getting the job by 50%.
Based on research, 50% of job seekers use a single general template to apply for any position they would like to be recruited for.
As a hiring manager, this shows that the job seekers are lazy and I would definitely be pleased to employ someone that tailors their cover letter towards my requirement.
This is to show you that it is highly important that you customize your letter, so as to increase your chance of securing the job by 50%.
For example, if you are applying for the role of a manager, you should write in the cover letter, the number of teams that you have worked with, projects, achievements, and even the highest budget you have managed in your past employment.
3. Show Confidence in Your Past Achievements
As a company, I would definitely love to work and employ people that have past achievements in their place of work, these are the people that perform better and would move the company forward.
You should be proud of your past achievements and you should write them out in your cover letter, this would not only leave an impression on the hiring manager but it would also picture you as the right person that knows what he or she is doing.
4. Keep it Short
I am sure you are aware that the era we live in now, we have a very short attention span and you don’t want to have a cover letter that is as long as a newspaper, who would read it?
You have to keep your letter as short as possible as you just need to write out the main point of why you are applying for the job, what makes you the right person for the job, your experience, knowledge, and skills about the job and any major thing you would like to include in your job-winning cover letter.
5. Address The Hiring Manager
One of the recipes for writing a job-winning cover letter is to be able to address your hiring manager personally. If the name of the hiring manager is not stated in the job advert, you should call the office number and ask if the hiring manager is a male or female and what the name is.
By addressing the hiring manager personally, you are creating an impression and respect that can not be rubbed off.
6. Use Keywords
Intentionally, hiring managers do insert specific niche keywords in the job’s advert or description, and for you to create a job-winning cover letter, you need to use those keywords naturally while writing your letter.
Many hiring managers use software to read job seekers ‘ resumes and cover letters for the keywords that they used in the job description and to see how close the resume and cover letter are close to their requirements.
If your resume or cover letter is missing those keywords, chances are that your letter would only be read by a bot and drag to the virtual bin without a human agent even having the chance to go through it.
If your resume has an employment gap, you sure would want to explain why there is an employment gap in your resume through your cover letter before the hiring manager assumes the worst on your behalf.
You do not want your hiring manager to assume the employment gap on your resume is as a result of you serving time for your felony, do you?
This is why you need to explain why there is an employment gap in your resume and other things that you think your potential hiring manager would pause to think after reading your resume.
Everybody makes fingers mistakes, and some make blunders, you do not want such an impression on your hiring manager, so you need to proofread your resume and cover letter.
In the century we are, where there are tools like Grammarly that would read your contents and flag them for typography errors and blunders, the last thing a hiring manager would want is a cover letter or resume full of typography errors and blunders when in fact it can be avoided by using either Grammarly or any other relevant tools.
Once you know how to write a job-winning cover letter, you can move on to presenting yourself to your potential employer.
It is important to remember that you should present yourself in a professional manner. Never send an application letter with a generic resume attached. Always include a custom resume with your cover letter and contact information.
Keep in mind that your cover letter is not the place to mention all of your past employment accomplishments.
Work toward highlighting all of the skills and abilities you have developed that are related to the position for which you are applying.
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