Cover letters aren’t just for people who apply directly to companies; they can also help you land jobs via networking. In fact, according to the recent research, nearly half (47 percent) of hiring managers say they read cover letters before deciding whether to interview someone. So what should you include in yours?
The first thing to do when writing your cover letter is to make sure that you’re addressing the right person at the right place. You want to know who they are so you can tailor your message accordingly. The best way to find out who they are is to look them up online. If you don’t know their name, you can use their title or position. For example, “Mr. Smith” would mean Mr. Smith from Human Resources.
Next, you’ll want to think about what kind of role they play in the organization. Is this a hiring manager? A recruiter? An HR representative? Someone else entirely? Once you’ve figured that out, you can start thinking about how you’d like to connect with them. Do you want to show off your skills? Be funny? Make a joke? Tell them something personal about yourself? This is where things get tricky. It helps to keep in mind the three Cs: credibility, consistency, and confidence.
Credibility – Your goal here is to demonstrate that you understand the company well enough to talk intelligently about its culture and mission. Think about the kinds of things that people say about the company. Are there any common themes? Does anyone ever complain? Has anything bad happened recently? All these things give you insights into how the company works, which will help you speak credibly about it.
Consistency – Make sure that everything you say is consistent with the tone of the rest of your resume. Don’t try to sound too professional unless you really are. Also, avoid trying to sound casual or informal unless you feel confident doing so.
Confidence – Finally, you want to convey confidence. Show that you believe you deserve the job. Talk about why you’re passionate about the work and why you’re excited about working there. Demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about.
Once you’ve written your cover letter, you’ll want to proofread it carefully before sending it. Look for typos, grammar errors, and spelling mistakes. Then, once you’re done, print it out and take a few minutes to review it. You might even consider having someone else read it for you. That’s because a cover letter isn’t just about getting hired; it’s also about making a good impression. So, spend some extra time polishing it until it shines.