The Internet has made many traditional recruitment techniques obsolete, but (thankfully) the cover letter is not one of them.
For more effective recruitment, there are five basics every cover letter should have.
There is no doubt that the Internet has changed the business landscape, especially when it comes to recruitment and hiring.
From submitting resumes online, video interviews and keyword searches to affordable applicant tracking systems available to businesses of any size, the Internet has certainly made recruitment more streamlined.
Speed and simplicity cause many job seekers to believe the cover letter has become obsolete. They reason that the resume is what hiring managers want, so what exactly is the purpose of an additional page.
Even though they are rarely read, cover letters have a place.
Not surprisingly, many recruiters actually admit they do not even read candidate cover letters.
The fact remains that a resume alone will not get you the job, no matter how incredible your qualifications. The sheer number of job applicants for each position means you must differentiate yourself beyond the competition. The cover letter helps you do just that.
No matter what, it is essential to customize your resume for the specific job you are seeking. This is the same for cover letters. Resume parsing software often look for the word matches both on the resume as well as on cover letters.
Cover letters, even if not read, will give you an opportunity to tell your story and highlight your strengths. This allows you to add value to your resume, by explaining exactly how your recruitment will benefit the company.
Try these five basics when writing your next cover letter:
The job description should be your guide.
If you are lucky enough to have your resume read by a human being, the wording of the cover letter will show you understand the job description, and you have the qualifications that fill the need.
Simplicity is the key.
Cover letters in recruitment must get right to the point, quickly and clearly. When submitting a cover letter by email, always include a note that tells the reader there is your resume attached.
Be brief! Try to keep a cover letter to a maximum of around 250 words; its main purpose is to introduce the “main event”—your resume. Going over a page can be a deal breaker.
Be specific with the salutation, as well as content.
In a time of the web-based recruitment, it is easy to learn specific names and titles of the hiring team. This means there is no reason not to personalize your greeting. A boilerplate cover letter shows a lack of imagination.
The letter is to encourage the employer to call you to take the next step, an interview. People love hearing their own name, and a cover letter should speak to a specific person.
Give them a reason to interview you.
Tell your story and explain why they should hire you. Enthusiasm is essential. You must present why you are the right person for the job. Give an example or two of how your experiences will demonstrate the skill set the business needs.
Story telling in a single paged narrative can fast track you to an interview, by showing your potential value to the organization.
Establish a direct link to the company (or at least how you heard about the job).
Remember, the cover letter is a perfect opportunity to discuss a direct network connection if there is one. Mention how you found out about the position. Companies like to see a return on investment how on advertising, so do not forget this crucial step.