When beginning the job hunt, many jobseekers spend the majority of their time and energy writing and refining their resume. Although this is important, those who are actively seeking jobs in the 21st century need to invest some amount of time into the writing and development of their cover letter, too. With that in mind, you can follow the tips and advice found in this post to ensure you have a cover letter that is up to par with the expectations and requirements of today’s recruiters.
The Purpose of the Cover Letter
First and foremost, the cover letter is meant to serve as a brief introduction to your professional or academic background. Avoid becoming overly wordy or long-winded in the cover letter, as recruiters can pick up specific details from the resume itself. Instead, use this time to provide the reader with an overview of your best qualities. Not only does this give them a chance to see how you’ve contributed to your past employers, but it also provides some amount of insight into your communication skills.
Secondly, recruiters almost always use cover letters as a means of gauging how well you can communicate. Although you might not have perfect grammar or prose, it’s important to avoid misspellings as well as common grammatical mistakes. Nothing will disqualify you from the job hunt quicker than a cover letter that is filled with errors – though few jobseekers realize this.
What to Include
For starters, your cover letter should be aesthetically similar to the resume. If your resume has a black border around it, for example, then your cover letter should have the same border. The font of your cover letter should also be consistent with that of your resume.
As far as content goes, there is quite a bit of room for creative freedom when preparing a cover letter. Obviously you won’t have to include a full history of your experience, so you can decide which achievements and accomplishments you want to include. Narrowing it down to those achievements or contributions that are specific to the type of job you are currently seeking is another method for making recruiters aware of what you have to offer their company.
Finally, you should always make sure that you cater your cover letter specifically toward recruiters. Although there are many similarities between cover letters meant for hiring managers and those meant for recruiters, there are also some critical differences. Detailing your past salaries as well as your current and future expectations, for example, should always be listed when writing for a recruiter. Conversely, cover letters that are meant specifically for hiring managers should never include such information.
If you are writing to a recruiter that specializes in different industries or regions, make sure to include your areas of interest. While a recruiter may be able to match you up with a position based on the skills and expertise listed in your resume and cover letter, those who have little to no experience in the job force may find it difficult to find an enjoyable and productive role without providing these minor details.
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