cover letters still exist and are worthy of your attention.I bet when you see a job listing where one’s “optional” you gleefully submit a resume and move on.First off—please, I beg you, No “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” People don’t talk that way, so why would they want to read it?
“Companies are embracing authenticity, they’re embracing humanity, they’re looking for people who are going to fit their culture. While seemingly cliché, it never hurts to end on a simple “thank you for your consideration.” You can, however, exclude the “references upon request” line.
“If an employer wants your references, you better believe they’ll ask for them,” says Godfred.
Talk about your experience using Salesforce or doing SEO work (and get those job description keywords in! These values should be as much a part of your cover letter as the nitty-gritty.
More on that later), but also highlight your ability to lead teams and communicate effectively. Kahn explains that your closing line could include your next steps, such as “I welcome the opportunity to speak with you more about how I can contribute to [team]” or “I would love to schedule a time for us to discuss this role and my experience.” But more importantly, “you want to make sure that you’re gracious and thanking them,” he says.
If you’re changing careers, you have the chance to describe why you’re making the switch. Maybe not sold on the idea but now know why you need to spend time on it? How you start a cover letter influences whether someone keeps reading—and you want them to, right?
If your resume’s pretty dull, a cover letter helps you add personality to an otherwise straightforward career path. Either way, let’s get started—we promise this will be painless. They’re made up of bits and pieces that fit together a specific way to complete the whole, right? When you put each component in its proper place (and remove any parts that don’t fit), you create a complete picture. “Starting with something that immediately connects you to the company is essential—something that tells the company that this is not a generic cover letter,” says Godfred.It can be an anecdote from another job or experience showing how hard of a worker you are.Whatever you decide to open with, The next few paragraphs, Godfred explains, are where you include one of two things: “If you’re someone who’s transitioning careers, and you need to explain that transition, you do it there.” But if you’re not a career changer, use this section to “hit them with the strongest results you have that are aligned with the opportunity,” she states.Target the jobs you’re most closely drawn to and qualified for and give them all your energy, rather than try to churn out hundreds of cover letters.You may not be able to apply to as many jobs, but you’re guaranteed to have better results in terms of response rate.Ryan Kahn—Muse career coach and founder of The Hired Group—calls this your pitch.In other words, the part where you’re “selling yourself for the position and why you’re qualified for it.” Godfred emphasizes that this section should have a balance of soft and hard skills.It helps you explain your value proposition, stand out from the stack, and create “continuity between your application and the person you’re going to be when you walk into the room,” Godfred says.If there’s a gap in your resume, you have the opportunity to explain why it’s there.A traditional cover letter, is, as you guessed it, based on your average cover letter template.You’ll most likely write this version if you’re applying to a very traditional company (like a law firm or major healthcare company) or a very traditional role (like a lawyer or accountant), or when you’re just looking to lean more conservative and safe.