4 tips to avoid a lousy cover letter


Attribution: ideastap.com

The employment scene for fresh college graduates is still not very encouraging, but you can increase your chances of getting a job if you are aggressive in your search. A cover letter is an important document, and, if used wisely, can help you win a lot of interview calls. Hiring experts believe candidates can open new doors of opportunities for themselves by sending customized cover letters. If you are unsure about how to customize cover letters, the following tips will come in handy:

1. Research the company

To stand out from the crowd, it is important that you don’t send the same cover letter to all employers. Instead, customize your cover letter according to your employer’s needs and the business culture of the organization. To be able to do this, you must first research the company in which you are applying for a job.

2. Include relevant skills, education, and activities

You may lack real-job experience, but you can more than make up for it and attract the attention of the recruiter by mentioning skills, education, and activities that are relevant to the job in your cover letter. For example, if you are applying for a job of web developer and had developed websites as a hobby during the college years, include this information in your cover letter. Similarly, if you are applying for a job of tourist guide and had some experience in organizing trips, mention that information in the cover letter.

Recruiting experts recommend recent graduates to include your degree classification/GPA, seasonal jobs, and university leadership positions in their cover letters to impress the recruiters.

3. Convey your passion

For a recent graduate, motivation and passion for a job could be his/her selling point. If you can convey this in your cover letter, you stand a great chance of getting interview calls.

Recruiters give preference to candidates who are genuinely interested in the kind of job they are looking for. To understand this point better, consider the following example:

Two candidates apply for the job of a VB specialist. Both candidates have same qualifications, but one had used his skills to streamline the database of his college. Who do you think the recruiter is likely to call for an interview and why?

The candidate who did a project for his college is more likely to win a call for the interview, because he showed that he is walking the talk.

Thus, it is necessary for you to mention in your cover letter one or two important examples from your hobbies, interests, or life choices which show that your proclivities are aligned with your employer’s vision, goals, and projects.

4. Keep your cover letter short and to the point

Many newcomers make the mistake of including a lot of unnecessary information in their cover letter. It is recommended that you don’t do so, as it hurts your chances of getting shortlisted for the interview by a great deal. Keep your cover letter short by including only key points that would catch the attention of the recruiting manager.

In the first paragraph, mention the position for which you are applying. Follow up the introductory paragraph with five to six bullet points mentioning key qualifications that are relevant to the job. Round up your cover letter with a bang by stating how you can make a positive contribution to the organization and by boldly asking for an interview.

This guest post was written by Erik Larson of ResumeIndex.com. He is a master’s level career counselor and internationally certified as a Career Management Practitioner (CMP) by the Institute for Career Certification International.