A cover letter, is similar to LinkedIn, in the way that it gives you the space to talk about the things you mentioned in the resume, in a little more detail. Thus, assuming quite a vital spot in establishing your image afore a recruiter. But the one thing, which is even more crucial to remember is, that the logic of ‘One size fits all’ is not at all acceptable or applicable in this connection. Though several individuals, do copy and paste the same cover letter as a supporting document, yet the ideal way is to tailor your cover letter to a specific job
You might feel it be a waste of time, but I assure you, every moment spent on the designing of a customised cover letter will pay off, in getting you noticed. Let me tell you how.
Your interest in bagging the job is the first impression that comes across when you do tailor your cover letter. And not just the ‘getting of the job’ but also your interest in being associated with the particular company is significantly revealed by this gesture.
Your skills that are extremely important and relevant to the job description are vividly brought out in the open with this sort of a cover letter. Alongside your experiences that you describe in line with the skills add further value to authenticating you as an asset for the company that hires you.
Your dedication is what gives you an edge over the other applicants, who probably have considered this as just another job.
If, then, how you tailor your cover letter to a specific job is so crucial, what exactly is the procedure for you to do it? Among the preliminary things for you to do is research about the industry that intrigues you the most and also the company that draws your affinity. It helps you in a big way to highlight the relevant skills by applying focus on the skills you have, which are expected of a person working within such industry as well as the company.
Some other considerations that ought to top your list include –
Who would be reading your cover letter?- while some job descriptions already have it mentioned as to whom you should address the cover letter to; some others do not. In that case, you could write an email to the same company, from the address provide and ask without hesitation, to whom should the cover letter be addressed to. Once you have that, you are in capacity to add a personal touch to the letter by addressing it directly to the one who is reading it; it definitely brings you into the notice of the recruiter or the person reading it. This is how you can avoid more general approaches such as “To whom it may concern” or similar other forms of address.
What is the vision of the concerned company? – Having known the aims of the company you are applying in, you are in an excellent position to use their belief systems to bring them in line with what you have to offer them to achieve those goals.
What are the key skills that the recruiter is harbouring on? – There is no use in trying to tailor a cover letter to a specific job, by filling it with irrelevant and unnecessary skills and achievements. When you have the information as to what kind of skills the prospective employer a potential candidate to possess, you are in a position to play around with those particular skills and adapt them to the ones you own. This becomes your pitch as to why and how you stand out from the crowd, which is why they should select you over the others. Even if you do not have the exact skill they are more drawn towards, see if you have transferable skills and relate them to the skills the employers are asking for. Your ultimate aim should be to convince them that you are the one who fits the vacant position perfectly for their company.
While this may seem to be a daunting task, yet the response you get from putting in this effort is worth the effort. When we speak of customising a cover letter, it does not mean that you have to design an absolutely novel one for each company you apply in. For convenience sake, have a generic template, but let the content be unique every time, particularly, in the introduction, as it is one of the first impression that you create on any prospective recruiter. One last piece of advice in this regard would be to remember always to use keywords (words used in the job description) so that you can clear the first level of going past the ATS and land into human hands for better judgement.
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