Studies of top-tier hiring managers have shown that nearly half (49%) of professionals considered a cover letter the #1 factor in considering a candidate for the job. It only takes one well-written page to set yourself ahead of the competition. So, before you send out any more resumes, ensure that you are doing all you can to provide a personalized cover letter to get you that first interview.
The One Page Rule
The cover letter is meant to supplement your already strong resume, not a complete anthology of you as a candidate. Save the Shakespearean novels for yourself and provide hiring managers with a concise conversation, inviting them to learn more about what makes you a top candidate for the position. In all, your cover letter should include an introduction to why you applied for the position, a brief discussion of yourself as a professional in the given industry, and a summary as to how the two can connect.
Flattery Will Take You Far
We aren’t saying you need to shower the hiring team or company with praise, but acknowledging your appreciation for their organization in your cover letter will let the hiring manager know that you are really serious about joining their team. Make a note about your passion within the industry, and how you believe the company will nurture that.
The Little Things
While it may not seem like a big deal to many in most situations, typos and bad grammar are the killers of candidate potential. Studies have found that 58% of hiring managers will choose not to hire a candidate due to typos or grammatical errors in their interview documents. Ensure that each document you provide is free of any mistakes or misspellings, and don’t overlook the punctuation!
Do Your Homework
The cover letter is your chance to show the hiring managers why you want to work for them, and, more importantly, why they want to work with you. Your resume covered the fine details, experiences, and skills, giving them tangible reasons to move forward to hiring you. So, now in your cover letter, you get to expand on the highlights that will relate you most directly to the role responsibilities, and provide your own opinions on the company and position. Research the company and employees where you can to get an understanding of their overall tone and where their values lie, as knowing your audience will give you the best chance at writing a successful cover letter.
Questions? We Have Answers.
No matter what stage you are in the job search, the professionals at AAFA are here to provide you with the tools and resources you need to find and land the job of your dreams. AAFA has affiliates in markets all around the United States, providing you with a network of key people and opportunities to advance your career. Visit us at aafa.com to connect with an affiliate and see what we have to offer for your next career move.