Can Your Cover Letter Suck Less? 3 Pieces of Advice to Make Yours Stand Out
Updated: May 22
It's time to stand out! You've worked hard on polishing your resume, now it's time to overhaul your cover letter, but how? Follow these simple 3 pieces of advice to get noticed by your potential employer today.
Stop Filling Your Cover Letter with Cliché Skills and Sentences Okay, we know you're dependable- don't just tell the hiring manager you're dependable, show them HOW you're dependable, give an example. Back up any fluffy or cliché claims with proof. If you're results-driven, show them what results you accomplished or how you established metrics to obtain your results. This goes for your resume, too. Delete these unnecessary phrases or words. This goes for the usual footer phrase, "References Available Upon Request" - this is assumed and doesn't need to be listed.
It's TOO Long
You read that right, it's too long! Happy dance aside, the truth is no one wants or has time to read a 2-3 page cover letter. Hiring managers or other directors are busy, R-E-S-P-E-C-T their time by demonstrating brevity. Write short and succinct paragraphs and utilize formatting to make your professional resume and cover letter easy to read. Discard any information that doesn't support your narrative and showcase the most beneficial details for the job posting. There are some caveats to this, but for the most part, it's safe to say stick to a one-pager.
Brand Your Cover Letter
A simple thing you can do now is make a copy of your resume and use it as a template for your cover letter. Delete everything below your header, but keep the header with your name and contact information. You'll feel good knowing you already have a head start on your cover letter with a branded cover letter. Also, ensure your professional name and credentials are the same throughout your cover letter, resume, LinkedIn profile, and any other professional digital assets (e.g. website, blog, digital portfolio, social handles, etc.) that should be associated to you as a professional. For example, if your resume shows Dr. Jane D. Doe, your cover letter says Jane Doe, and your LinkedIn profile says J. Doe, MD...it's time to settle on your professional calling card title and stick with it. You are creating your professional brand.
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