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Using the Cover Letter to Stand Out

Cover letters are a crucial element of the job seeking process. To be able to stand out from the crowd, you absolutely have to compose an original letter with each and every job application.

If you’ve been looking for a job for quite a while, you may have realized that cover letters take time to write, and therefore, sending in an original, stylishly written, and well-researched letter with every application seems like a nearly impossible task.

Writing a letter from scratch can take hours, and that’s time most job seekers don’t have. Starting with a basic template letter and tailoring for each application is a much more efficient way of achieving this goal. Here are a few tips to help you with the tailoring process.

Build a Good Foundation

Since your basic template is the part of your cover letter that is going out with each application, it’s important that you invest a lot of time in it.

Use your best writing to express what opportunity you’re on the lookout for, what can offer a company and what you’ve done in the past. Limit your template to four paragraphs and make every paragraph count.

A good technique is to imagine you’re writing a cover letter for your dream job, as doing this will often bring out your best writing.

Reflect the Job Posting

When tailoring your cover letter to each specific application, it’s important to review the job description as you will be customizing based on what you find there.

Start by making sure you include the proper job title in your opening sentence. Then lay out your background and career goals using wording that aligns with what the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate, according to the job post. For instance, if they are looking for a friendly customer service professional, be sure to mention that you have a lot of experience in putting customers at ease. Or, if the company is looking for someone with technical skills, use precise technical terms to describe your skills.

List Only Specific Skills

If the job post brings up particular skills you happen to have, be sure to include these skills as you customize your letter. In order to be succinct, omit any less-relevant skills from your template.

The same goes for your experience. Discuss the important points of your track record that are most likely going to interest hiring personnel at the company, and gloss over the remainder of your background.

Match the Tone of the Posting

Spend at least a few minutes reviewing your customized letter prior to sending it out, making small tweaks in the details and wording. Your tone should match what you know about this company, their mission, and their company culture. For instance, if the company seems like a fun, loose place to work, keep your tone casual. If the job posting has a highly professional tone, make sure your letter reads the same way.

At Thompson Technologies, we assist job seekers with every aspect of their pursuit, from writing cover letters to interview prep. If you’re currently looking to take the next step on your career path, please contact us today!

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