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A cover letter can be a great tool to help you make a positive first impression during your job search. A proper greeting and engaging opening is the best way to grab the hiring manager’s attention right away. However, figuring out how to get started or formulating the perfect introduction is sometimes the hardest part. If it doesn’t capture the reader’s interest instantly, they may ignore the rest of your cover letter content. So, in this article, we have listed some tips you can use as a guide to starting your next cover letter.
1) Address your cover letter properly
Starting with a greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager” is the way to go. However, one key step to drafting a compelling introduction for your cover letter is simple – do your best to know who to address your cover letter to. While it is evident that the recipient is the hiring manager, including their first name in the salutation can set you apart from other candidates. This shows your genuine interest in the job by taking extra time to know the contact person’s name and personalizing your application.
In some cases, the name of the hiring personnel is indicated in the job posting, so make sure to read it carefully. Otherwise, do some additional research. You can look on LinkedIn, ask about your personal or professional network, explore the company website or contact your target employer’s HR department. However, if you can’t find the name, no matter how hard you’ve searched, don’t worry. You can use other effective alternatives such as “Dear Recruitment Team”, “Dear HR Department Hiring Team”, “Dear Customer Service Department Hiring Team”, and the like.
2) Directly communicate your intent
Hiring professionals are literally bombarded by hundreds of applications for several open positions daily. Hence, it is crucial to be direct and clear in stating who you are and why you are writing. Let them know which job role you are applying for, where you learned about the job, and the reasons that make you the perfect fit. Keep in mind that you don’t need lengthy introductions before getting straight to the point. Being long-winded can cause hiring professionals to lose interest immediately.
Additionally, if someone in your network referred you to the position, make sure to mention this at the beginning of your cover letter. Having a personal referral can give you a huge advantage over other applicants as it helps you boost your credibility as a potential employee. Hiring professionals will likely take a closer look at your candidacy if they realize you share a mutual connection. Thereby, enhancing your chances of securing an interview and landing your dream role. Let us see an example below:
“At the suggestion of my former colleague, John Doe, I am writing to apply for the Senior Project Manager role. With my expertise in leading large-scale projects to successful delivery, he believes that I would be a perfect match for this position on your team.”
3) Mention what you bring to the table
Employers are curious to know how you will help their company grow. Thus, communicating firsthand what you bring to the table is a must. Highlight your skills and qualifications that will enable them to see what you can offer to the role and how you can contribute to their larger vision and goals.
Remember, you don’t need to include all your accomplishments in the introduction. That’s where your cover letter’s second and third paragraphs are for. Your objective here is to captivate the hiring professional’s attention and make them want to read further. So, what you need to do is to show off your most relevant expertise that meets the job requirements and instantly explain why you’re the perfect person for the position.
4) Express excitement and enthusiasm
Employers value enthusiasm as this means dedication and loyalty from their own perspectives. In fact, according to LinkedIn, enthusiasm is more important than your skills, experience, and qualifications. But keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean that it can replace your lack of professional expertise for the role. Nonetheless, it helps you demonstrate how motivated and committed you are to what you do as a potential employee. So, make sure to express excitement about the job opportunity to sell yourself better. Convey how passionate and driven you are to work for the company and contribute to its success by putting your industry experience and expertise to use.
Here is an example of how you can do this effectively:
“I am confident that my expertise and passion for customer service excellence, combined with my drive to work with ABC company, make me a suitable candidate for this unique opportunity.”
A perfect cover letter starts with a captivating introduction of who you are and why you are the ideal candidate for the specific job you are applying for. However, how to open one that puts your best foot forward can be intimidating. So, follow the tips outlined above to nail your cover letter and position yourself as a strong potential employee.