Often the first piece of an applicant’s portfolio read by recruiters, the cover letter continues to hold its place as an essential item in any job seeker’s professional toolkit.
The resume focuses on the “facts”, while the cover letter is an expression of your personality; its main goal is to highlight your personality and communication skills and to prove to the interviewer the value you can add to the specific position, and how you can contribute to the continued success of the organization.
In short, your cover letter is NOT simply a regurgitated shortened form of your resume sprinkled with politeness; the cover letter expands on what a resume cannot measure or explain in detail, and further highlights your suitability for the very job you're being interrogated interviewed for with specific examples of your unique combination of skills and achievements.
Determining the tone of the cover letter is just as important as a well-groomed appearance for the interview. Be aware that being too loose with your words may inadvertently undermine your professionalism, no matter how “cool” the company’s CEO is. Avoid using slang or emojis. I once read a cover letter that came with a meme attached.
Understanding the “tone” of the cover letter becomes further complicated when you blindly apply to multiple companies and positions, hoping to increase your chances of maybe landing that elusive interview. Knowing as much as you possibly can about the company and the position you’re vying for is important to not only make sure that each cover letter is tailored for the specific job position but also because this information will come in handy for your interview. Mention a recent news article you read about the organization (good news only please!)...any interviewer will be impressed with your homework.
A cover letter can also help draw attention to any career gaps on your resume by giving you the opportunity to explain reasons for the hiatus, rather than face the risk of prospective employers making assumptions, based on your resume alone.
When it comes to the writing style, the aim must be to engage the reader and entice them to continue reading and to ultimately want to meet with you. Also, always remember to go over the fine details before you submit your documents to catch any mistakes or make amendments and avoid an inevitable one-way trip from the recruiter’s inbox to their Archives folder. From personal experience, there is nothing more disheartening than seeing the name of another company on a cover letter; on the one hand, while we can completely understand the pressure faced by today’s job seekers in trying to compete in today’s market, this unfortunate but very noticeable indication of the candidate’s attention to detail is very difficult for any recruiter to ignore.
At Maple Road, we use our experience in recruiting for various roles to help create personalized cover letters and resumes, which sets our clients apart from the competition; combine this with our Interview Prep service, and you will be prepared to face any interview with confidence! Check out our products and packages, or get in touch with us today to see how we can help you succeed in your career journey!