I’ll never forget the time a job applicant mentioned the wrong company during an interview. I could feel their heart drop as they realize their mistake. Mistakes don’t just happen during face-to-face interviews, they can happen very early in the interview process. During my time working in HR I’ve noticed that some applicants still wonder how to minimize mistakes in their application. Together with some colleagues we summed up some essential tips, how to get into your dream job. Our suggestion? Start with a great cover letter!
Essential tips on writing a cover letter
1. Research, Research, Research
The first thing you should do before writing an application is research the company. Don’t just know their products; read their blog, follow them on social media, see their press room, read their forums..etc. Get as much information as you can about them. This doesn’t just help you write a good application, it also lets you know if the company is a right fit for you. It also helps to ask people you know who are already working for the company.
2. Think Custom, Not General
Now that you have a better idea of the company, the second step is to think how you can stand out. While it’s tempting to send a general letter to every company, this approach will make your application blend with the rest. Think of ways you can stand out with the information you found. Think of ways you can specifically apply your experience to the company.
3. Keep it Focused but Personal
A lot of people write long cover letters to show their interest. Fact is, it’s better to keep the cover letter short, simple but personal. Try to show some personality in it, or passion in the field you are applying to. Think of ways your hobbies or interests can make you a better company fit. Or, sprinkle some of the facts you know about the company and how they align to your vision or interests. Give the company perks to hire you.
4. Don’t Repeat Your Resume
Not only is this a waste of time, it’s a wasted opportunity. Your cover letter will always be attached to your resume, so repeating the same information is unnecessary. Instead, try to do the next tip.
5. Offer Solutions
Use your research to good use and do something about the box. Don’t just tell them why they need to hire you, show them. If you can help them before they hire you, why wouldn’t they?
6. Address the Criteria the Company Needs
You know the criteria included in the job position? That’s there for a reason. Don’t forget them! Include them in your cover letter and back them up with examples of how you meet them. Go beyond your resume with stories that prove you have the skills to get hired.
7. Cut the Fluff
It’s tempting to write complicated sentences full of jargon but don’t do it! It doesn’t make you look smarter or more qualified than another candidate, it is just a waste of space. Rather, jump straight into the body of the letter.
These are just seven tips to write the best possible cover letter. If you have any questions about our hiring process or want to know more about HR topics. Let us know in the comment section.