A cover letter can create a connection between you and the recruiter or hiring manager. It tells why you’re interested in and qualified for the job. And it can make the reader take a closer look—more than the average six seconds—at your résumé. What are five essentials for every cover letter?

1. Customize It

Every cover letter you write should be customized for the company and position you’re applying for. Below are some tips to help you customize it.

  • Learn about the company’s values, goals, and mission.
  • Carefully read the posting and think about why you’re applying for the job and what makes you a good match.
  • You should include:
    • The position title
    • How you learned about the job
    • What interests you about the company
    • Your core qualifications that make you the best candidate. But don’t tell them you’re the best candidate—prove it.

2. Tell a Results-Driven Story

After your introductory paragraph, your results-driven story should be told in two or three short paragraphs. Your cover letter should briefly and clearly tell why you’re an interesting candidate and what you’ve accomplished relevant to the position.

Make strong, clear connections between the job qualifications and your accomplishments. Your story should focus on the need the company has for your talent. Use their need and your relevant experience to explain why you’re qualified.

3. Keep a Simple Format

The format of your cover letter should be easy to read. Some tips for keeping it simple include:

  • Use a simple font
  • Conservatively use bulleted lists to highlight your successes
  • Limit the use of bold and italicized text
  • Avoid capitalizing or underlining text
  • Keep paragraphs short
  • Carefully proofread the letter

4. Relate to Company Culture

Companies want employees who will blend with their culture. As you study the job description, look for clues on the qualities the company is looking for in a candidate. Provide specific examples that demonstrate your adaptability. Some phrases in the job description might provide clues about company culture, such as those below:

  • Self-driven
  • Team player
  • Core values
  • Willingness to work on-site only, or exclusively off-site
  • Inclusion and diversity

5. Have a Confident Closing

The closing paragraph of your cover letter should express appreciation, enthusiasm, and confidence.

  • Appreciation – Express thanks for considering your resume and for the opportunity to speak further about the position.
  • Enthusiasm – Reiterate your interest in the position and your excitement about learning more about the opportunity and becoming a valued contributor.
  • Confidence – Speak positively about the opportunity to speak with the hiring manager or recruiter about how you can contribute to the team.

Get Introduced to Preferred Employers

If you’re like most job seekers, you probably have in mind the types of companies you want to work for. At Priority One Staffing, our network of preferred employers makes it easier for you to connect with them and find work that matches your skills and interests. Learn more about how we can expedite your search or search for jobs here.

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