A well-written cover letter showcases your qualifications for the job and provides insight into your background in a way that your resume cannot. Your cover letter should complement your resume but should not repeat content. Instead, use your cover letter as a way to highlight your experience as it relates to the job for which you are applying.
Write a new cover letter for each job. Potential employers will be able to tell the difference between a generic cover letter and one that you write specifically for the job. The extra effort will be worth it, as your cover letter will more effectively convey your qualifications for the position.
Show Your Knowledge
Research the company to which you are applying, and share your knowledge of the company in the cover letter. Do not state facts about the company without relevance, however. Instead, connect company facts with concrete information about you and your experience. For example, if you learn from the company’s annual report that its goal this year is to increase sales, discuss how you increased sales in your current position. In doing so, you show your potential employer two things. First, you indicate your knowledge of and genuine interest in the company. Second, you show that you can help the company achieve its goals because you have relevant experience.
Look for keywords in the job description. Use similar keywords in your cover letter. Your potential employer might not read the entirety of your letter, but he or she will scan it for words that jump out. For example, if you are applying for a job as a copy editor, using industry-specific keywords such as proofreading, style, grammar, clarity, and concision will stand out to the potential employer. Moreover, use of these keywords will show that you are familiar with the industry and qualified for the position.
Be bold in your cover letter. In your last paragraph, include a call to action to encourage communication between you and the employer. Provide your contact information, including a phone number and email address. Identify when and how you will reach out to the employer to discuss the position. This concluding paragraph shows initiative and confidence that you are the right candidate for the job. Stay true to your word; contact the employer as promised to follow up.