Does Your Cover Letter Stand Out? Why Not?!

Posted March 21, 2016

Often, the cover letter can feel like an afterthought in the hiring process, a necessary evil that companies ask for as a part of the hiring process.

However, hiring managers pay significant attention to the cover letter and because they see a lot of them - it's important to write one that stands out from the pack.

Your cover letter is often the first impression a hiring manager gets of you, and like the saying goes - You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

Crafting a custom response

Hiring managers are always on the lookout for a cookie-cutter resume: one that job seekers write once and attach dozens of times, as they spray and pray for jobs.

It is crucial that you read the job description and tailor your cover letter in a way that speaks directly to that description. If the description emphasizes the need for a proven sales track record, make that one of the first things you mention. For example:

"My five-year track record of meeting or exceeding sales goals has led me to apply for your open position."

Tout your achievements

If you have trained other employees, worked on special projects, introduced cost-saving efficiencies or held leadership roles - mention it. Hiring managers like the idea of landing someone who has shown leadership and mentoring abilities because these folks are better team players and have the potential to go far within the company.

Use solid numbers

Flowery language can only get you so far. You need to back up all your claims with solid numbers. For example, if you developed a way to save time in a workflow process, figure out how much time is saved each week or month and how these savings benefitted your employer.

Single out your strengths

You might think you do everything right, but let's be honest - there are probably a few areas in your profession where you excel more than others.

Make sure your cover letter highlights a handful of specific strengths that speak to what the company is looking for. Give an example from your past on how these strengths benefitted your employer. For example:

"My problem-solving abilities helped our team finish this seasonal project ahead of schedule."

Don't repeat yourself

Avoid the temptation to keep hammering home the same point or achievement. For instance, if you headed up the safety committee in a previous job, don't use the committee as an example of your leadership skills in one paragraph, and an example of your training abilities in another.

If you are having trouble not repeating yourself, think about mentioning soft skills you picked up outside of work. For example:

"As a mother of two small children, I have learned a lot about time management, scheduling and conflict resolution."

Ambassador Personnel will help you create a cover letter that represents you in the best light possible. Work with one of the leading employment firms in the South today and learn how we can find a great job that meets all of your strengths.