How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter

The good news? There’s a shortage of workers across the U.S. and right here in Metro Atlanta, meaning jobs abound. The bad news? There’s still plenty of competition for the best opportunities. If you want to land your dream job, you therefore need to persuade the hiring manager you’re a great fit. A cover letter is part of that process.

In your cover letter, you should be illustrating two key points:

  1. Why you’re suited to the job or the organization; and
  2. The specific value you can offer.

A hiring manager doesn’t want another generic cover letter, copied and pasted from the Internet. They want to know what makes you unique, what you bring to the table, and why they should choose you over other candidates.

Another challenge when it comes to writing a cover letter? Hiring managers take, on average, around seven seconds to review them. While you spend hours painstakingly writing yours, it won’t get more than a long glance. It why you need to make a strong impression, quickly.

To do that, here are some tips to follow.

Tip #1: Don’t rewrite your resume.

These are separate documents and should convey different information. Your cover letter can tell a story, give examples, and bring your personality to life. For instance, take an accomplishment listed on your resume and delve into some of the details of it on your cover letter. Also, always focus on the skills and abilities you have that are most relevant to the job.

Tip #2: Address it to a specific person.

Rather than writing “To whom it may concern,” try to find out the name of the hiring manager. This will go a long way in helping your cover letter stand out. Not sure where to start? Begin on a site like LinkedIn to search for who is in charge of hiring for the position. You can also use the email for clues as to the individual’s name.

Tip #3: Keep your opener clear and concise.

Don’t spend hours trying to come up with the perfect opening sentence. Hiring managers will likely glance over it and go right to the heart of the letter, which is the following paragraphs. So simply state why you’re writing, the job title you’re interested in, and how you found the posting.

Tip #4: Avoid focusing too much on what you’re looking for.

Sure, you’d like a rewarding job with competitive pay and benefits. Talk about these details during the interview. In the cover letter, though, discuss what you’ve accomplished and how this can potentially translate into positive results for the company you’re applying to.

Tip #5: Don’t use flowery language.

Words like “results-driven” and “team-oriented” don’t communicate much to the hiring manager. Instead, provide examples that illustrate these claims. You don’t need to write a 1,000 word essay. Instead, pick one or two specific situations you can discuss that relate best to the job. This also means you’ll need to customize your cover letter for each job opening.

Tip #6: Use the right format.

Your cover letter should be just one page and the point size for the font should be 10 or more, so it’s easy to read for the hiring manager. Make sure you also use the same font you did for your resume, so they have a cohesive look.

Need more help landing your next job?

Turn to the team at Happy Faces Personnel Group. We can help you polish your resume and cover letter and also connect you with the right-fit opportunities. You’ll find a new job in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area faster, all with less stress. We can’t wait to meet you! Search our jobs now to get started.

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