How we wish job applications could do away with the need for a unique cover letter for each job role applied. But experts don’t see this happening any sooner. Do cover letters actually get read by recruiters receiving hundreds of applications each day? Yes, they do. Talent acquisition managers do read through cover letters to understand and gauge the aptitude of the talent, before shortlisting talent for further interview rounds.
An experienced hiring manager can easily identify positive talent by skimming through content in the cover letter and resume. So, what are the things you should not mention in your cover letter that can put hiring managers off? Here are some insights on the essentials that should be a part of every cover letter:
- Do not repeat what’s already mentioned in your resume
While your resume does highlight your qualifications and experiences which can be a valuable addition to the company. The reason why companies ask for a cover letter is they want to know you. A short narrative helps them understand your keenness to work for the employer brand and plans for the future.
- Appropriate Salutation
It’s important to address the hiring managers right with respect using, “Dear Sir or Madam” and bearing typographical or spelling mistakes on the mind. Using vague approaches such as “To Whomsoever It May Concern” does sound rude and harsh to the hiring manager.
- Observe the tonality
Another thing that hiring managers observe when reading the cover letter is your tonality. Excessive use of “thank you” and “sorry”, can make hiring managers doubt your seriousness for the job role. You do not need to thank the recruiter many times for reading your application, which is his job. Don’t make yourself look desperate and make the other feel as if he’s doing the biggest favour by reviewing your candidacy.
On the contrary, demonstrate genuine interest and passion in your application, to help the recruiter connect all dots from the beginning of your career journey and gauge your future career aspirations objectively. If you want to be seen as someone genuine and serious, observe discretion and sound judgement on the words you use to explain yourself in your cover letter.
- The Opening Statement
Most of us pay very little attention to prioritising information in your cover letter. The opening statement of a cover letter should be simple and easy to understand. No complicated thoughts should be presented at the beginning, which will mislead and confuse the reader. To arrive at the best approach, pen down all of your thoughts and try rephrasing it many times until it sounds easy to read and simple to understand.
- Illustrate with Examples When Needed
Examples used in your cover letter to narrate on your career accomplishments, goals, pathways, education and experiences should ultimately create engagement with the reader. If you are able to engage the reader within few seconds on your candidature, then you have undoubtedly hit the bullseye. You have made the recruiters job easy by allowing them to easily identify and gauge your personality type from the tonality of expressions.
- Showcase your skills and specifics in numbers
Your cover letter should be able to showcase your skills and experience beyond academic qualifications. Use numbers as required for information that needs to be told in specifics. This will add value and bring in uniqueness to your application. Keep the letter brief and concise to never exceed a page.
- Conclusion matters
Conclude the letter on a highly optimistic note requesting the recruiter to initiate a call for action at the earliest possible. Choose words wisely that show zest, zeal and focus with absolute genuinity of intents to excel in your professional endeavours. Do not bad mouth or complain about your current or past employer, presuming your opinions with utmost honesty will be rightly rewarded.
Sadly, this never works. Contrarily to your efforts, you might possibly plant a seed of thought on the receptor’s mind, to question your genuinity of purpose, action and seriousness towards life.
- Proofread and edit before you click on “send”
Once you have drafted the cover letter as required for the job role, do not forget to proofread, spell check, edit for sentence fragmentation mistakes and check tonality of expressions before you click on “send.” Make sure long winding sentences are avoided at all costs. Clarity in thoughts and expressions should be conveyed lucidly for easy understanding of the hiring manager and other senior professionals.