Use your cover letter to stand out

In responding to a job ad, many candidates skip the cover letter. But in fact, this document gives you the opportunity to present your candidacy in the direct context of the specific job offer. A well-thought-out cover letter allows you to put your positive attributes on display, and stress your motivation to work in the position that’s being offered. So it’s worth spending time on preparing a letter that will allow you to stand out from other candidates. Here are a few tips for how to do it.

  • Spend time on it

    Your cover letter can’t be just a copy of your CV. The purpose of this document is to present your strong points, experience and competences in the context of a particular job offer. Preparing a good cover letter requires you to spend time thinking about what really lies behind the requirements contained in the ad, how your professional profile fits with these expectations and what you can use to convince the employer to choose you. Show that you’re the person they’re looking for, by choosing the most appropriate examples from your professional life. Give the reader of the letter the impression that your message is thought-out and individualized.

  • Give your statements a logical structure

    Your cover letter should have a logical structure and be made up of three parts: an introduction, a body and a conclusion. In the introduction, write what position you’re applying for and where you heard about it. In the body, the most important part of the letter, give concise reasoning for why you’re the right person for the job. In the conclusion of the letter you can let the employer know what you’ll do for the company once you get the job. Tell them you’re ready to have an interview, and provide more information.

  • Explain why you’re a great candidate

    Present the most important strong points of your candidacy from the point of view of the potential employer, to convince the recruiter that you’re the right candidate for the job. Choose arguments based on the requirements in the announcement. Don’t forget to add information about your achievements and your motivation for work. Put yourself in the shoes of the potential employer, and ask what benefits they would get from choosing you rather than somebody else; then present them in your letter, deploying appropriate arguments. Using the language of benefits to the employer will definitely make your application stand out.

  • Show what you have in common

    In your cover letter, you can refer to the mission of the company, its system of values and its business goals. If you show that the profile and goals of the company fit with yours, you’re giving the employer a strong argument to consider your candidacy. Companies are looking for workers who will be engaged, which is why showing that you’re deliberately choosing the organization where you want to work can significantly improve your score.

  • Get the grammar and style right

    A cover letter is a formal document, so when writing it you should avoid both informal language and excessive sophistication. Don’t allow any spelling, style or punctuation mistakes. Remember that this is the basis for a potential employer to judge your diligence and attention to detail. If someone makes mistakes in their application, you can assume they’ll also do so in important company documents.

  • Use the form of a formal document

    Like any formal document, a cover letter should include the details of the sender, the addressee and the date and location. Put your personal details – name, address, telephone number and e-mail – in the upper left-hand corner. Put the date and your location in the upper right hand corner. Lower down, give the details of the company you’re applying to. If the announcement doesn’t include information about who’s running the recruitment process, open your letter with a salutation such as “Dear Hiring Team” or “Dear Sir or Madam.”