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How To Add Personality To Your Cover Letters Without Going Overboard

A woman typing

Cover letters are now very essential when looking for a job. A well-written cover letter can help you get a job based on its own merit. HR officials often state that the biggest mistake one can make when applying for a job is sending a resume without a cover letter.

And while cover letters are important, a boring or generic cover letter contributes absolutely nothing in helping you get the job. Let’s learn from a professional how you can add some personality to your cover letter without going too overboard.

Myth #1: Make it Unique

The most important thing with writing a good cover letter is to make it unique. There’s no point in writing one if you just rehash whatever is already mentioned in your resume. A cover letter says everything that you are unable to express on your resume for the sake of it being not professional enough.

It should highlight your strengths; explain to recruiters why you are suitable for a particular position, and why you would be a good addition to their team. This is the part where you promote yourself and market your skills. You need to show your ambition and enthusiasm towards the job and convince HR managers that you have what it takes.

In a cover letter you should be able to show how your skills align with those of the job requirements, what you will bring to the table through previous experience, and that you have done your research in regards to the company and the job itself.

Two Women Waiting To Be Interviewed

Myth #2: Make it Job Specific

Just like one size doesn’t fit all, one cover letter also does not fit every job you’re applying to, especially if you’re keeping your options open. Try to make your cover letter specific to the job you’re applying for. Most jobs have specific requirements or skills they’re looking for listed on their recruitment pages apart from the common job requirements.

Your cover letter should represent how well of a fit you’d be for these skills and what you can bring to their organization in particular. You should put emphasis on the particular job you’re applying for and why you would be a good fit for them. This is why it’s a good idea to personalize your cover letter based on your experiences relevant to a particular field or job instead of writing a generic one.

If you’re writing one for a managerial role, talk about your past experiences managing teams, how familiar you are with the type of position, industry, etc. This will give you an edge over other candidates.

Make it Brief

Recruiters spend an average of six to seven seconds going over your resume because of the sheer amount they have to go through. If your resume successfully catches their attention, your cover letter is what will keep their attention and increase your chances of landing the job. Reading so many resumes is hard enough for hiring managers so try to keep your resume clean and concise—the same for your cover letter.

Your cover letter should explain your skills and why you would be ideal for a job in a simple and concise manner. You need to get your point across without being too boring or taking up too much time or space.

Add some personality to your cover letter but don’t make it too flashy and go overboard in order to try and impress the recruiter. Most people prefer something that is simple and can perfectly encapsulate what you can offer their organization without you seeming too cocky or overconfident in your abilities.

Interviewers Looking At A Resume

Myth #4: Make Use of Keywords and Numbers

Technology is taking over the world and many firms all around the world are now making use of Application Tracking Software (ATS) to filter the large amount of resumes that come in instead of having hiring managers or HR personnel go through them one by one. This saves up on quite a bit of time and effort.

ATS uses an algorithm that filters out certain keywords in the resume or cover letter and screens them, passing them on for further consideration or rejecting them. This is why it is beneficial if you use keywords from the job description in your cover letter as the software is likely to match them to the requirements of the firm.

Carefully analyze just what it is that the job description requires and highlight potential keywords, then incorporate them into your own cover letter to increase your chances of being called in for an interview.  

You can also add numbers and examples in your cover letter as examples to add to its reliability. This can help illustrate your previous experience and what you’re capable of. For example, if you have successfully managed to bring in a specific number of clients for your previous organization, this might be a distinguishing factor on your cover letter.

A Job Interview Being Conducted

If you’re facing difficulty in writing a good cover letter to send along with your resume, then consider consulting a professional resume writing service like Resume Professional Writers.

We specialize in not only resume writing, but can also help you with writing cover letters, LinkedIn profile writing, federal resume writing services, and CV writing services. We know exactly what a good cover letter needs. We have professional writers working for us for over two decades and with a 96% satisfaction rate, we can guarantee that you will get an interview call.

We also have a variety of packages available for you to choose from, depending on how urgently you want your resume built. You can even get your free resume review here to check if it will pass the Application Tracking System.

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Cover Letter Writing Tips For Fresh Graduates

Fresh graduates throwing their caps in the air

In recent times in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of job postings has decreased severely by 29%. While most people were struggling to keep their jobs or find new jobs, the fresh graduates struggled the most as the job vacancies for new entrants dropped by 73%. Securing a job as a fresh graduate has been challenging as 31% of the class of 2020 is still unemployed.

Most people, however, fail to land a job because of inadequate cover letter writing. A well-crafted and strong cover letter can greatly increase your chances of getting employed. In the cover letter, you have the chance to narrate everything about yourself professionally and speak directly to the recruiter about your accomplishments, personality, skills, and your interest in the job position.

This guide will go over how you can ace your cover letters as a fresh graduate and quickly grab the recruiter’s attention.

Research the Company Well

This is a helpful tip because learning about the company you’re applying to, and the hiring managers or employers will help you tailor your cover letter accordingly. Researching is an important step that you can not miss when you’re applying for different jobs. Each company is different, and so are the vacant positions. If you don’t know well enough about the company or employer, you can’t convince them to hire you.

When you start researching the company, you can tailor the cover letter according to the company’s mission, values, culture, history, and operations. After that, analyze the job description to know which skills are required and which are preferred by the employers. Highlight these skills in both your résumé and cover letter.

For proper research, check the company’s website, annual reports, social media sites, and industry publications or press releases. LinkedIn is also a great tool where you can find more about prospective employers.

Address the Cover Letter to a Specific Person

To make a more personal and memorable first impression, you can address the cover letter to the specific hiring manager or recruiter. If you’re unsure who the hiring manager is, just write “Dear Hiring Manager” and continue with your letter.

Clearly Introduce Yourself

Once you’ve clearly researched the company, it’s time to get started with your cover letter. The first paragraph of your cover letter is what matters the most because it is your opportunity to make a lasting and strong first impression of the hiring manager.

The first paragraph should contain relevant details about who you are, how you discovered the job opportunity, and why you’re interested in it. It is also the right place for you to mention how much you know about the company and if you know any peers who have worked or are currently working there.

“Looking For A Job” Written On A Black Background

Engage the Reader

The recruiters and hiring managers go through hundreds of cover letters from applicants. How can you make sure that your cover letter stands out in a crowd and sticks in the minds of the employers?

To do that, you’ll need to grasp their attention within the first few seconds of them reading your introduction paragraph. This can be done through an interesting opening anecdote, expressing excitement about the job or company, or mentioning an accomplishment. Your achievements, experiences, and skills can be of great use to impress the employer, so they want to know more about you.

Quantifiable details are more relevant as they can demonstrate your skills through your experiences. Think beyond your work experience, especially if you don’t have much, and highlight your wins during your academic career, community work, volunteer work, or internships.

A Fresh Graduate Passing The Cover Letter To An Employer

Highlight Relevant Skills and Experiences

Your cover letter is all about your professional zeal and how ready you are for the job. Employers will be looking for the most in-demand skills, especially skills that will be even more relevant for the future. You can relate those skills to your experiences, for example, how your leadership qualities helped you supervise a team during your internship or academic project.

If you don’t have professional experience, you can add real-life situations that might require those skills.

Go Beyond Your Resume

Your resume will obviously have your previous work experiences, so it’s better not to repeat anything unless you want to further elaborate. Use the cover letter as an opportunity to only talk about how your experiences have helped you become more qualified for the job you’re applying for.

A Fresh Graduate Making Her Cover Letter

Use Action Verbs

Action verbs will show your employer that you’re confident enough in your skills to produce effective and desirable output. These verbs will engage the employer so you can communicate well.

Proofread and Close Strong

We can’t stress enough how important it is to go over your cover letter multiple times and proofread it. You can even ask a friend to proofread it for you. Additionally, to close strong, you want your final paragraph to seal the deal for you. This means that your goals and what you wish to achieve should be evident in the final paragraph.

You should thank the employer for taking out time to read your letter. Plus, you can mention that you’re available for an interview to discuss your qualifications and how you’d be a great fit for this position.

Ask a Professional for Help

Even when you’ve proofread and done everything right, a professional’s work will be far better because of all the experience and expertise they have. If you don’t want to risk losing out on an important job, you might want to consider utilizing a professional resume and cover letter service. Our expert and professional resume writers can help you draft a strong cover letter that will captivate the recruiter’s attention and help you stand out amongst the crowd.

Resume Professional Writers is a resume writing company. In addition to our top resume writing services, we also offer LinkedIn profile writing and CV writing services.

Visit our website for more information. Alternatively, you can check out our services here.

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A Guide To Creating The Perfect Job Application

A resume on a computer screen.

In a market as competitive as now, people looking for jobs must put their best efforts possible into every aspect of the hiring process to ensure their chances. The hiring process has become fairly standardized, with the typical resume, cover letter, and interview process following suit everywhere. Despite a somewhat universal approach, people continue to make some of the most common mistakes in their job application packet.

Here’s how you can create a job application packet that employers will not only want to go through but appreciate, increasing your chances of getting hired:

Accomplishments and Qualifications Audit

Before you’re in a rush to start compiling the documents that you need to present to your employer, your first step is to do an accomplishments and qualifications audit. One of the most common mistakes people make when writing their resumes and CVs is that they don’t have a general outline of what they have to write and what they need to omit. There’s extra emphasis on the latter in some regards. Unless you’re applying for an acting role, it’s not worth mentioning that you played Toto in The Wizard of Oz for your 4th-grade play.

Depending on the position and job you’re applying for, you have to list and explain your prior work and educational experiences in a positive light that explains how you’re a fit candidate for the job. People prefer hiring those that have some grasp of the fundamentals of the work they’re going to do, so any amount of knowledge and experience is a bonus.

Résumé

The two most common mistakes that most employers report are in the resumes they receive and regarding the length and information quoted. A resume presents the reader with your past education and experience in the easiest to skim form possible. Following a reverse chronological order, explaining them very briefly the basic details of what you did.

You must pay attention to the keywords available in the original listing and incorporate them throughout the resume in a seamless fashion. You have to do all of that while keeping the document under one page. While beautification isn’t a must-have, your resume must look clean, easy to read, and divided into sections so that people can quickly skim to relevant sections and find what lies wherein a single glance.

Cover Letter

A cover letter’s purpose is to be a bit more detailed than your resume rather than a skim-worthy piece. It should have vital information about where you sell yourself. One of the biggest mistakes people make in their cover letter is also one of the most commonplace errors – sending the identical cover letter to multiple employers. Before you start jotting away, ensure you’ve gone through the details in the original hiring listing. If you’re applying for a Java developer position, all your Java projects, skills, and experience should be front and center without excessive exaggeration.

A Person Typing A Document On A Computer.
A Guide to Creating the Perfect Job Application Packet in 2021 3

The cover letter should present you as someone that fits the requirements for the listing. Your experiences and formal education work should reflect that, so it should be highlighted above the others and emphasized without exaggeration. Another major selling point is explaining to them what you’ve achieved rather than what you did. For example, don’t just say that you managed the marketing team for 3 years. State that your efforts as marketing manager resulted in 15 successful campaigns throughout your tenure. Numbers and results are crucial.

Recommendation Request Email

Having a recommendation only emphasizes the case for having you on board as an employee. It’s a sign of competence and character, and willingness to offer assurance in the hiring process. A recommendation request email is an email you send to your potential recommender so that they can write a recommendation letter for you in return.

The recommender may or may not know all of the details, so it’s important to present them with the job listing and other crucial details such as your accomplishments and qualifications. An excellent letter of recommendation requires you to cooperate with your recommender so that all of the details that they present in the final draft present you in the best light possible.

Interview Follow-up Messages

Once you’ve had your interview, it’s a strategic move to send a follow-up message to them later on. These can be hand-written notes, letters but ideally, they’re emails or courtesies. They’re an excellent way for you to inquire about your hiring status and present a continued interest in the position. In some cases, if you’re aware you made a blunder or missed out on any aspect of your interview, you can elaborate the point, later on, to correct a mistake or gain extra points in their book.

Conclusion

A job application packet is something you should divert your focus towards. Many of the documents will require several drafts to accumulate a single document that provides all the details without being excessive. Comprehensive doesn’t mean exhaustive, and you have to keep the information centered on presenting you as the best candidate possible for the work.

Two People Discussing A Job Application Packet.
A Guide to Creating the Perfect Job Application Packet in 2021 4

Your goal is to offer them value as an employee, not the other way around. If you’re having an issue creating any of the required documents, it’s recommended you work with services that have expertise in creating such documents.

Are you struggling to get past the job application phase? Been through various iterations of your resume but haven’t found one that sticks? Consider getting help from professionals. You can find professional resume writing services with Resume Professional Writers; we offer help on resume, resume review, preparation, and resume critique services. Our professional resume builder and CV writing services aim to help you be the shoo-in candidate for wherever you apply. Regardless of the industry, we cater to all.

We also have a professional LinkedIn profile writing service for LinkedIn profile development. Reach out to us today to get started.

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How To Write A Cover Letter In 2021

A person writing a cover letter

You might have often heard about the importance of attaching a cover letter to your job application. A cover letter can increase your chances of getting the position you’re applying for or at least receiving a callback. However, writing a cover letter is an art that you must master, and it requires time to develop the skills to write cover letters that impress employers.

If you’ve just graduated, you might not know what cover letters are and what they entail. Likewise, if you’ve never submitted a cover letter in your career before, you might find them perplexing. Therefore, before you can write a captivating cover letter, you’ll need to learn everything you can about them.

What is a Cover Letter?

Before we proceed any further, let’s get one thing clear. Cover letters aren’t mandatory unless stated otherwise. However, many employers do prefer them. According to a survey by Resume Labs, 83 percent of human resource professionals consider cover letters to be essential. Moreover, these hiring executives also state that an excellent cover letter can compensate for a substandard resume and help you get an interview 83 percent of the time. Therefore, you can’t deny the importance of writing a killer cover letter.

Now, you might be wondering, what’s a cover letter? A cover letter is a one-page document that supplements the contents of your resume. Typically, candidates use cover letters to provide employers an overview of their job history and skills. In addition, you’ll also want to use your cover letter to demonstrate your interest in the position. Moreover, a well-written cover letter can help provide a glimpse of your personality to prospective employers. It’s also an opportunity to showcase why you would be a suitable fit for the company.

Considering unemployment soared in 2020, it’s more important than ever to attach a cover letter with your resume to stand out among a sea of candidates. According to the Resume Labs survey, 74 percent of hiring executives prefer receiving applications with cover letters than without one. If you want to increase your chances of receiving a job interview, consider drafting a cover letter.

A Professional Penning A Cover Letter
How to Write a Cover Letter in 2021: A Comprehensive Guide 4

What Should a Cover Letter Contain?

Now that you know what a cover letter is, it’s time to learn about the contents of these letters. Although there’s no standard format for cover letters, most recruiters agree that a cover letter should follow some fundamental principles. For starters, you’ll want to include carefully curated career stories to provide a glimpse of your work experience and accomplishments. Moreover, you’ll also want to highlight the skills you bring to the table. In addition, you’ll want to combine these two to demonstrate how you can add value to the reader’s organization. Lastly, you’ll want to use a paragraph or two to showcase your knowledge about the employer’s work history and specify your interest in working for them.

A Hiring Manager Holding An Applicant’s Cover Letter And Resume
How to Write a Cover Letter in 2021: A Comprehensive Guide 5

Writing a Captivating Cover Letter

You’ll want to ensure that you follow a format when writing a cover letter. Here’s how to make sure your cover letter captivates the reader:

Use a Professional Header

You’ll want to make sure that you use a sleek header for your cover letter. Typically, it should include your name, address, contact information, and date. Moreover, it should also include the name and designation of the recruiter, the company’s name, and address. Therefore, it’s vital to research the necessary information before you start penning your cover letter. If you can’t find the recruiter’s name online, you can address them as Sir or Madam in your letter. However, if you do this, make sure to sign off by writing “Yours Faithfully.”

In addition, remember to keep your header professional. Avoid using email addresses that may come off as juvenile or unprofessional. If you don’t have a suitable email address, create a new one. You should also refrain from using your current work address when sending cover letters.

Write a Compelling Opening Paragraph

We can’t overstate the importance of a compelling opening paragraph. The truth is most hiring managers don’t have enough time to read every single cover letter religiously. Therefore, most recruiters will read through your cover letter’s opening few lines to decide whether it’s worth a read. A compelling opening paragraph ensures that you captivate the reader’s attention, preventing them from moving onto another cover letter abruptly.

There are several strategies you can employ to ensure your opening is compelling. You could share how you’ve been following the company’s progress over an extended period. Likewise, you could also detail aspects about the company that piqued your interest.

Detail Your Accomplishments and Experience in the Body

The body of your cover letter is a perfect opportunity for you to detail your work experience and accomplishments. You can insert career stories that showcase your best attributes more enjoyably. Remember that a cover letter differentiates from a resume. Your cover letter should be more flavorful rather than reading like a list of achievements. Highlight your areas of expertise and demonstrate how you would be the perfect candidate for the job. In addition, show how you can add value to the organization by bringing something new to the table. The body of your cover letter is your time to shine, so use it wisely. However, ensure that you don’t come as braggadocios. Instead, you want your employer to know how your past work experience can contribute to their plans.

Demonstrate Your Eagerness to Join

While highlighting work experience and past accomplishments is an excellent idea, you also want to demonstrate your eagerness to join the organization. Therefore, it would serve you well to include some aspects about the company that you like – whether that’s the organization culture, the work environment, or anything else. The hiring manager will appreciate your interest and the research you’ve done on the company’s history. One of the easiest ways to show your interest is by selecting a company fact and explaining why you find it captivating.

Finishing Strong

Once you’ve followed all the steps above, it’s time to cap off your cover letter. Utilize the final paragraph to provide your offer to your prospective employer. Consider telling the hiring manager that you’re looking forward to meeting them and discussing how you can help the organization meet its goals.

Furthermore, ensure that you finish your cover letter with the appropriate formal closing. You’ll want to refrain from ending the letter informally. Instead, opt for a more professional ending, like “Yours Sincerely” or “Regards.”

Recruiter Reading A Well-Crafted Cover Letter
How to Write a Cover Letter in 2021: A Comprehensive Guide 6

Gain an Edge with a Professionally Written Cover Letter

Writing cover letters can be challenging. Hence, you might want to consider utilizing a professional resume and cover letter service. We can help you draft an excellent cover letter that captivates the attention of the hiring manager.

Resume Professional Writers is a resume writing company. In addition to our professional resume writing services, we also offer LinkedIn profile writing services and CV writing services.

Visit our website for more information. Alternatively, you can also contact us to learn more about our services.

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How to Write a Cover Letter for an Executive Role

How to Write a Cover Letter Career Impressions_ (002)

Wondering whether you should write an executive cover letter when applying for your next leadership position? You may have heard that some recruiters and hiring personnel skip over the cover letter and get right to the resume.

It is true; some do. But others will dig in and read the cover letter – looking for additional info or clues of your leadership style, personality, and related business expertise.

Because there is no way to know if the person with their hands on your application will be expecting a cover letter, it’s best to play it safe and include one.

 A Well Written Executive Cover-Letter Sets You Apart

When applying for a competitive executive position, you want to jump on every chance to set yourself apart from other top contenders. Including a unique, cleverly crafted cover letter helps you stand out! That one slight difference may be what pushes you ahead of other applicants.

Including a well-written cover letter alongside a stand-out executive resume is just one more tool to include in your job search toolbox.

Use the document to grab attention, make a connection, and position yourself as the perfect fit for the role. Don’t simply write a cover letter that reiterates the info on your resume. Seize the opportunity to display the overarching leadership value you have to offer. What problems can you help this company solve? How can you take the helm and direct a team or operations toward success?

Questions to Answer Before You Write A Cover Letter:

  • Why are you pursuing this company?
  • What is it about this position that would be a good fit for you?
  • What’s your value proposition?
  • How do you stand out among other candidates?
  • How can you hit on a specific pain point this company has and show you can solve it?
  • What does this company need from me?
  • How can I make a difference here?

 

Executive Cover Letter Best Practices

Short and sweet

When you write your cover letter, aim for about 250 words. Be clear and concise to get your point across as quickly as possible. If someone takes the time to read the letter, you want to make it easy for them to scan and absorb.

Start strong

Work hard on your opening line. How can you grab the attention of the person reading your resume? Replace lines such as “I have enclosed my resume for your consideration…” with “Are you looking for an inclusive leader ready to guide staff to _____?” .  Customize the opening toward the needs of the reader.

Build your brand

Paint a picture of your personal brand – how do you want people to see you? How have the experiences, education, and work history made you into the executive you are today? Share with the reader how you are unique and the solution that they seek.

Make connections

Add a little personality to your cover letter. Consider how you would fit into the culture. For example, “I admire your _____ policy and would incorporate it into a plan to _______.” Aim to show the person behind the accomplishments but still tie it to role requirements.

Focus on Benefits

When you write your cover letter, tie every point to a benefit for the company. Bring it all together and highlight how your experience and accomplishments relate to the organization’s goals.

Make it scannable

Break up large blocks of text- because if reading the letter looks like work it can overwhelm your reader.  Use shorter sentences and white space to make it easy to skim and scan.

Consider creating bullet points of select major accomplishments or key points to help important content pop off the page. Draw attention to keywords and requirements specific to the job.

Give proof

Sharing specific metrics helps to demonstrate value quickly. The human eye processes numbers faster than words. Numbers speak volumes and help cover letter readers see the size and scope of your previous experience. Share specifics, not generalities in the letter.

 

Once you write an executive cover letter that builds your brand, keep it as a template, and adjust it to each position you are applying for. Your cover letter should grab attention, make a connection, and give you a boost over your competition.

If you need help crafting that executive cover letter for top positions, reach out to discuss.