Recruiting season is starting soon — perhaps you're looking for that first job or maybe you simply want to join a cool student organisation (what about Academics For Technology?). One of the most daunting things to do in the recruiting process can be to write an original cover letter — one that makes you stand out. But honestly, you might be overcomplicating things.
Having written a fair share of my own, let me give you some tips and tricks!Photo by William Fortunato : URL your researchKnowing who you're writing the cover letter for is crucial. By that I mean that you should always address the right person, but also adapt your cover letter to the role that you're applying for. Generic cover letters never work and might even work to your disadvantage.
It tells the recruiter that you've spent no time on your cover letter and shows a lack of motivation. You wouldn't want someone like that to work for you, would you? In addition, companies are usually quite proud of the company culture they foster. Mentioning it in your cover letter shows that you share the same values.Look at the required skillsWhy should someone hire you? Well, because you've got the right skills for the job.
Have a look at the job ad and write about the required skills that you fulfil. Don't write about all of them. You want your cover letter to be at most one page and, besides, not all skills are equally important to write about.
Make sure to highlight anything that's not on your CV. For instance, imagine that you would be applying for a role as a financial analyst abroad. Highlighting the fact that you've already spent a couple of years in that country when you were younger is much more interesting than boasting about the financial degree that you have.
The recruiter can read the latter on your CV or LinkedIn page, and 99% of the other applicants will have a degree in finance as well.Talk about your future selfWhile a resume is used to look at you're past experience, a cover letter is meant to look ahead. So, what's your goal in life? How does the role that you're applying for fit in that story? Recruiters love to see someone who has a clear motivation for the job. It shows them that you're willing to work hard to get what you want.
Even if you don't have the right skills, conveying the right motivation might still give you a slight edge over other applicants.Photo by Thirdman: URL authenticEssentially, your cover letter can be seen as a bridge between your resume and an interview. Therefore, always try to be as authentic as you can be. You want to give the recruiter an idea of who you are as a person, something that intrigues them.
Consequently, they'll be inclined to offer you an interview to get to know you better. So, how can you be authentic in a cover letter? Write about personal stories, personal ambitions, stuff that sets you apart from the crowd!Make it stand out (literally!)Having a different lay-out than the basic black on white cover letter can do wonders. It shows an eye for detail and will certainly land you more interviews.
You can even make the design similar to that of your resume. Tools such as Canva are very easy to use, even someone without any prior design knowledge is able to make the most beautiful designs. You could also use one of their many templates of course!Get feedback!Nothing turns a recruiter off more than spelling mistakes.
It shows that you've put little effort in the letter and didn't bother to check it twice. Not so sure about your grammatical skills? Then have a friend or family member read through your cover letter. Next to pointing out spelling mistakes, they can give you other feedback as such as checking for your authenticity.
Tools such as Grammarly can do wonders as well!Photo by Alexander Suhorucov: URL remarksI hope that these tips will help you to land your dream job and if you're not searching for a job yet, then why not apply for a student organisation next academic year? At Academics For Technology, we're happy to see your application come in. Have a look at our website for which roles we're looking to fill in 2023–2024.