A cover letter is one of the first things that employers and recruiters receive job seekers.
Sadly, one common mistake most job seekers commit is sending out a generic cover letter. While it does give them insight into your skills and what you can offer, they don’t look any different from the hundreds–if not, thousands–of other cover letters they receive.
If you want your cover letter to stand out from the rest of the applicants, you need to customise it so that it matches the job position you’re applying. This is even more important if the recruiter or employer requires you to send one.
Here are four tips to customise your cover letter for a job:
1: Take time to research the company.
Companies would often include a brief description of themselves in online job postings.
While these give you some insight on what kind of company they are, don’t stop there. Go the extra mile by searching for the company’s website on Google to learn more about them. Read their press releases. Check them out on social media as well.
Doing this will not only help you get a better idea on the type of candidate they’re looking for, so you can customise your cover letter accordingly. At the same time, the information you gather here will also help you stand out when they call you for an interview.
2: Address the interviewer in your cover letter.
Instead of starting your cover letter with “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Ma’am,” include the name of the recruiter or human resource personnel listed as the primary point of contact in the job opening. This makes your cover letter more personal.
If there’s no person mentioned in the job opening, search for the name of the company’s Human Resource Manager.
3: Customise your cover letter to address their needs.
Each company has its specific needs that they want the potential candidate to meet. So be sure that you highlight how you can meet those needs on your cover letter.
One tip when customising your cover letter is to list these in bullet points rather than writing them in paragraph form. That way, it will be easy for recruiters and potential employers to scan through them.
Remember, there are hundreds of other people applying for the same position, so recruiters won’t have time to read through each cover letter one by one carefully. Only when they find a cover letter from an applicant that appear to meet their requirements would get them to read it and the accompanying CV more thoroughly.
4: Speak their “language.”
Every organization speaks its language. You can read between the lines just by looking at the way they’ve written the job description itself. Finding keywords in a specific job description can be used effectively in your cover letter and which can help you to move past the initial screening process to obtain an interview as well.
Since language is an indicator of purpose, you can evaluate what the organisation considers essential and respond precisely to what the company’s most pressing needs are.