Hiring managers and recruiters often receive hundreds of applications for a single job posting. As they may only spend a minute reviewing your application package, it’s essential to capture their attention with a knockout cover letter right away.
Avoid the work application black hole by writing an engaging, informative cover letter to accompany your resume when applying to the UCPath Center.
“A cover letter shows us your work ethic and attention to detail,” said Cindy Ferrini, human resources business partner at the UCPath Center. “We want to see if you are a good fit for our organization, so it’s important to explain why you think you are the best candidate for the position for which you are applying.”
Ferrini suggests these tips on how to get noticed:
1. Keep your cover letter simple, effective and tailored to each position
Ferrini advises applicants to write clear and concise letters without grammatical errors. If you need a fresh set of eyes to proofread your cover letter, then make sure other people are reviewing it as well.
Most importantly, do not use the exact same cover letter to apply for every job. “Custom tailor your cover letter to a specific job,” she added. “Discuss your experiences and link them to the job description.”
In addition, business leaders writing for Fast Company suggest sharing a brief, attention-grabbing anecdote at the beginning to highlight your career and personality. It will stand out more than the generic “I’m writing to express my interest in the benefits associate/payroll assistant position” type of sentence.
Ferrini also suggests that applicants explain why they’re the perfect fit for the position and the organization — based on their experience — rather than merely listing what they’ve done for other employers. “Show interest in the job you are applying for,” she added.
Make sure to avoid these common resume mistakes when you apply for your dream job.
2. Do your homework about the company
Resist the temptation of addressing your cover letter “To whom it may concern.” Make every effort to find the contact name of the hiring manager to use on your letter or e-mail inquiry.
According to personal finance website The Balance, candidates can look on a company website of the person in the position that they are trying to contact. You can often find this in the About Us, Staff or Contact Us section. To “virtually” meet the UCPath Center’s staff and leadership team, click here.
If you can’t find a personal name on a company’s website, tap into LinkedIn to find the right person. If internet research is failing to yield a person to address, ask a friend or colleague if he or she knows the right person to contact.
“When you think about it, your resume, cover letter, and job application are your first assignments for the company that you’re interested in joining,” Ferrini advised. “Learn about the UCPath Center and talk about the position in relation to your previous experience.”
3. Think outside the box
Rather than requesting traditional resumes and cover letters, some companies are now asking job candidates to submit video cover letters.
Forbes.com offered the following tips to those who would like to use their smartphone to apply for a position.
• Keep the video short, as people have short attention spans. A video cover letter should be between 30 seconds to one minute.
• Don’t read off the highlights of your resume. Instead, think of a video cover letter as a movie trailer. Make it engaging, inviting and filled with enough information about three skills that a recruiter would want to know more about you.
“I’d be interested in seeing a multimedia presentation or a video from a candidate,” Ferrini said. “A video where candidates are describing themselves and their skills would be great.”
Above all, Ferrini said communicating well is important in every job. “When the passion for your career comes across in your cover letter, then I am excited to meet you,” she concluded.