Writing the perfect cover letter to send with your resume can be one of the most important stages of a job application. If you spend hours preparing your resume and just a few minutes writing the cover letter, you are limiting your chances of success. Many hiring managers report that strong candidates can fall at the first hurdle of an application because their cover letter isn’t strong and appealing. One of the most common Google search phrases is “cover letter examples.” This is clearly indicating a need for education around all things cover letters!

Filling your planner with job interviews becomes a lot easier if you master the art of presenting yourself well at the first stage of any application. One of the secrets of getting through the door of a potential employer is to understand that your cover letter is more important than your resume. If your cover letter doesn’t catch the eye of a hiring manager, your resume will end up in the reject pile (and odds are, it will end up there without even being looked at).

These tips will help you to prepare the perfect cover letter:

1) Understand the purpose of a cover letter.

The job market can be a highly competitive place, and it’s vital that you make a great first impression when applying for a new position. Don’t assume that the hiring manager will go straight to your resume when they receive your application. Your cover letter should entice the reader to want to find out more about you. If they go on to read your resume and see that you have the relevant skills and experience, you should receive an interview request.

2) Sell yourself.

Finding a job is a sales process. Your resume is your marketing brochure and the cover letter is the “teaser” to get someone to read it. Think of yourself as a product you’re selling to the potential employer. Your cover letter should be attention-grabbing. It should demonstrate your communication skills, your personality and the value you can offer.

3) Refer to the job description.

Tailoring your application to a specific job description can give you a massive head start over other candidates in the application process. Review the job description and think of ways you can incorporate this into your letter. For example, a job description will often state specific skills that are needed for the position. If specific qualifications are required, mention when you attained these in your cover letter so the hiring manager doesn’t have to refer to your resume.

4) Make it easy on the eye.

Use of bullet points in a cover letter allows the reader to pick out the key information. Use short statements for impact. Remember that a hiring manager may have dozens of applications to read through. Making your letter easy on the eye can give you the advantage you need to be invited for an interview. Keep the content short and relevant, and make sure every word is necessary to get your point across. Make sure it matches the formatting you are using in your resume, as well. If you are seeking a professional position, you need to have a professional presentation. Matching job search documents are pivotal in making a good first impression – this demonstrates your attention to detail.

5) Don’t send your cover letter as an attachment.

Many job applications have to be made by email nowadays. Never send your cover letter as an attachment in these situations, as many hiring managers won’t bother to open it. All the hard work you’ve put into it will be wasted. Include the content of your cover letter in the body of an email and send your resume as an attachment.

Writing a cover letter or looking for cover letter examples can be a very time-consuming project. Should you seek the help of a professional letter service, cover letters are a specialty of ours! Check out more information on cover letters and let us help by placing an order here!