Writing a cover letter is harder is many respects than writing a resume because resumes are more objective, or at least, appear to be. Consequently, you do not really have to scratch your head wondering how you can make an impression or make your letter sound personable. If we had to make a comparison, writing a resume is like writing a report. Once you’ve got the skills set, you’re pretty much good with most assignments that come your way. Writing a cover letter is more complicated, however, and is like writing an introduction to that report. How to make it so that the reader is captivated? How to make it so that the reader will start his reading with a positive attitude as opposed to looking at the report ahead as a dreadful burden?
The first tip that all good writers adhere to is to know what message you want to convey. Until you know what you want to communicate, how can you start writing? Yet, that is the mistake that too many people make. Why? Because most of us are lazy and we hope that inspiration will come as we go along. True, it doesn’t hurt to be inspired. That being said, it’s much easier to be inspired when all the right elements are in place. What should you do? Think it through in your head. What skills do you want to convey? What kind of impression do you want to make? As you go through these questions in your head, you should do some background research also. Just go on the Web and start browsing the employer’s website. This will definitely make your look smarter on paper as it will help you tailor your message. Hopefully, this is not too much to ask and will bring in big rewards eventually.
The next tip is to push yourself to stand out. If you write something that sounds too ordinary or just doesn’t sound right, it means you still need to put in more work. Whatever you write down needs to be exceptional, or at least good/ stand out. Good writers know that and that’s why they’re good. They have high expectations when they write and that’s how they improve. Stay away from clichés and try to be specific. Sell yourself and visualize other candidates as your competitors. You want to surpass them. Make that your goal.
The last tip is to go through a lot of drafts. Once your first draft done, go do something else and come back on it later (even a day later if necessary). Time does miracles and as you come back on your draft, you will see aspects of it that you don’t like. If after giving it some time, you come back to your draft, still like it, and have nothing else you want to add or change, then you can tell yourself that you’re done. Your cover letter is ready to be sent out.
The above tips may sound simple, but they really work. It’s simple common sense! Good luck in your job search!!