Your past experiences are not always flattering on a resume. Most of the time, it does not really showcase what you are really capable of doing. Furthermore, most recruiters will not pay attention to your resume but focus on your cover letter. This is why it is so important to make your cover letter as appealing as possible.
How can you, as a job seeker, write a stronger cover letter and land the temp job of your dreams?
Think as if your recruiter will only read your cover letter
Think this way: Your cover letter is what will set you apart if ever your resume was not able to do so. The cover letter is you responding to “Do you have any last words on why you will be the right for our company?” It is basically your last shot to impress them without them having to meet you.
Do not treat your cover letter like a resume
Avoid repeating yourself. Do not use the cover letter to enumerate your experiences just like you did on your resume but use your cover letter to have an open conversation with your potential employer about how your skills can help the company. Use your cover letter to add additional details that you weren’t able to squeeze into your resume. Your cover letter tells a story. Make sure it represents yours well.
One of the advantages of cover letters is that it allows you to use your own sentences. Make sure the way you write communicates how much you want the job and how motivated you are. Passion can be felt, even through a sheet of paper. Be sincere, honest and real.
Focus on the skills you DO have
Do not talk about the skills you do not have but rather, magnify your strengths. Your cover letter is your chance to show how you will be able to directly use your skills to serve the company. Resist the urge to apologize for things you cannot do. Do not say things like “While I only have 6 months of experience in this field…” Be confident in what you can do and keep a positive tone. The last thing you want your cover letter to communicate is insecurity.
Use a friendly tone
Be as natural as possible. Avoid being too formal while still respecting boundaries and showing respect. It is best when the recruiter can feel the tone of your voice while reading your letter. It will make him/her feel like they know you and that you are not just a name of a paper.
Have someone read it for you
It is always good to have someone read it for you. They will be able to see things that you missed (spelling mistakes, tone, wording etc…) After spending hours working on a letter, you are not always able to spot mistakes.
Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints