Three Tips to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

With today’s online and automated application processes, you might think that a cover letter is no longer necessary. However, a strong cover letter may be even more important in this digital world.

Use your cover letter as a tool to help you stand out from applicants who don’t submit one AND to get through digital screening. A great cover letter could be the difference between getting an interview or a rejection letter. 

Here are a few tips to take your cover letter to the next level: 

Make it an extension of your resume 

In other words, don’t just repeat what you said on your resume. Use this space to tell a story about who you are and why you are great for the job.  

A resume should only be one page longbut you may have additional information you want a potential employer to understand that won’t fit on one page. Use your cover letter to highlight these experiences or to explain things like gaps in your work history. 

Be specific

Instead of saying, “I am writing today in interest of the team lead position,” say, “I have five years of experience leading a team in the manufacturing sector, giving me the qualifications to succeed in the team lead position.” The second statement is much more likely to catch the readers’ attention.  

Use data and numbers to demonstrate your abilities. If you increased your team’s productivity, include details that show impact. For example, “I evaluated and revised production processes that created a 25% increase in team productivity.” 

Use keywords

Your cover letter will most likely be read by a computer system before it is seen by human eyes. Read the job description carefully and look for repeated words, such as monitors, organizes, communicates, audits, or measures. If these are important tasks for the job, be sure to use them in your cover letter. Don’t go overboard; you still want the letter to sound like it was written for and by a human. 

Want help polishing your cover letter? We offer a free, virtual cover letter writing workshop. Register for this and other workshops here: