In a perfect world, we could write one single cover letter and send it along with all of our job applications. Things, however, aren’t that simple. In the competitive job world, recruiters look for the most qualified and motivated people to hire. This is the number one reason why tailor a cover letter.
So how exactly do we customize each letter to the position? Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through it.
in this guide we'll teach you:
- The benefits of tailoring each cover letter to the position
- How to go about it
Before we dive into it, make sure that your resume looks great. If you need some extra help, head over to our resume builder.
Think of your cover letter as the final convincing argument why you should get the position. The most effective way to convince someone into doing something for you is knowing what they care about and demonstrating interest in it.
Recruiters can sense generic cover letters from miles away. For example:
Let’s look at the red flags here that make the letter impersonal.
Dear Hiring Manager,
I’ve got 5 years of experience as a Marketing Manager managing a team of 10. I’d love to put my skills to work at your company and help you reach your goals.
During my time at my previous job, I hired and trained employees. My efforts were focused on attracting new clients and increasing revenue. I could do the same for your company.
I’m really motivated in everything that I do and would most certainly be a great influence in your company.
First of all, this candidate never uses the name of the company. He refers to it as “your company.” This is a sure sign that the letter is generic and is being sent out to more than one businesses.
Secondly, the candidate doesn’t mention how they could improve this company in particular. Sure, they claim that they would be a “great influence,” but they don’t talk about accomplishing specific goals.
What does the company in question need? Talking about past experience and general skills one can contribute is not good enough. In order to make a great impression, you have to show that you’d move mountains for the job.
If two candidates had equal qualifications, the one with more motivation and passion would win every time.
Make sure to look at each company individually and find out:
- What their ideology/ values are
- What they need to improve
- What they do well
Use this key information in your cover letter. For example,
Dear Hiring Manager,
I’ve got 5 years of experience as a Marketing Manager managing a team of 10. (Company Name) is all about team work as you’ve proven via your (name of project) and I would be happy to work in such stimulating environment.
I’d love to put my skills to work at your company and help you reach your goals of acquiring 50% new clients and retaining 90% of your existing ones.
This statement is much more specific, showing that the candidate knows what the company has been working on in the past as well as what their goals and challenges are. Recruiters like candidates who do their homework.
Now that we know why we should tailor a cover letter, let’s have a look at how to do it. The best practices to successfully customize a cover letter are:
- Find out the company’s core values
- Follow the company on social media
- Understand what the company’s pain points are
- Come up with a strategy aimed at helping resolve their problems
- Relate your experiences and interests to the company
Let’s have a look at each of those approaches individually.
Find our the company’s core values
Always know who you’re talking to and what they care about. Find out what the company values. Some examples of core ideologies are continuous innovation and improvement, superb customer service, or simplifying people’s daily lives.
Where do you find out what your com believes in? Simple, go on their website and read the About page. There usually will be a section dedicated specifically to values and core beliefs.
Once you have that information, find a way to relate to it and integrate it into your cover letter.
Follow the company on social media
Following your dream company on social media will help you stay in touch with their latest projects. This way you’d be able to tailor the cover letter better and mention this information during the interview after.
The best platforms to follow are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You get bonus points if you engage with the content the company posts. Be visible on their social media page so that the hiring manager notices your name even before reviewing your application.
Understand what the company’s pain points are
The best way to be of use to a business and get the job is to help them solve a problem. Find out what the company needs and show how your’re the person who can provide a solution.
The job ad will usually state what the ideal candidate’s main function would be. If you want to dig deeper, use your social media research to find out how else you can contribute.
For example, if the ad says that your job would be to ensure that existing customers are happy, mention your customer service and client retention talents in the cover letter.
If you have found out that the company has been losing clients due to a bad product or marketing and think that you’re able to fix the issue, definitely talk about it in the cover letter.
Come up with a strategy aimed at helping solve problems
This doesn’t have to be elaborate. After all, the cover letter should be only one page long. You can give a quick idea that you know how to fix an existing problem. This will grab the recruiter’s attention and show them that you really care about the company.
Relate your experiences and interests to the company
Hiring managers look for people who would fit well into the company culture and team. Knowing the core values of the business you're applying to, you can relate your personal hobbies and show that you're a perfect match.
For example, if the company sponsors 10K runs to raise money for dog shelters, you can mention that you're a runner.
Make sure to only spend one sentence talking about your interests. That way, you can make your point and not deviate from the main topic too much.
There are many reasons to tailor a cover letter. Making your statement specific shows that you've done research on the place you want to work at and truly care about the position.
Use the techniques above in order to gather information about your dream company - read its site thoroughly and follow on social media.
Be forward and concise in your cover letter, as it should be only one page long. Look it over and make sure you've got enough attention-grabbing details to wow the recruiter.
Finally, have one last look at your resume and apply confidently. If you need some extra help with your resume, head over to our resume builder.