Is there anything worse than sitting down to write a cover letter?
Even if you've written a million in the past, every time you sit down to write a new one you end up Googling, 'How to write a cover letter' and 'Cover letter examples' in the vain hope of finding some easy way to differentiate yourself from the pack.
Because a cover letter, while a chore, is actually important. It's the place you get to make yourself stand out. You could be very qualified for the job, with a resume that you assume speaks for itself, and still not get the position because your cover letter wasn't up to snuff.
So stop Googling. Just get started. Here are five of the best tips we've found on how to write a cover letter that's sure to help you shine.
1. Keep it short.
A hiring manager doesn't want to read your life story. They want to skim something that gives them an idea of why you're perfect for the job. Keep your cover letter to one page. One page only.
Job expert and author of , Kerry Hannon says, "Think of it as a written version of your elevator speech: a short, snappy summary of who you are and what kind of job you’d like to find."
2. Mix it up.
A cover letter should be more than just an essay form of your resume. That explains why the company should be interested in hiring you; your cover letter is the opposite.
According to The Muse, hiring managers aren't interested in hearing in exhaustive detail about what you've already done. "What they really want to know is what you’re going to bring to the position and company."
3. It's all about results.
Instead of focusing on tasks and responsibilities of your previous positions in your cover letter, try talking about the results.
Career consultant Rose Keating tells Man Repeller that employers want to know what you did—but even more so they want to know how well you did it. (See the above point, again, on the key differences between a resume and cover letter.)
Keating's example: "Increased office efficiency by providing accurate and timely file management. Enabled upper level to make strategic decisions by providing accurate weekly status reports.”
4. Show off.
If you've got skills, flaunt them.
Career expert Vicki Salemi tells Business Insider when writing a cover letter you should choose two or three words from the job description that describe the job. Then, demonstrate you have those skills in your cover letter by giving specific examples.
5. Show some personality.
You're not boring. Make sure the person reading your cover letter knows that.
Alyssa Gelbard, founder of career consulting and personal branding company Resume Strategists, tells Inc, "Let your passion and enthusiasm come through, as long as it doesn't sound fluffy or hokey."
Take a deep breath, open that cover letter document, and show them why they'd be crazy not to hire you.