Imagine having to read hundreds of cover letters every day, all starting with the same “To whom this may concern, I wish to apply for X position at your company…”, would you really take all the information in on every single one?
The introduction of “one-click apply” and technology that enables you to apply for roles using social media has limited the importance of cover letters but if your CV or connections aren’t enough to get you through the door, your cover letter could be.
So, if you really want to get noticed, you’ve got to start right off the bat with something that grabs the reader’s attention. Read on to find out how to do just that…
Start with humour or creativity
So, the first idea comes with a big disclaimer, to use this tip you need to do your research and know your audience. Find out more about the company, if it’s cool and quirky, go for it. If you sense a more professional vibe then maybe use one of the ideas below.
This is a great way to grab the reader’s attention and leave them wanting to know more. You could start with a joke about how you came about finding the role that you are applying for or maybe a joke about your application could work well.
Share a surprise
After reading so many cover letters, hiring managers can almost predict what the next one is going to say so in simple terms, don’t let them do this! Share a surprising stat, fact or even an unusual skill or quality you may have that they don’t already know is a good way to open with a bang.
Employers love to see numbers and so always try to quantify it as much as you can, it’s a lot more powerful.
Start with an accomplishment
Starting with an accomplishment gives you the best opportunity to show off your skills. Have you implemented a new process? Directly contributed to your company’s bottom line? Even if you haven’t got any impressive numbers to share, you could use some positive feedback to demonstrate your skills.
Share some news
Have you done your research? Then use it! If you have researched the company and found out an interesting fact or a piece of the latest news from their company then open your cover letter with it to show you have done your research.