Writing a Cover Letter to Stand Out

Many job seekers consider cover letters a mere formality or even something that’s optional, but they actually carry a lot of weight. A cover letter is your first introduction to the hiring manager. If you’re able to impress them, you’ll probably get an interview; if not, your application will quickly land in the rejection pile.

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These people read a lot of cover letters, so simply submitting just anything isn’t enough. Of course you should include your contact information and express a desire to hear back from the hiring manager soon, but everyone does that. Learn how to write a cover letter that goes beyond the basics to offer something that stands out from the standard submissions from other candidates.

Customize It

Employers don’t want to read a cover letter that wasn’t specifically written for the opportunity you’re applying to. Sending nothing at all is actually better than a generic one addressed “To Whom It May Concern.” Take the time to write a unique cover letter for each job you apply to; your efforts will be noted and greatly appreciated. No one will take your application seriously if you weren’t even enthused enough about the job to write an exclusive cover letter. Do your best to find the name of the hiring manager and always refer to the position by the title listed in the job description.

Include Statistics

Numbers don’t lie. Using statistics to demonstrate your past results is a great way to capture the hiring manager’s attention. Explaining that you helped save your current company $XX last year or helped increase business by X percent, will make them want to learn more about you. It’s best to format this information into a few concise bullet points — making it easy to read — as hiring managers often only have time to quickly skim cover letters.

Research the Company

Conduct an online search to learn more about the company prior to writing your cover letter, as having some background knowledge will make it much more powerful. Include a line explaining what you admire about the organization that makes you excited about the chance to join the team. Continue by detailing why your skill set could help the company overcome a specific problem or share a unique qualifier that could give you a competitive advantage. This should serve as an extension of your resume, not simply a rewrite of it.

Keep It Short

No one has the time or desire to ready a lengthy cover letter, so keep it to one page at most. Ideally, it should be three to five paragraphs containing approximately three sentences each. Flowery language will do nothing but distract the reader from your main points, so be direct and stick to the matter at hand. As previously noted, less is more when you’re a busy hiring manager trying to get through dozens of cover letters.

Getting a great new job takes a lot of hard work and dedication. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at info@psychpros.com.

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