Cover letters are a test, we will help you pass

10 February 2017 Reading Time: 5 minutes

You might have heard that ‘’cover letters are dead’’ before. Also, around 55% of hiring managers don’t read cover letters according to a study conducted by Jobvite in 2015. More than a half of recruiters consider cover letters unnecessary and give higher importance to a resume or the very first email you send through.

As crazy as it sounds, even though cover letters are considered to be dead, they are still necessary. When looking for a job, how many of the companies require you to send a cover letter together with your resume? 90% of them, I bet!

Create your cover letter on the Enhancv platform

Here’s a way to create your cover letter in 3 steps. All you need to do is:

  1. Create a new resume.
  2. Remove all sections from it and select a Single Column template.
  3. Add the Summary section and type in your text.

Enhancv Cover letters are a test, we will help you pass

Cover letters are a test

In his research, Rick Gills explains that cover letters ‘’are a test’’. He states that if a company requires you to send a cover letter together with your resume to them, then you have to do it. Otherwise, they’ll move on to another candidate without any doubt. You didn’t pass the first test.

From my own experience having to do something unnecessary is annoying. But we need to get over it sometimes. As the well-known saying by Jodi Picoult goes, ‘’Sometimes when you want to get what you want the most, you have to do what you want the least.’’ Or do the unnecessary, in this case.

How to write a great cover letter that no one will read?

These 6 simple tips will help your cover letter to stand out from others and catch the attention of your employer-to-be instantly.

1. Formatting

Before you start thinking about the opening sentence of your cover letter, think about the format and the layout you want to present it in. Wouldn’t it be great to have a similar layout as the one of your resume?

Enhancv Cover letters are a test, we will help you pass

It is important to keep in mind that a good cover letter should not be 5 pages long. Great cover letters have a few things in common and one of them is having the relevant information in a brief format. Ah, and don’t forget to space it up, a technique many influencers and writers use. It relaxes the eye and gets the reader to scan the whole document.

‘’Whitespace isn’t just a tool to give the reader’s eye a break. It’s actually a cue. Designers have used it forever to draw their users’ attention to the most important elements in their design.’’ – Neil Patel

2. Opening of a cover letter

What should be the opening sentence of a good cover letter? Recruiting managers agree on the fact that the usual ‘’To whom it may concern’’ or the old ‘’I saw the job offer on [website] and thought I’m perfect for the job’’ will not do the trick. Such sentences are overused and hint that you haven’t done your research and are not putting any effort into thinking a bit more.

Here are some examples of the opening for a cover letter you should consider next time to catch the hiring manager’s attention from the very beginning:

a) Computer games have always fascinated me. I think I played my very first one in 6th grade when I discovered my love for code and passion for becoming a Programmer. That’s why I believe I’d be great for the [position] at [company].

b) During my [X] years at the [company], I’ve written [amount] of articles and increased the conversion rate of the blog by [percentage]. By now I know I’m only great at two things: writing great content and converting new customers from it. That’s why I decided to apply for the position of a copywriter at your company.

Enhancv Cover letters are a test, we will help you pass

3. The main body

Here, I don’t mean only the regular: I am great at [skill], [skill], [skill] because of [the reason]. Rather research the company properly and outline what you think the top three main problems they should solve are. Then show off your skills by addressing the problem, explaining that you’ve experienced the same problem in your previous role and offer the possible solution to it.

As the Career Specialist J.T. O’Donnel explains, the difference between a cover letter and resume is that ‘’cover letters tell stories, resumes showcase facts.’’ Tell a story with your cover letter and don’t forget to splash bits of your personality into it. Doing this will help you distinguish yourself from others. It’s a top reason for hiring managers to follow up and learn more about you.

Enhancv Cover letters are a test, we will help you pass

You can find more examples of a perfect cover letter content here.

4. The writing style

A good body language can help you win an interview. It’s a good idea to mirror the interviewer – something similar you should take into account when writing your cover letter. Pick up the voice of the company itself, the kind of language they use and then mirror that voice into your cover letter. Personalize your cover letter to the company as much as possible. Mention their departments, the most recent PR stunt they used or a project they were involved in.

Top Tip: You can get a hint of the company’s voice by browsing through their blog, the about page, in their social media posts or responses to their customers.

5. Typos and grammar mistakes

Grammar mistakes, typos or incorrect information are unacceptable in your cover letter as much as they are on your resume. I might be repeating myself here but there is nothing more day-damaging to a hiring manager or a recruiter than a document filled with mistakes. You can trust me, I’ve spoken to quite a few!

Enhancv Cover letters are a test, we will help you pass

Top Tip: Enhance your cover letter and resume by avoiding these 10 mistakes.

6. Practice until you can’t get it wrong

Even though your cover letter might not be read by the hiring manager, it is capable of making or breaking your chances of being considered for the job.

As our Arts Director says: ‘’everyone can draw beautifully, it just needs a lot of practice!’’. I believe it’s the same with crafting a striking cover letter. You have to practice, never give up and use the advice provided above. Together with a superhuman resume you can craft with Enhancv, you will get the job you deserve!

Create your cover letter and resume with Enhancv and boost your chances of getting hired!

Tatiana Rehmova

A glass half-full kind of a girl and a believer that everything happens for a reason. Loves writing, editing and researching the newest ways of doing things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *