3 Things to Include in Your Cover Letter that will Make You Stand Out
There are 3 main tools an artist uses to paint a picture - a canvas, paint, and brushes. With these seemingly simple tools, the artist can bring extraordinary life to everyday objects like a stack of books or a bowl of fruit. The finished product will either be something people just pass by or something that will make them stop in their tracks. Whether it’s the brush strokes or the colors, the artist did something that caught their eye and made them want to know more.
Applying for a job can be a lot like an artist painting a picture. As a job applicant, your tools are the job application, your resume, and cover letter. You use these tools to “paint” a picture of who you are and why you’re the best fit for the position. You cover letter is your opportunity to catch the reader’s eye and make them take notice of you.
But with so many resumes in a “gallery” for the HR professional to look at, how do you make your cover letter really stand out?
1. Make it personal.
A specific name for the HR professional in charge of that job isn’t always listed. It’s up to you to take the time to find out the name of the person who will be receiving your information. This shows that you took the time to do research and that you have a serious interest in the position.
2. Don’t overshare.
The cover letter is not the place for you to share all the details about your skills and experience. (Save that for the interview.) The cover letter is just to introduce yourself and highlight 2 or 3 of your skills. Since you’ve attached your resume with additional information, you don’t want to duplicate the information and waste their time.
3. Use a QR code.
QR codes are used to give consumers access to additional information about specific business products or services. Since your cover letter is a piece of your marketing materials, you can use a QR code to do the same thing! It’s novel, unique and much more personal. The best way to use a QR code on your cover letter is to have the code link to a video telling your potential employer more about who you are. Perhaps give a 30-second elevator pitch. Make it short, impactful, and to the point. If you have Windows 10, adding a QR code is super simple. Just insert the code in the word document and it will prompt you to add a URL link. You can easily upload your 30-second elevator pitch to YouTube. It’s a creative way to stand out from the crowd.
Whether you’re painting a picture or applying for a job, it’s not about the tools themselves. It’s about using those tools correctly to create something eye-catching and unique that resonates with the viewer.
If you’re ready to learn how to use your “tools” more effectively, you can check out this in-depth resume-writing course that will teach you how to master the art of writing a standout cover letter.