“Nothing gets me more jazzed than writing cover letter after cover letter when I apply for jobs!”
“I can’t wait to get started on this cover letter and edit it 1,000 times before I finally submit it.”
“Yeah, I only apply for jobs if they require cover letters. That’s how much I love writing them”
These are three sentences that you will never, ever hear in the real world.
You know why? Because cover letters actually kinda stink to write. Especially when you’re writing a bunch back-to-back because you’re looking for a job fast (shoutout to all the college students graduating soon).
With all that being said, cover letters are extremely important. Along with your resume, these two sheets of paper can be the difference between getting hired and not ever hearing back from the company whose role you applied for.
So, to help you nail your cover letter and bolster your resume, here are 6 quick copywriting tips to apply to these all-too-important documents.
Talk About the Results and Impact of Your Work Experience
Probably one of the most glaring mistakes many people make on their resume is that they list their past work experiences without offering much insight into what their role was. In bullet point form or a short paragraph, briefly describe some of your achievements and ‘wins’ while you were at that previous position.
Simply listing the position doesn’t show the recruiter, or whoever is reading your resume, any insight into what you actually brought to the table and what you got out of the job.
Digital Marketing Intern at NASA
- Led intern marketing project and helped increase website traffic 110%
- Worked with the lead marketing team to create a new website design layout
- Learned PPC, SEO, and Content Marketing best practices
Be Relevant With Your Copy
If you’re graduating from college, you shouldn’t have any information about what you did in high school. That may have been relevant while applying for internships early on in your college career, but right now, anyone reading your resume will not find high school achievements relevant.
If you’re young and don’t have much experience, then start getting involved in extra-curricular or some volunteer positions.
If you do have a lot of experience, then make sure that the most relevant experience is highlighted on your resume. Remember, a resume doesn’t have to be one-size fits all. You can fine-tune it to fit what each job description is looking for.
Cover Letter Tips
Quality Over Quantity
Many folks think that a cover letter is their chance to write all about every single achievement and work experience they have had up until this point. Unfortunately, that’s no way to get whoever is reading your cover letter to actually finish.
If someone sees your cover letter and they think it’s too long, they might not even read it altogether. So, avoid all that extra fluff that isn’t relevant to the job requirements and duties. Two average length paragraphs or three shorter ones can do the trick. If you’re struggling to fit your cover letter onto one page, then that’s way too long.
Try and shoot for half a page to 3/4. That’s the sweet spot.
Speak to the Most Important Qualifications
Branching off that last tip, make sure you’re picking the best attributes, skills, experience, and knowledge that you possess that are listed in the job description and requirements.
Avoid mentioning any experience that doesn’t have anything to do with the job you’re applying for. Also, make sure you can back up your claims. If you make it to the interview, there is a good chance what you wrote in your cover letter will be brought up. Interviewers can usually tell when you’re BSing your way through a question. So make sure you’re truthful in your cover letter.
Explain Why You’re Interested
Be enthusiastic in your cover letter. Don’t be afraid to throw in a little personality or humor. Recruiters and HR personnel may be reading hundreds of cover letters, and if you want yours to stand out, inject some personality into it.
Also, make sure you read up on the company itself and explain why it is you’re excited about the opportunity to work there. Dig around on their website or ask current employees what they like about the company and mention that in your cover letter. It’ll go a long way to illustrate that you’re not just applying for the position because you need the job, but because you WANT the job.