Normally dismissed in the application process, a cover letter can catapult yourself into landing that initial interview.
Hence why it is important to know what a cover letter is.
I know it seems harsh, but when a hiring manager sees any one of these things, she reads it as, “I didn’t take my time with this, and I don’t really care about working here.” So she’s likely to pass.
Another thing I look for in this initial read-through is tone.
(Yes, every single time.) When a hiring manager sees that, she won’t think, “How thoughtful of the applicant to remind me what I’m reading!
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” Her reaction will be much closer to, “boring,” “meh,” or even “next!It could be something about you or an aspect of the job description that you’re really drawn to.Then, open a blank document and just free-write (translation: write whatever comes to mind) for 10 minutes.Some of the sentences you come up with will sound embarrassing or lame: That’s fine–no one has to see those!Look for the sentence that’s most engaging and see how it reads as the opening line for your cover letter.Sure, you might still include lists of skills, but break those up with anecdotes or splashes of personality.A couple lines like this will not only lighten up your letter, but also highlight your soft skills.I got the point across that I’m a take-charge problem solver, without saying, “I’m a take-charge problem solver.” Plus the “(gracefully)” shows that I don’t take myself too seriously–even in a job application.If your submission follows the same list-type format all the way through, see if you can’t pepper in an example or anecdote that’ll add some personality.Based on my own experience putting people in the “yes” (and “no”) pile, I’m able to give these cover letters a quick scan and immediately identify what’ll turn a hiring manager off.While I can’t give you insight into person’s head who’ll be reading your materials, I can share with you the feedback that I give my own loved ones.