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A cover letter is a sheet you provide in addition to your resume. While your resume is for tasks and accomplishments throughout your career, the cover letter focuses more on your personality and skills. In other words: you get to have a bit of fun! Knowing what to include in your cover letter could be the difference between getting the job and never getting a callback. Discover Vegas Ink & Toner experts’ five key features you need for a successful cover letter!
Make It Personal (To Them)
Think of the last time you got a mailer from a local company. Did it have your name on it? If so, did you take the time to look at it instead of tossing it in the trash? Studies have shown people subconsciously bond with something that calls them by name, rather than just saying ‘resident’ or ‘hiring manager.’ You want to make sure you’re addressing the correct person in your cover letter. Using ‘hiring manager’ or ‘to whom it may concern’ can show you aren’t knowledgeable of the company structure or don’t care enough to make a custom cover letter for the job. Do a bit of research on LinkedIn or call the company to see who’s going to be receiving your resume, then address it to them specifically.
Proofread Every Single Line
While it’s not a physical feature you can incorporate with the click of a button, proofreading is an absolute must on your cover letter. Think of your cover letter as your first impression, often even before the resume! Incorrect information can work against you in significant ways. Typos show you don’t bother checking your work before submitting it. Inaccurate data, like the wrong date, shows a lack of attention to detail. Whatever you do, proofread every single line! Check dates, check names, and check your spelling before hitting send.
Quality Cover or Resume Paper
The display of something is almost as important as what it says. To really ‘wow’ the hiring manager, consider printing your cover letter on a high-quality paper. Linen-like papers and high gloss options are both popular and readily available through Vegas Ink & Toner. Depending on the job, you may even want to go with extra flair by using colored or sparkling paper. Paper varieties have increased in the modern market, so shop around and find something that fits your personality!
Stick to the Three-Paragraph Rule
Often called the T-Rule, the three-paragraph rule is an excellent way to ensure your cover letter is digestible to anyone reading it. Simply put, the three-paragraph rule breaks your cover letter into three sections. The first section is an opening paragraph where you talk about how you heard about the position and what draws you to it. In the second paragraph, talk about what makes you the perfect fit for the post. These can be hard skills gleaned through work experience or soft skills like how much of a people person you are! For the closing paragraph, wrap it all up! Express your enthusiasm for the position and company and provide contact information when they decide to move forward.
A Shining Personality
The most important feature your cover letter should feature is you. You can have the same work experience as another candidate. Still, if the hiring manager feels your personality is a better fit based on your cover letter, you could nail the job while the other equally qualified person doesn’t. Since you never know what hiring managers are looking for, keep your cover letter personal to you. If you’re a colorful personality who thrives on creativity. Think of how you want the person receiving your cover letter to feel. A thick, excellent paper from Vegas Ink and Toner could impress them, while a high-quality print with vibrant colors from your laser or inkjet printer could show them you’re a creative person who provides high-quality work.
Incorporate these five key features to stand out among the crowd! Contact Vegas Ink and Toner or give us a call today!