5 cover letter openers to land you an interview
The cover letter is one of the most critical factors that affect parts of your job application. It needs to make a great first impression and set you apart from other applicants. When we think about what makes a good opening, there are two things that come to mind: making an introduction and stating why you’re writing. This blog post will explore 5 different ways you can start your cover letter to get the attention of recruiters.
1. Introduce your interest in the role
This is probably more relevant for those of you who are approaching employers cold. Essentially, this opener is just a simple introduction to the company and the role that you’re applying for. This can be as easy as: “I was recently introduced to your company by Jane Smith at ABC Corp, and I’m very interested in learning more about your digital marketing analyst opening.” It might sound cliche slightly, but it’s short and sweet and gets the job done. Many employees apply to jobs without doing any research, so this will give recruiting managers an indication that you put some thought into your application before submitting it.
2. Highlight a connection
Similar to our first tip highlighting a connection with the employer is a great way to get the attention of recruiting managers. If you have any sort of connection with the company, this is your opportunity to let them know! Did you meet one of their employees at an industry conference? Do you have a friend in common on LinkedIn? Let them know it’s what encouraged you to apply for this role. Here’s an example: “I was recently introduced to ABC Corp by Jane Smith, and I’m very interested in applying for your digital marketing analyst position based on my past experience working in that department.” It is critical to make sure not to be too forward! Recruiters (especially those managing the applications) will be quick to dismiss your application if they feel like you applied for the job because you know someone.
3. Make an observation about the company
Sometimes when human beings are faced with information overload, we don’t have time to read everything in its entirety. If hiring managers see 500 applicants for one role, they might only read the first sentence of each cover letter, if that. If you throw some humour into your opener or make an observation about the company, then you’re more likely to stand out from other candidates. Even if it doesn’t get the recruiting manager to laugh out loud, it will grab their attention and pique their interest enough to want to find out more about who’s writing this application. “Your company was recently on Inc Magazine’s ’30 under 30′ list for social media marketing which is impressive considering your size!” This intro isn’t too long, and it’s also catchy enough to make an impact.
4. State your case
This opener is slightly more formal than the previous ones we’ve discussed, but I think it still has a place in today’s job market. If you’re looking for work, then you need to be aggressive about getting yourself noticed! This approach will stand out from other candidates who simply state their names and what position they want at the top of their letter. Here’s an example: “I’m writing with regards to the Digital Marketing Analyst role which was recently advertised on LinkedIn. My background as a data analyst, ability to perform SEO audits, and general interest in digital marketing makes me a perfect fit for this role.” This intro gets straight to the point and gives a brief overview of your skills and what you can bring to the company. Plus, it’s a great way to use LinkedIn as a selling point for why you should be hired.
5. Thank them
Finally, if you want to go down the simplest route, just thank the recruiter or hiring manager for their time. Everyone likes being appreciated, so don’t forget to say “thank you” before making your case! Here’s an example: “Thank you for taking the time to review my application for ABC Corp’s digital marketing analyst role.” In reality, this approach isn’t going to make a dramatic impact on managers or recruiters, but it certainly won’t hurt your chances either. Sometimes other applicants might submit something better than what you’ve written, so if you’re still waiting to hear back, then don’t sweat it. Just say thanks, smile, and continue your search!
Combining these factors will make you stand out! It’s easy to see why most recruiters only glance over applications. Still, by ensuring something is interesting in your first couple of sentences or highlighting your interest in the company or role you’re applying for right off the bat, you’ll instantly grab their attention and increase your chances of being selected for an interview.