5 tips for writing a cover letter that convinces you that you are the person for the job

A good cover letter is flawless, not too long and tells why you are suitable for the job. But on some vacancies, dozens of error-free application letters are received from suitable candidates.

Your letter should therefore convince the recruiter or company that you are the right person for the job. But how do you make sure that you stand out among all those other letters?

With these five tips, you write a convincing cover letter, and you know how to stand out in the right way.

Striking opening sentence

“Following your vacancy…” is probably the most used opening sentence of a cover letter and far from exciting. The person to whom you are writing the letter also knows that he or she has posted a vacancy online.

A striking opening sentence is important if you want to write a convincing cover letter. The person is immediately curious and wants to read on. Moreover, it shows that you have put a little more effort into the letter, making you appear enthusiastic.

Show you’ve done your homework

Perhaps you are desperately looking for a job, and this is already the thirtieth cover letter you send. Whatever your situation, the person reading the letter should feel like this vacancy is the only position you’re after. That means no superficial cover letter could have been sent to any other company.

Take a thorough look at the company’s website and be familiar with the company’s culture and operations. Make sure you have done your homework in your cover letter. Not by saying it, of course, but by indicating, for example, that work X or the philosophy of the company appeals to you enormously.

Get personal

Of course, the person reading the cover letter will check whether you are suitable for the job, but it will also certainly be checked whether you are enthusiastic and fit within the team. A convincing cover letter is, therefore, personal. And note: you don’t have to be jovial or informal for that.

What do we mean then? Give an example that shows that you are passionate about the work. Maybe you’re applying for a job as a recipe developer, and your love for cooking started as a small child if you were allowed to help grandma in the kitchen on Sunday evenings. Our brain remembers stories better than dry food, which is the way to stand out among a pile of letters that may all have the same training as you.

Name your achievements and not just your work experience

Nice that you fulfilled a certain position at company X, but what exactly did your work entail? What have you achieved? What did you learn there that will come in handy in the position for writing the cover letter? Example: “Maintain a customer base’” would be more appropriate to “expand the customer base from 30 to 80 customers in six months, yielding an average revenue of X amount per month”. Which description impresses the most?

Don’t use standard terms

Standard terms such as ‘flexible” and “team player”… are now so often used in a job application that many people’s hair stands on end. Moreover, they are also meaningless.

It is much better to give a concrete example from the past, which shows that you are a team player or flexible. The person who reads the vacancy will then conclude himself.

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