Most probably you have read various tips & tricks on how to write the best cover letter, the one that will open the door to success for you. Some of these tips & tricks are for sure useful, but most of them will rather be harmful than beneficial for your application because most tips & tricks are too standard, and your cover letter will be not outstanding but one of the many.
What are the highlights of preparing a non-standard cover letter:
Advice #1 – The Design. Choose a design which is suitable for the position you are applying for. For most business positions a simple design is the best one – one color, one font, one font size, no extras such as bold, italic, or underline font, no photos, no background color. Remember, your cover letter should look smart.
Advice #2 – The Length. The perfect length is 3/4 of a page up to 1 page. If it is more, it becomes too long and honestly people who will read it in most cases won’t have the desire or the extra time to read a “novel” and your cover letter won’t get the needed attention. What about a shorter version of your cover letter in case you can’t think of anything else that will be a plus to your application if added? Of course, it is better to avoid writing nonsense just to add up some more lines to your cover letter; however, keep in mind that your cover letter should not be shorter than a half page, otherwise, it looks like a short notice or a sticky note, and again it won’t fulfil its purpose.
Advice #3 – The Content. Please avoid clichés in case you would like to have an outstanding rather than a standard cover letter. Please try to avoid phrases such as “I read the job posting for position “X” at your company on website “X” (specifying which job offering site & giving its web address) when you are applying through that same website”, of course, obviously you have read the add there and what value does this sentence bring to your application – no value at all; it just shows that you are one of the many. Other phrases to avoid are: “The company meets my expectations…”, “We can benefit from each other…”, “You are the best company for me…”, “Here I can develop my potential because you look different…”, etc. They might sound good to you and you might think that by giving positive “marks” to the company your chance of getting hired is increasing; on the contrary, the Hiring team is interested in what you can bring to the company – experience, education, skills, competences, etc.
Advice #4 – Your presentation. Remember that the purpose of the cover letter is to present yourself in the best possible light, so write down the things you are proud of and you consider valuable for the company and position you are applying for. Be honest, be realistic, don’t read too many manuals, don’t copy the cover letters of your brother, sister, boyfriend, best friend, etc. because you are not the same person. Don’t write that you have great communication skills, if you lack them, because this can be easily checked and will be checked at the interview. Maybe, you don’t have great communication skills, but you have extraordinary analytical skills, write this instead. Write down the skills & competences you possess, your own ambitions, professional goals and desired career development; be yourself, not one of the many.