Cover letters can be pretty boring, and some hiring managers don't bother looking at them at all. If you want yours to stand out, you'll need to make a great impression. Think about how you would thank that company for hiring you, and start your letter there. The Glassdoor Blog runs down several useful ways to make your cover letter stand out that don't begin with "Dear sir or madam, I'd like to apply for the position of X. This is a great way to show your interest in your cover letter.
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I was told the other day that my communication style as interpreted by cover letters I sent had changed dramatically for the better over three years. Thanks for that! I started work at Tapstream as of this January. Thanks to my strong apparently? Ben, the co-founder of Tapstream, is a serial entrepreneur of sorts. Yesterday, he mentioned to me that he found a cover letter that I had sent Blitware three years ago, when I graduated university and was looking for work. Three years can mean a huge difference in skills these days, but mostly he was impressed, he says, just how different my communication style was then and now, which I found really interesting.
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Imagine showing up for a job interview a little tipsy wearing mismatched clothes and then talking for the entire time about things not related to the job. Most people would never do that -- yet they make that level of mistake on their cover letter. Your cover letter is essentially a pre-interview. It's how the employer can learn the things about you that aren't shown on a resume. If you waste that opportunity, you may simply never get an interview, let alone have a real chance at the job.
In my experience in hiring, this is the opposite: we don't get may cover letters if any , and never require one. The article is right. The cover letter gives you a chance to jump out from the resume format and do some marketing for yourself. I wasnt getting much response with a dry cover letter, so I rewrote it with a more informal upbeat tone adding humor and even threw in snippets of song lyrics I kid you not.