Anyone who is looking for a job or has already been there before knows the feeling: the perfect job advertisement seems to have been found, the résumé for the application is written quickly and can usually be reused for other applications.
Writing a cover letter, on the other hand, often takes a lot of time and causes frustration for many. But the effort can be worth it.
A survey by ResumeLab of 200 recruiting managers found that 83 percent of recruiters invite applicants with a convincing cover letter for an interview, even if their résumé does not perfectly match the job posting.
Ian Siegel, head of the US job portal ZipRecruiter, explains in an interview with the US news broadcaster CNBC what is important when writing a cover letter for an application and how you can get recruiters excited about yourself.
The first impression counts
A well-written cover letter should express your enthusiasm for the job and help the company better assess your character. However, this is exactly what many applicants find difficult.
According to Siegel, there is popular advice on cover letters out there that is unfortunately wrong. The result: ” [Das Anschreiben] is then more of a demonstration of your own communication skills and an attempt to write a short summary of your own skills and experiences. ”
Using the cover letter to list one’s qualifications is a big mistake, according to Siegel. After all, this information should already be visible on your resume. “In fact, the biggest mistake an applicant can make is starting their cover letter by talking about themselves.”
Similar to a first meeting, it also makes a better impression in the cover letter to first show interest in the other person than if you only talk about yourself. Talk about the company you’re applying to and why you would love to work there.
Convince with your enthusiasm!
The great art is to infect HR managers with your enthusiasm within a very short time and to get yourself noticed. So ask yourself why you want to apply to this company of all places. Which vision or which product do you love? “Show enthusiasm, show that you’ve researched, and show that you want to get involved and make a contribution,” says Siegel.
He recommends starting the cover letter with the following sentence: “I am very pleased to apply for this position because …”
This approach not only gives the company the chance to better understand you and your motivations. The question of what excites you about the company or the position also helps you to be clear about which job you are particularly enthusiastic about and in which application you want to invest a lot of time.