Cover Letter: How to Write One that Catches a Recruiter's Eye

October 3, 2022

A cover letter is sometimes as important to landing a job as simply applying for the position. According to the Sturm College of Law, a cover letter is crucial in encouraging potential employers to pull you in for an interview, as well as communicating the “intangibles” that are not readily apparent from your resume. Cover letters aren't the only things that lead to getting interviews, but they certainly contribute significantly. While you could opt for SeeMeHireMe's system of reaching out to employers, you'll still need something that sets you apart. The cover letter is an ideal way to do so. Yet all cover letters aren't designed the same way. What are the things that make for the perfect cover letter? Let's take a look at what your cover letter should include in this post.

woman typing on a laptop

Part 1: The Cover Letter Lead

When you start your cover letter, you want the reader to know who you are and why you're writing to them. Your lead should clearly state both of these elements. Unlike typical essay writing, your cover letter should strike a balance between formal and informal. Using anecdotes to highlight your interest in a position isn't a bad idea. However, it's imperative that you use a story that relates to the industry or the topic at hand. Trying to shoehorn an anecdote into your cover letter because it's what you think the reader expects could very well have disastrous consequences. The same goes for humor since there's no telling what the reader's sense of humor is like. The lead should invite the reader to continue reading your cover letter till the end.

Part 2: Evidence of a Fit

One of the most crucial parts of a cover letter is establishing your fit for the role you're applying for. Ideally, it would help if you had worked or studied in an industry adjacent to the one you're applying to. If you haven't, you should consider looking at practical positions you've held with similar skills and responsibilities that might carry over to the new industry you're trying to break into. The point you're trying to highlight here is the value you'll bring to the company. The job description will give clues about approaching this part of the letter.

Part 3: Close With Intention

A common mistake many job seekers make is going for the "hard sell," where they give the employer an ultimatum. Under no circumstances should you do something like this. Instead, offer them options and ensure that you say you're applying for a particular position at their offices. You want a strong ending highlighting your fit with their company and a statement of your intent to be their next hire. You don't want to give them set deadlines or demands since that would be too pushy and ruin your chances of getting called for an interview. And while you absolutely do not want to come off as being pushy, you should use a tone that is direct and enthusiastic. And while this is a fine balance to strike, it will be worthwhile when as prospective employees are more likely to take you seriously.