If you aren't getting much response from prospective employers, perhaps you should spice up your cover letter. A great cover letter can set you apart from the other candidates, illustrating your strengths, creativity and communication style. Many cover letters follow the standard format and all read the same, which can be boring to hiring managers. Adding some personality to your writing will help you shine like a beautiful diamond in the rough.
Avoid Repeating Yourself
The hiring manager already has your resume, so you don't need to regurgitate all of the information in it -- you'll only bore the reader. Your cover letter is a narrative, not a list. Write about your interest in the company, your passion for your work and why you are applying. You want to convey emotion. Showing your feelings will help the hiring manager separate you from all of the other candidates.
Use the old phrase, "Keep it Simple, Stupid," as your mantra. Your goal is to get your point across quickly. In one page, engage the reader without using jargon, excessively verbose language, or words you chose from the thesaurus. Instead of sounding smart, you'll end up coming off as pretentious. You should keep your letter conversational, flowing and short. "Forbes" suggests putting the juicy information at the start of your letter to hook the reader.
Address a Person
Avoid the norm by not using the "To Whom It May Concern" robotic intro. Address a person. In most cases, you will know who the hiring manager is. If you do not know, call the organization and ask. Use their full name and title. Putting in the extra effort will not only impress the hiring manager, but will show your diligence and willingness to go the extra mile.
Add Some Sparkle
Choose words that illustrate your enthusiasm, using personal anecdotes to showcase your experience and background. When writing of your qualifications, write passionately and favorably about your craft. For example, "Since I was a child, I always loved writing. I began writing short stories as a ten-year-old, and haven't stopped since. This passion for writing fuels my desire to work for your magazine, where I can work on a team of fellow lifelong writers."
Lisa Hope is a professional writer and entrepreneur. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism, specializing in online media, and a master's in mass communications specializing in social media, both from the University of Florida. She is a professor of communications, a novelist, and the founder of a firm that specializes in resume review.