By Jennifer Haddad
I recently had a hiring manager reach out to me, lamenting how few cover letters they see included with resumes anymore. Over the past few years, it seems cover letters have become less common among jobseekers for entry-level engineering positions, which could be a missed opportunity. Cover letters are an excellent way for applicants to introduce themselves to the company and set themselves apart from the competition. In the engineering industry, hiring managers and job seekers could benefit from a return to cover letters. Here are three tips for job applicants to help them make their cover letters stand out.
Take the time to customize your cover letter for the position and organization to which you are applying. This small act can demonstrate to hiring managers that you are the type of candidate who cares about the details and is willing to put in the effort. A generic cover letter template that references your "interest in the position at your company" does not present the image of a candidate who is very interested in the role. If you choose not to customize your cover letter, you may be better off omitting the cover letter altogether.
Highlight the key points of your resume by working them into your cover letter. The resume showcases what you have done; let the cover letter showcase what you could do next. Take the opportunity to paint an image for the hiring manager of how you could apply your past skills, education, and experience to their position. Your cover letter should be brief, so plan to pick out only one or two points to highlight about your work or educational history. If you want to really make your cover letter impress, tie your highlighted experiences back to the job's core responsibilities.
Do not be afraid to let your personality show! Explain why you are interested in this company and what excites you about the position. Talk about what inspires you to pursue this line of work. Taking a sentence or two to display your professional passion and energy can make you memorable to the hiring manager.
By following these three tips, you can distinguish your application from other candidates, putting you on the right track toward landing the engineering job you want.
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