The Cover Letter Debate

Cover letter, or no cover letter? Different hiring managers have different perceptions on this. One argument is that it depends on the position you are applying to, however, that doesn’t ring true for jobs on ZippyApp. On average and across all types of jobs on our platform, users who attach a cover letter get contacted 50% more than those who don’t — that’s a huge difference!

So now that you know you do need a cover letter to up your chances of landing the job, the question becomes how do you write a cover letter that will get you noticed? Here are some pointers to get you started!

For starters, it’s important to know the purpose of a cover letter. One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is that they repeat the information that is in their resume or application. This is a sure way to get your application passed over. Hiring managers don’t want to read information they know will be in your application. Instead, use your cover letter to entice hiring managers to learn more about you, and want to look at your application. Be sure to highlight and explain why you are the best fit for the position.  A great way to think about this is to put yourself into the hiring managers shoes — explain how you will solve their problem.

The biggest challenge when applying for a job is making yourself stand out. Using the right keywords is a great way to get noticed! The company’s profile and job description on ZippyApp is a great start in obtaining the right keywords. For example, a key part of Asian Box’s job descriptions is to be “friendly,” while being a “team player” is a requirement of joining the CREAM team. In a cover letter to Asian Box, you might say “my friendly and outgoing personality will provide a better customer experience, which will contribute to more repeat customers.” Not only are you using keywords Asian Box is looking for, you are also explaining how you will fix their problem.

Here is an example cover letter:

Mary Smith

March 3, 2015,

Dear Hiring Manager,

I wish to apply for the Server position with The Counter team, which is advertised here on ZippyApp. I have no doubt I have the capabilities of handling all requirements of the position, and have included my application for your review.

My excellent people skills will provide memorable dining experiences for customers, in-turn providing repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals. I am currently attending San Jose State University, where I am studying Hospitality Management and want to pursue a career in restaurant management. I also worked as a Host and a Server at Spaghetti Factory, and can provide you with glowing references from past managers.

I would welcome the opportunity to speak more with you about what I have been doing in detail, and would love to hear more about this position. Thank you so much for considering my application today!

Best Regards,

Mary Smith

Key Take-Aways:

  • Tailor your cover letter for each job you are applying to.
  • Use keywords specific to each company to make your cover letter stand out.
  • Don’t repeat the information hiring managers will find in your application.
  • Do highlight and explain why you are the best fit for the position.
  • Explain to hiring managers how you will solve their problem.
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