While some people claim that the cover letter isn’t that important, many hiring managers disagree. In fact, for those who are sifting through countless applications, the cover letter is often what makes or breaks their decision to bring you in for an interview.
Generic cover letters usually don’t communicate explicit interest in a position, which can in turn give the impression that you don’t really value this particular job at this particular company.
A piece in The Muse explains the importance of adequately expressing excitement for a job — and how to do so without coming across as desperate. According to the article, reworking two common cover-letter sentences can help position you as a candidate worthy of an interview:
Original: I have dreamed about working at [organization] for years.
Revised: I noticed the company has recently shifted toward [X].
Anyone can claim that he/she has “always wanted to work at [company Y].” But a statement like that is nondescript and could be referring to any organization. By including a specific detail about the group — e.g., a recent change they have undergone or something that sets them apart from others in the industry — you are showing a vested interest in the company and that you’re paying attention.
Original: I want this job more than you can believe.
Revised: I was excited to see that one of the main responsibilities of the job is [X].
Similar to the first example, you want to avoid sounding vague. By calling out one of the job’s requirements, you can then connect it to your skills and experience and how you can help the company succeed.
It’s important to remember that while overall enthusiasm is great, in order to really stand out you need to address why you’re excited and what you are going to contribute.
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