When it comes to securing that coveted first round interview, a carefully crafted cover letter can spark interest in a way that a resume, however impressive, simply can't.
Let's find out how this cover letter helped Amanda land multiple offers from top-tier management consulting firms and bulge bracket investment banks!
To start, you must hook the reader by mentioning a connection with the company. This is crucial—it gives them a compelling reason to continue reading and learn why you're a standout candidate.
Amanda began her cover letter by challenging a common notion about entry-level consultant positions. She then revealed that her experience with various industry professionals led her to believe that Ernst and Young stands apart from the rest.
The key to doing this effectively is by conducting thorough research:
Remember to relate this connection with the recruiter or hiring manager. For example, rather than saying you'll innovate the next iPhone when applying to Apple, you could talk about Apple's focus on privacy and its impact on the advertising industry.
This will show your understanding of broader industry contexts and trends.
Next, be intentional about the information you include. Every sentence in your cover letter should serve a purpose.
Amanda didn't waste words reiterating information that was already in her resume. Instead, she used her cover letter to expand on the initial hook and highlight achievements relevant to the role she was applying for.
She demonstrated her problem-solving and project management skills, her experience with large-scale projects, and her punctuality—all key factors for recruiters.
While concluding, she reinforced her strong desire to join the company, showcasing a bit of her personality and how her unique experiences made her an asset.
Lastly, the visual presentation of your cover letter is paramount. An intuitive, reader-friendly format with attention to white space can make a significant difference.
Utilize design elements such as colored accents to add personality while maintaining a professional look.
Including a relevant job title right below your name is beneficial too, as cover letters are often scanned for keywords.
So, let's circle back to the initial point about evoking emotion. After reading Amanda's cover letter, the recruiter perceives her as witty, skilled, and driven—traits deserving at least a first round interview.
Following these tips can help you too in crafting a cover letter that leaves a lasting impression and secures that all-important interview call.
Then you might want to check out my guide on how to use ChatGPT for Job Search!