A greatcan make or break your chances of landing your dream job. While it may seem unfair to put so much stock in a single part of your application, you need to put yourself in the position of the employer. It’s likely they have several people applying for the same position, so the cover letter is your chance to make a favorable impression. If your letter is drab or full of simple errors, it sends the message that you don’t care enough about the job or the employer to do your best.
With that in mind, we have three qualities of a great cover letter that you should consider as you write yours.
1. A Great Cover Letter is Well-Written
Okay, this might seem obvious (and a little redundant), but it’s really that important, perhaps the most important aspect of your letter. You can disagree all you want, but if a cover letter has even a handful of errors, you will look either unintelligent, lazy, or both.
Seriously. If you can’t take the time to produce a cover letter that is error-free, why should your potential employer trust your work? You’ll be competing against applicants whose letters are perfect, so make yours perfect too. Don’t just read it a couple of times off the screen. Print it out, and read it aloud. Give it to a couple of (literate) friends to read as well. Don’t be too proud. Ask for help.
2. A Great Cover Letter is Direct
You may have the greatest anecdote in the world involving ice fishing, a polar bear, and an alien spaceship, but a cover letter isn’t the place to share it. Keep in mind that the person reading your letter will likely be reading dozens of these letters if not more. While your storytelling skills and beautiful prose may be solid assets, you need to save them for the right time. In your cover letter, you want to introduce yourself briefly and state succinctly why you’re a good fit for the job. Your prospective employer will be more impressed by your pith than your prose.
3. A Great Cover Letter is Personalized
If you want to make sure that you don’t get a job, go ahead and send a letter that begins “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” and provides a generic introduction to you and your particular skill set. Really, nothing screams “apathy” like simply copying and pasting a generic cover letter that demonstrates no awareness of a specific position or employer.
If you really want to show a prospective employer that you’re a right fit for the job, then you need to take the time to research the specific position appropriately. Show why you are a good fit for this job and not just any job. And you simply must address the letter to the person who will actually be reading it.
Hopefully, these tips will help you land your perfect job by writing a great cover letter. You do need to make sure, however, that your cover letter is properly formatted and grabs the reader’s attention, like in these examples. You also want to maximize your time.
An excellent resource is LiveCareer’s Cover Letter Builder. This online tool lets you focus on the important task of selling yourself while taking care of the formatting with hundreds of quality templates. If you have writer’s block, the Cover Letter Builder offers pre-written samples to get your creative juices flowing. With a free trial available, there’s nothing to lose.
Personal Skills List and Examples
List of Personal Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews
When organizations hire, they seek employees with the personal skills and attributes to successfully interact with others in the workplace, and complete assignments well and on time.
Personal skills are those that allow you to interact with others, express yourself, and manage yourself. Your personal skills shape not only the way you work, but also the way you live your daily life.
Personal skills are not hard skills that you can quantify and measure, like computer programming skills or legal knowledge.
Instead, they are soft skills – qualities or attitudes that a person demonstrates.
Below is a list of five personal skills that employers often want in an employee, as well as a longer list of other personal skills.
Why Employers Value Personal Skills
Personal skills are critical to almost any job. Someone with strong personal skills generally works well with employers, employees, colleagues, clients, and vendors. They can communicate ideas clearly, and listen well to others.
Someone with strong person skills also typically has a positive attitude in the workplace. This is critical to creating a strong company culture.
They also bring success to their companies. They are often responsible employees that people can rely on for help, and they meet deadlines and complete tasks. People with strong personal skills are also often motivated and passionate about their work, which contributes to their success.
Overall, employers look for job candidates with strong personal skills because they make the office a better place to work, and they complete their work successfully.
How to Use Skills Lists
You can use these skills lists throughout your job search process. Firstly, you can use these skill words in your resume.
In the description of your work history, you might want to use some of these words.
Secondly, you can use these in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, you can mention one or two of these skills, and give a specific example of a time when you demonstrated those skills at work.
Finally, you can use these skill words in your interview. Make sure you have at least one example for a time you demonstrated each of the top five skills listed here.
Of course, each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully, and focus on the skills listed by the employer.
Also review our lists of skills listed by job and type of skill.
Top Five Personal Skills
Employers want employees who are able to solve problems on their own using creative thinking and thoughtful analysis. Critical thinkers are useful in every industry, from healthcare to engineering to education.
Dependability is a very important quality in an employee. Employers want someone who is reliable and responsible. These kinds of employees can be trusted with more responsibilities, and might become strong leaders and managers.
Flexibility is important in many jobs.
Many jobs require employees to juggle multiple tasks at the same time. Flexible employees are able to perform more than one task at the same time.
Being flexible might also be useful for shift work, which requires employees to work at various times. A flexible person would be able to work when needed, on whatever project is assigned.
Interpersonal skills, also known as people skills, are those related to how you communicate and interact with those around you. Employers want employees who can get along well with their employers, their colleagues, and clients. People with interpersonal skills are also more likely to work well in teams.
Employers look for employees who are positive and passionate about their jobs, and are motivated. Motivated employees tend to put the most effort into their work.
A – G
- Critical thinking
- Detail oriented
H - M
N - S
- Nonverbal communication
- Problem solving
- Sense of humor
T – Z
Skills Lists: Employment Skills Listed by Job | Lists of Skills for Resumes | Skills Not to Put on Your Resume
Related Articles:Soft vs. Hard Skills | How to Include Keywords in Your Resume | List of Keywords for Resumes and Cover Letters