We know it is crucial to make great first impressions. The first impression most candidates make with employers is their cover letter, yet some technology professionals think cover letters are not worth their time. What they don’t realize is that including a cover letter makes a more favorable impression on a hiring manager than just a resume by itself.

Cover letters bring your resume and technical background to life by offering additional information and personalization. This can feel like a daunting task, so this blog post offers tips on writing effective cover letters that make you stand out from the crowd.

The Basics

Cover letters are a single page letter that show your excitement about a position and love for an industry in a professional manner. No matter how enthusiastic you are about a position, no cover letter should be longer than a page. Although it takes work, tailor your cover letters for each job you apply for. The rewards are worth it.

Breaking the Ice

One of the most difficult parts of writing a cover letter is figuring out how to begin. Start with a solid, professional greeting; “Dear” is the standard. Address the individual who will read the cover letter directly. Ask your recruiter, contact the company, or do research on LinkedIn to find the person’s name if it is not part of the information you have about the position.

From there, open with a paragraph that introduces yourself and details why you are applying for that position. Don’t feel tied to the typical “My name is —, and I am applying for — opening.” The best cover letters offer that information, but also draw the reader in. Remember, the hiring manager sees hundreds of cover letters, and you want yours to stand out (in a good way, of course).

The Middle

Middle paragraphs are where you apply your experience to the job opportunity. Do not rehash your resume here; instead, offer new information that doesn’t fit into the resume formula. Summarize particular accomplishments and tie those victories to requirements for the role and your technical skills.

The middle paragraphs are the most important section of your cover letter, as they tie your soft skills to technical skills. You want this section to be well-worded, as companies always look for candidates who easily combine “tech talk” and critical thinking. Having this skill helps differentiate you from other candidates.

Wrapping Up

Your final paragraph should express your appreciation for the reviewer’s time and offer action to move forward in the application process. A simple “Thank you for your time” followed by information about the best ways to contact you is an excellent start.

Once you have finished your cover letter, look over it for any errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Have your JDC Group recruiter take a look at it to make sure everything reads well and you didn’t miss any errors.

If you are looking for a new opportunity, we encourage you to take a look at our job board or to make an appointment with one of our recruitment specialists today.

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