AMRRA Monthly Newsletter

Working From Home

 7 Great Remote Jobs, Hiring Now
Remote- Medical Record Review Positions

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With an ever-increasing number of companies transitioning to long-term remote work, the availability of remote jobs has also steadily increased.

This is great news for job seekers looking for remote work, but it also leads to a very competitive job market as workers compete for those coveted work-from-home jobs. So how does a job seeker stand out in today’s remote job marketplace? Job search success begins with knowing which career categories hire for the most remote jobs and what skills those careers require.

10 ways to improve Your Cover Letter

Here are 10 tips to improve your cover letter.

1. Highlight Top Achievements

Find two or three accomplishments from your resume that are relevant to the role, and weave them into your cover letter. As long as you don’t repeat them word for word, it won’t come across as regurgitating your resume in your cover letter.

Try rephrasing the bullet from your resume by attributing each accomplishment to a role and company your resume.

2. Explain Your Goals

An important part of improving your cover letter includes describing why you want to work in this role at this company. An equally essential factor is explaining why the hiring manager should hire you and how you will solve any problems they’re facing.

To make your cover letter shine, though, try explaining how the company or role fits into your long-term career plans.

Is this job the next logical step up the career ladder for you? Are you changing careers, and this position is the best way for you to gain the experience you need to go further? Does the company offer training you can’t find anywhere else? Whatever it is, it can help the hiring manager get a deeper, fuller picture of who you are as a professional.

3. Use Keywords Effectively

As important as it is to use keywords on your resume, using them on your cover letter is just as important.

The cover letter is one more opportunity to explain why you’re a perfect fit for the role using the same language that the employer speaks. And, if your cover letter is scanned by an applicant tracking system, those additional keywords could help your application rank higher than others.

4. Tell a Narrative

Your cover letter should tell a story. Whether it’s about your progression from intern to VP of Sales or describing your most rewarding experience with a startup, you can leave a huge impact on the employer by drawing a parallel between the accomplishment and how you plan to leverage that experience in a new role.

5. Use Action Verbs

 Words like “very,” “really,” and “extremely” are examples.

Instead of filling your cover letter with words that don’t pack much of a punch, try using action verbs. These powerful words can help an employer picture you in the role, getting things done.

Rewrite your sentences to include action verbs. For example, instead of saying “As part of my duties,” substitute “improved” or “conceptualized” for “duties.”

6. Make It Meaningful

Soft skills are just as important as hard skills to employers—your problem-solving skills and creativity are in just as much demand as your coding and math skills. However, soft skills aren’t always easy to quantify in a cover letter,

so use the STAR method to illustrate these sought-after skills and give them more meaning.

Give an example of a time you used your soft skill to solve a problem for an employer and quantify the outcome when you can. “I used my customer service skills to help clients identify which problems our products could help them overcome, resulting in an 89% close rate on all new sales.”

7. Personalize It

To take your cover letter to the next level, address it to a specific person. With any luck, the posting tells you exactly who to address your cover letter to. When it doesn’t, it’s time well-spent to search out a name via the company website, LinkedIn, or even social media.

That said, sometimes you just can’t figure it out, so it’s acceptable to go with “Dear Hiring Manager.”

8. Keep It Short and Sweet

As a rule, your cover letter should not be more than one page long. If you find yourself on a second (or even third!) page, try using the following formula to help you pare it down.

  • Salutation (Dear Hiring Manager)

  • Introductory paragraph (why you’re applying for the job)

  • Middle paragraph (here’s why you should hire me)

  • Closing (thanks for your time, here’s how to contact me)

9. Call to Action

It’s common to end a cover letter with “I look forward to hearing from you.” While that may be, it doesn’t help your cover letter stand out. Instead, end with a call to action that helps the hiring manager understand how your skills and experience will contribute to the company’s overall success.

Here are some examples:

  • I look forward to discussing with you how my skills can contribute to (company name)’s progress toward (specific goal).

  • I’m excited to talk about how I can help (company name) with (a problem it is facing).

10. Proofread

Attention to detail is a sought-after skill. Prove to the employer that you possess this skill by sending out an error-free cover letter (and resume!).

After reading, editing, rereading, and re-editing your cover letter, though, you may not catch every error. And though your word processing program and third-party programs (like Grammarly) can help, they may not catch every mistake.

Not sure you want to share your cover letter with anyone just yet? Try reading it backward or changing the font. This forces you to slow down and can help you catch mistakes you might otherwise miss.

Your New and Improved Cover Letter

Keeping these tips in mind can help you create a cover letter that stands out from other applicants. And that can get you that much closer to an interview and a brand new job making more money!

 

Want a little advice for creating your own cover letters? AIMRRA's members get heavily discounted career coaching, access to our fully vetted flexible and remote job database, and much more. Learn about the benefits of a AIMRRA's membership today.