You’ve found an incredible career opportunity you want to pursue. You’ve polished up your resume and it is ready to go. All you need to do now is whip up a quick cover letter and send them to the hiring manager. Well, it’s not that simple. Don’t underestimate the importance of a well written cover letter and give it the time and attention it deserves. After all, this is the first thing the hiring manager will read, and you need to make a solid first impression. These five tips will help you generate a professional cover letter that will get you noticed.

Customize Your Letter to the Position

The objective of your cover letter is to get the hiring manager interested in reviewing your resume. You need to stand out from the crowd. A generic letter will not cut it. Experienced hiring managers can spot them from a mile away and they’re not going to be impressed. Tailor your letter to the specific job you are applying for. A good tip is to pull some keywords or phrases directly from the job posting. This shows that you are interested in the position they have. Also, address the letter to the hiring manager by name.

Avoid Jargon Speak

Remember these two rules of cover letter writing. Be yourself. Be professional. What I mean by this is keep your letter professional, but avoid using excessive jargon, clichés, and any other unnatural language. Writing something like, “I look forward to appropriately redefining client-based collaboration and idea-sharing in a world-class organization” will get you noticed, but not in a good way. Always use clear language.

Don’t Recite Your Resume

Your cover letter isn’t simply a device to rehash your resume. While your resume will have details of all of your skills and experience, your cover letter should highlight just a few key items. Select 2 – 3 skills or accomplishments that pair well with the job you are applying for. Dovetail these skills into the job requirements to demonstrate how you will be a valuable asset for the company.

Get to the Point

Just like your resume, your cover letter should be brief. Usually one page is sufficient, two at the most. Say what you need to say and thank them for the opportunity.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

Your cover letter is the first contact point the hiring manager will have with you. Typos, misspellings, and poor grammar reflect on your attention to detail and desire for the position. Proofread your letter carefully. Better yet, have a friend or colleague edit it for you. You are close to the letter and it can be easy to overlook an otherwise blaring mistake. A fresh set of eyes are a good idea.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.