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6 Ways to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

 

Your cover letter introduces you to a hiring manager. It helps the manager form an impression of you as a candidate.

Your cover letter also highlights why you are the best candidate for the position.  This impacts whether you are contacted for an interview.

As a result, you want your cover letter to be as effective as possible. The following suggestions can help.

Implement these six tips to help your cover letter stand out from all the rest.


1. Address the Hiring Manager

There are many ways to find the hiring manager’s name and include it in your greeting.

  • Check the job posting for the hiring manager’s name.
  • Use LinkedIn to determine the hiring manager.
  • Call the company to ask for the hiring manager’s name and title.

2. Promote Yourself

Share your enthusiasm for the position and company.

  • Relate your skills and experience to the job description and qualifications.
  • Demonstrate why you are best suited for the role.
  • Comment on the company mission or leadership to show you researched the organization.
  • Ask to follow up about the position.

3. Be Concise

Limit your cover letter to three paragraphs focused on different parts of your resume.

  • Begin with an attention-grabbing introduction that shows your enthusiasm for the role and organization.
  • Mention the employee who referred you, if applicable.
  • Highlight your most important skills, experience, and accomplishments that relate to the position.
  • Explain why you are well-qualified for the role.
  • State how you would add value to the organization.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their consideration.
  • Request a call or interview to follow up.

4. Customize Your Cover Letter

Tailor your cover letter to the role and company.

  • Tie the most important parts of the position to your skills and experience.
  • Point out how your contributions would be unique.
  • Use numbers to emphasize your accomplishments relevant to the role.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, company, and type of position.

5. Emphasize Your Accomplishments

Demonstrate how your achievements can benefit the company.

  • Share examples of the projects you worked on, the results you achieved, and how they impacted the organization.
  • Include the awards and recognition you received from previous employers.
  • Show you are a top performer who wants to grow along with the company.

6. Use Keywords

Pepper throughout your cover letter keywords and key phrases from the job description.

  • Keywords help your cover letter and resume pass an applicant tracking system (ATS).
  • The ATS scans for keywords to determine how closely a cover letter and resume match the skills and experience needed for the position.
  • The appropriate cover letters and resumes are sent to the hiring manager for review.
  • The hiring manager contacts the selected candidates for an interview.

Want Help with Your Job Search?

RightStone has IT positions that fit your goals and interests. Visit our job board today.


Charge Up Your IT Career by Upskilling

For the last decade, career advice has boiled down to a simple maxim: if you want a promotion, you need to change your job.

As more top-tier companies work to retain top talent, this advice no longer applies. Now, upskilling is one of the best ways to change the course of your career. By seeking new skills and reaching for new opportunities, you can find ways to move laterally or vertically in your company or into a new one.

Here’s how you can get started with upskilling in your career.

Make It a Habit to Learn Every Month

Upskilling works best when you commit to it long-term. However, you don’t need to enroll in a new certification or course every month. Instead, using bite-sized learning opportunities to pick up a new skill every month can help set you up for career-long learning.

Find something you’re passionate about, and get to grips with it piece-by-piece. You’ll find that you keep your learning achievable while also finding new ways to apply your lessons to your work today.

Learn from Team Members

Digital learning platforms are all the rage among Fortune 100 groups, but they can miss out on important learning opportunities that are right in front of you.

Your team members have more knowledge and skills than you know about. You can work together to ‘knowledge-share’ as a form of upskilling, which allows you to swap technical skills and practice teaching.

Invest in Your Soft Skills

Whether you work with technology or in technology, it’s important to remember that tech skills aren’t everything. Soft skills are also in need of continuous development, and they often get neglected.

Dedicate some of your time to developing yourself as a leader and a co-worker and honing your emotional intelligence. These skills will help you make the most of your tech skills and better position you for new opportunities.

Upskilling Can Change Your Life

Upskilling can do more than help you take the next step in your career. It’s also an opportunity to develop your passions, grow your life experiences, and enhance your ability to work and connect with others.

So whether your current employer offers a complete continuing education program or you need to cobble your learning experiences together on your own, upskilling is a worthwhile investment.

Are you looking to share your skills with the right client?  Visit RightStone’s job board to see what opportunities await you.


3 Reasons IT Professionals Should Consider Switching to Contract Work

In 2018, one in five U.S. jobs was a contract job, and the number continues to grow. By 2030, half of all workers could work on temporary contracts rather than a permanent basis.

An increasing number of IT jobs also fall in this category, and if you’re currently in a full-time role or looking for one, you might wonder if a contract job might suit you better.

Here’s when and why you should consider switching to contract work.

You Want a Pay Raise

The best way to get a pay raise in today’s economy is to get a new job. And one of the surefire ways to make sure the salary bump is more than negligible is to take on a contract.

Contract jobs pay roughly 20% more than full-time employment for two reasons. First, a contractor won’t get the same benefits. Though benefits vary by agency and contract, and we’ll come back to that later. Second, paying contractors looks different on a balance sheet than paying employees. Unlike employees, contractors aren’t a “fixed cost,” so clients are more willing to spend more even if they keep the contractor around as long as an employee.

You Are Returning to the Job Market

Getting your foot in the door for a permanent position can be tough if you have a gap in your employment history. Whether you are a new grad or returning to work after several years, employers still tend to overlook you for candidates already in a similar role.

Contract roles come with no strings attached, which makes it easier to step into them if your employment history works against you, in part because employers (and investors) see investing in contractors differently than a permanent employee, who costs more in the long run.

You Want to Specialize

It’s not uncommon to see a permanent IT post come with the responsibilities of an entire IT department in one role. Hiring managers want to get the most bang for their buck for permanent staff. If that expectation doesn’t appeal to you, then a contract job may suit you well.

Employers tend to bring on contractors for specific and often specialist roles. If you want to increase your knowledge and experience in areas like cybersecurity, data center management, or ERP, you may find you have more opportunities as a contractor.

Becoming a consultant can open up a whole new world of work for many IT professionals.

Are you looking for your next role?

Visit our jobs board and get in touch to learn more about how we place IT consultants with the perfect client.


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