As we say frequently in our blog, job hunting isn’t easy. It takes work to find work. And applying for a job you really want adds an extra layer of anxiety. So what can you do to ensure that you get called in for an interview? Grab their attention—with your cover letter!

Many candidates don’t put much thought into the cover letter. Or worse, they don’t include one at all. The cover letter is your opportunity to  get your foot in the door. If you can pique the hiring manager’s interest, you can snag the interview. So how do you write a cover letter?

1. Include specific details about the position:

Sending a general cover letter is just about the worst thing you can do. If you have one cover letter you use for all applications, they will know. It’s clear when you’re just copying and pasting the job title and company name onto a generic template. If someone asked you out on a date in such a way, you’d be offended, right? In the same school of thought, you need to woo the hiring manager, not just do the bare minimum. Include details about the position—making sure to use some of the exact wording from the posting. This is going to set up what comes next—how your skills and experience relate to the position.

2. Show your Value:

Expand on your accomplishments listed on your resume. This is your opportunity to go into details about how your skills and experience relate to the position. Your education and work experience, volunteer experience, extracurricular activities, interests and hobbies. all help to explain why you’re the best choice for the job.

3. Let your personality shine

The cover letter gives you the chance to share your personality with the company. Because you’re awesome! Let them know how your character traits, interests and goals all align with the position—and why you’d be a great fit at the company. Just don’t get too informal—it’s best to err on the side of professionalism.

4. Make it personal

Make sure your cover letter is as personal as possible. It should be personalized to not just the company or department, but to the person who will be reading it. If you don’t know the name of that person, try your best to find out. If you can’t, it’s acceptable to address the letter to the “Hiring Manager.”

5. Check your spelling and grammar

Last but not least, make sure your spelling and grammar are perfect. It’s a good idea to have someone else look over it—a fresh pair of eyes never hurts. This seems like a no brainer, but check and then check again. If you misspell a common word—or worse, the name of the company or the hiring manager—you’re not likely to get an interview.

Keep these tips in mind and you should be able to write a compelling cover letter. If you’d like more help, reach out to the experts at TalentBridge for our career services today.