If you’re a longtime listener, you know that the average Human Resources manager spends less than 10 seconds reading your cover letter. There are ways to make that “quick read” work to your advantage. This comes from Evelyn Salvador, author of the book Step-by-Step Cover Letters:

  • First: Come up with your own slogan. Salvador says what you want is a one-line description of your talents. For example, if you want a teaching job, add something like: “Helping students take positive steps toward their future.” If you’re after a sales job, try, “Meeting challenges, overcoming obstacles and closing deals.” Put your slogan where it’s likely to grab the hiring manager’s eye, like under your name in the heading, or in italics near the bottom.  
  • The 2nd item that’ll make your cover letter stand out: Testimonials. In addition to listing your credentials, include a quote from a performance review or letter of recommendation that backs up your accomplishments.
  • The final way to help your cover letter stand out from the crowd: End it with a mission statement. In other words, point out how your career goals will help your next employer. So, a teacher might say, “My goal is to create an experience that boosts learning.” A sales applicant could use something like, “I believe exceptional customer service is the best way to increase sales.”

Want to learn more? Check out Step-by-Step Cover Letters by Evelyn Salvador.