Cover letters should grasp and hold the attention of hiring managers. But hiring managers need to read through countless cover letters all the time. So how do you make sure that yours is one that they actually want to finish reading?
Make your cover letter stand out better by rewriting these seven common cover letter phrases.
1. "To Whom it May Concern..."
Always do your best to find out the name of the recipient of your cover letter. Personalizing your cover letter will go a long way, as it shows that you took the time to get to know the company and the people with and for whom you'd be working — as opposed to mass emailing the same letter to countless companies.
Instead say: "Dear [Name of Hiring Manager]."
2. "I hope to hear from you soon!"
Instead of saying that you hope to hear from them soon, why not say that you look forward to talking soon? Make the assumption that you're going to hear from them — that's how confident you are in your experiences and skills being a great match for this job. Hoping doesn't come across as self-assured.
Instead say: "I look forward to speaking more about this opportunity."
3. "I believe I am the best fit for this role because..."
In the same vein, instead of saying that you believe you're the best fit for the role, share why you are the best fit for the role. Again, a hiring manager is going to want to talk with a candidate who believes in their self, so that they can believe in them, too.
Instead say: "I'm the best candidate for this role because..."
4. "As you can see on my resume..."
Your cover letter and your resume go hand in hand, which means that they should compliment one another without having to reference one another (this only takes up valuable space!). Your resume should list and recap your experiences and skills, while your cover letter should be a more customized letter to the hiring manager about why those experiences and skills (or about why one or two of those experiences or skill in particular) make you the best fit for the role. It should also dive into why you're interested in working for that particular company. You don't need to reference your resume, as the hiring manger will likely already have taken a look at both.
Instead say: "My experience as a [job title listed on your resume] positions me for this job because..."
5. "This job would help me..."
Whether you go on to say that the job would help you pay your rent or hone in on a certain skill you've always wanted to master, the hiring manager doesn't want to know how the job would help you; they want to know how you would help the company. So cut fluff about the benefits you'd reap (unless it has to do with feeding your passion!), and focus on the value you can provide.
Instead say: "I could help the company..."
6. "I think I'd be great for this job because..."
Again, you don't want to say that you "think" you're great for the job. While you don't want to come off boastful (yup, women are too often unfairly judged for tooting their own horn!), you do want to come off as confident.
Instead say: "I'm a great choice for this job because..."
7. "I need this job because..."
Like you don't want to share why a job could seriously help you, you don't want to say that you need the job. Yes, sharing that you really want the job because you're passionate about the products or services, you share the same vision as the company, you want to work for the leaders there who inspire you or something else is encouraged. No, explaining that you need the job to pay your bills or get experience on your resume is not.
Instead say: "I really want this job because..."
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.