A cover letter is an essential part of securing a fulfilling job, especially in a competitive workforce. With the year coming to a close, candidates need to fine-tune their cover letter strategies for 2024 for the best hiring outcome. Industry research has shown that 78% of recruiters and hiring managers prefer job candidates who submit cover letters.
But how do you write the best cover letter in 2024? Check out these top tips from the experienced recruiters at MRI Network to help you craft cover letters that leave winning impressions on top employers.
It could be advantageous to address a hiring party by name rather than referring to them via generic greetings (i.e., dear sir/madam templates). Going the extra mile in finding out the name of the recipient shows a keen interest in a role and in becoming a part of the company and its culture. You can usually find these contact details in a company’s LinkedIn profile, official website, or job listing description. It is also important to address certain areas of the applied role to indicate that you have read through the job profile.
One of our MRI Network recruiting experts shares, “A personalized cover letter to a recruiter or employer is a powerful way to draw attention. This is especially so for a job vacancy that receives a high volume of applications. Here’s where we mostly see a flood of cookie-cutter greetings and templates. More hiring parties are going to pay closer attention to personalized cover letters in 2024, with the rise of AI-assisted writing that makes job applications more impassive.”
Employers are growing increasingly aware of the changing sentiments and priorities of the modern workforce. Specifically, more employees are favoring purpose and meaning at work over receiving a paycheck. Industry research even revealed that 70% of employees report their personal sense of purpose defined by work.
With younger generations of workers reportedly more likely to leave their jobs in a short period, employers might focus on hiring workers expressing a keenness to stay for the long term.
MRI’s expert recruiter emphasizes, “The culture fit should remain a reliable guideline for successful hiring practices in 2024. Candidates can show their passion for an organization in their cover letter by sharing how they can contribute to specific company initiatives and what it means for their career development.”
Candidates should limit cover letter content to relevant information. Doing so polishes the cover letter content so employers can quickly identify the key points for a suitable job fit. Concise cover letters help candidates stand out in a competitive job market expected in 2024 and beyond.
A growing number of employers seek candidates with soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork, who can apply these abilities in coping with volatile situations. Ultimately, these hiring practices could tie back to an employer’s goals of optimizing retention rates with a resilient workforce.
Similarly, when listing experiences, it is important to limit them to relevant information based on a given role. For example, when applying for a hospitality and tourism position, you should include communication skills, positive customer testimonials, and managed event details in your cover letter.
According to MRI Network’s recruiting team, “Job seekers should include the specific phrases found in job listings within their cover letter. In every way possible, highlight the desired information that engages employers while eliminating lengthy and excess details that might redirect a company toward the next candidate.”
Aside from the listed best practices, candidates should avoid making demands in a cover letter when applying for a role. Although it is important to agree on job expectations, it is more professional to develop a common understanding through open communication during an interview or pre-interview (i.e., remote interview). Candidates may also consider alluding to skills in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and mixed realities. These technological solutions have seen growing demand across industries and might attract prospective employers. One final point to note is that cover letters should never appear as summarized CVs. Instead, they should complement CVs as the initial touchpoint with future employers; an open offer of facing the challenges and uncertainties together.