Strangers meet, an interest is kindled, how best can these strangers get to know each other without some sort of an icebreaker? Icebreakers are a great way to initiate a conversation but also a delicate part of any conversation.

A cover letter is an icebreaker of a sort between a job seeker and a prospective employer. Capturing the attention of the recruiter or the prospective employer is a daunting task to say the least.

With this in mind, a cover letter can mean a breakthrough to the next process of recruitment or the end of it. But seriously, what is it that recruiters look for in a cover letter? What is that will make a cover letter stand out amongst the many lying on the boardroom tables begging to be picked up? What captures the attention of the recruiter, to the point that he/she says this is it?

We will dwell on some aspects that recruiters look for in a cover letter and how you as the job seeker can work out your cover letter to easily impress the recruiter.

Primarily, your cover letter should reflect that you are incredibly well in the job you do, you are likeable and you are going to fit well in the new work environment. These are some aspects that will tilt the selection process in your favor. To begin with:

Customize your Cover Letter

Why did you apply for the job? This is the first thing the recruiter will look for in your cover letter. That is, what specifically interested you in the particular company or job? Your specific reasons for applying for the job should stand out from the word go. There should be a clear indication that you are familiar with the company and the job you are applying for and how you would efficiently fit in. This will also mean that your attention to the needs of the company you are applying for are indicated and that you have a drive towards achieving that.

The Format of your Cover Letter

Time is of essence for the recruiter. This means your cover letter should be easily navigable. Avoid dense paragraphs that the recruiter has to dig for information like a college paper. Your paragraphs should be precise and straight to the point. You can put more facts in your resume and save the in-depth details for the interview though.

A Cover Letter Free of Error is not optional

Nothing reeks of carelessness than a cover letter full of errors, actually any sort of writing. Errors in your cover letter will reflect badly on you as the job seeker than anything else. Remember this is first contact between you and the recruiter; make it count in a good way. Take some time to proofread your cover letter before sending it to the recruiter; it will save you some embarrassing moments.

How about professionalism?

Your cover letter should be professionally done. The tone in your letter also should be professional, no matter what sort of a job you are applying for. Actually, the recruiter wants to read a professionally written cover letter. This will be a reflection, of how you communicate, and in a way it will shape how your potential is evaluated within the hiring company.

Is Your Experience clearly highlighted?

The recruiter should quickly match your past work experience with the qualities and requirements of their current job. The recruiter will seek to see if your cover letter has highlighted the skills and experiences they are they are looking for. Highlighting these aspects is an indication that you are aware of the job requirements and the need of the recruiter.

What’s your Story?

In this case, what really brings you to the company you have applied for. Some hint of the reason why you have applied in that particular company and your interests that are not in your resume will go miles in helping you impress the recruiter.

Who is the Letter Addressed to?

Truthfully, there is no employee that goes by the name “To Whom it May Concern,” Do some assignment and look for real people to whom you can direct the letter to. This shows that you have an interest in the company and that you have taken time to get to know your future employers.


In conclusion, the recruiters will seek to see whether you have clearly explained who you are, why you are the right one for the job, your interest in the company and lastly your level of professionalism.


Source : Ethiojobs

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