Searching for a new job is a stressful and tiring process, regardless of what role or field you’re exploring. A lot has changed over the years and nowadays, not everyone stays in the same job or position from the moment they leave school to the point at which they retire.
Remote working has become incredibly popular, especially since the pandemic escalated the need for it. However, since the world has re-opened, a hybrid form of working has remained for many businesses. Some have even adapted completely to a remote working environment.
Is a cover letter necessary? Even for job listings where they state a cover letter is optional, 77% of recruiters will prefer candidates who send one.
With that in mind, it’s helpful to perfect your skills when it comes to creating a cover letter for any job. For a remote position, a cover letter may be crucial as it shows the recruiter your personality and what you have to offer.
If you find yourself in a position where your cover letter creation skills need improving, then read on.
Remote working has grown a lot prior to the pandemic, which is to be expected as so many businesses had to haphazardly adapt to a completely remote working environment for some time. The number of people working remotely has increased from 6% to a predicted 22% by 2025.
However, despite its popularity, along with hybrid working, there remains a divide between opinions. Will remote working still remain popular in 2023? Yes but there are still many businesses and industry-type businesses that want to remain office-based or prefer hybrid over remote working.
Why is a cover letter so crucial for remote positions? Without pointing out the obvious, remote jobs don’t tend to involve any face-to-face interactions in person and so a cover letter is another opportunity to showcase personality.
Here are just some of the additional benefits cover letters bring to the table when applying for remote positions.
An understanding of asynchronous communication is also worth sharing via your cover letter, as it’s a skill set that many remote companies will want you to have.
Cover letters are helpful to expand upon anything mentioned in the resume. As far as resumes go, they are fairly limited when it comes to getting your point across.
When you perhaps don’t have the opportunity to meet your employer in person, proving yourself to them is mostly done through your resume and cover letter. Even if the cover letter is optional, it’s in your best interests to provide one for any role, especially a remote one.
With that being said, here are a few top tips on how to write a cover letter that gives you the best chance of securing a remote position.
1. Use a cover letter template for a professional appearance.
To help those who have never written a cover letter before, templates will be your best friend. A cover letter template is a great starting point when it writing a cover letter for any position.
With the bare bones laid out as a structure, you are able to tailor it to your heart’s content. Remember, this is a remote job, so a cover letter template that’s structured for remote working positions is preferable.
The benefit of using a template means you don’t have to create one from scratch for every role that you apply for. It also helps structure the cover letter so it flows well from start to finish. Cover letters tend to be tiresome for the recruiter reading them, so a professional template helps.
2. Research the company and the role you’re applying for.
In order to show off and to indicate that you’ve done more than just read the job advertisement, research the company. Take a look at what they do, the methods in which they conduct business and any recent successes.
Showing an interest in the business is important. Why? Well, it helps to show passion for the company, rather than just showing interest in the role itself. Despite it being a remote position, everything you do within your working day might require a knowledge of the company.
Be sure to research the role too and what it entails so that you’re able to reference all of this within the contents of the letter.
3. Demonstrate skills and experience.
To stand the best chance of getting an interview and equally stand out from other candidates, it’s important to demonstrate any relevant skills and experience you have. Whether these are soft skills that are relative in general, to a specific experience that you are able to relate to a remote working environment, everything is important to include.
As this is your first remote job, it might be that you’ve got some experience from previous hybrid-based roles.
Try to touch on more relevant skills and experience to the role you’re applying for, rather than making it too generic. Your cover letter should expand on anything you’ve mentioned in your resume when it comes to the skills and prior job positions. Avoid just copying information.
4. Give them all the information the recruiter needs to make their job easier.
Those responsible for recruitment will often use an applicant tracking system to keep on top of the many candidates they get submitting applications.
The average number of people who tend to apply for a single job is 118. Out of that 118, only 20% of them will get invited for an interview. That’s 1 in 5 if you’re wondering. As a result, your resume and cover letter are the two opportunities for you to secure that job interview.
Make it easy on the recruiter and give them all the information they need to check off their list of requirements. The more you check off, the better chance you’ll get that interview and hopefully the job.
5. Prove how you will provide value to the role and business.
While you may have all the skills and experience needed, you need to make it clear to the recruiter just how much value you will bring. This is not just in relation to the role but to the business too.
This is why researching the company and role is important - as we mentioned at the beginning. By knowing the company, you get some semblance of the company culture and how you’d fit into this. For the role, you could talk about how you’d see yourself growing in the role and where you’d take it, to benefit the business further.
6. Be concise and clear - don’t waffle.
A cover letter is typically an A4 page and while you’ve got the opportunity to fill the page fully, try to be concise. Don’t waffle, especially as most recruiters will likely skim-read a lot of the cover letters they receive.
Try to limit the amount you include but don’t sacrifice on length if you’ve got a lot of relevant skills and experience to touch upon.
Think about how to structure it, so it’s easier to read. Best practices include using Arial or some default, easy-to-read font and breaking up text into just a few sentences.
7. Use job-specific words in the content.
Referring back to the job position, in particular, make use of job-specific words. Look at some relevant content online that talks about the role in general and what jargon is used. The type of language used within your cover letter is going to catch the eye of the recruiter if it’s used correctly.
Avoid using them if you don’t know how to use them in context but if you do, utilize them where possible.
8. Inject a bit of personality.
It’s hard to communicate personality when it’s not done in person or over a video call. However, writing is a skill that will be required within a remote position.
Remember, it still needs to be formal but get a little creative in how you converse through the cover letter. Try to be more conversational in parts while getting across all of the information needed to secure that all-important interview.
9. Review your cover letter before hitting send.
Before you hit send on the cover letter, make sure to review it. Ideally, a second pair of eyes will help scan for any errors or lack of information that you’ve missed yourself.
Cover letters are extremely powerful and influential in securing not only an interview but the job itself. In this case, ensure every application you make is embellished with its cover letter. It could be the difference between securing an interview and continuing the sometimes painful job-hunting process.
Author Bio: Natalie Redman (LinkedIn)
Natalie is a freelance writer with two years of experience in web page copywriting for businesses across many industries. She also owns two blog websites and is a Youtube content creator.
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