October 30, 2013, 3:13 PM — You'll never get the job.
Did that grab you? Keep you reading?
That's the point when it comes to reporting and it's the same when it comes to your cover letter, says AOL Jobs' J.T. O'Donnell.
Half of hiring managers and recruiters never read cover letters, O'Donnell reports, because they're boring and repetitive.
"When they open a cover letter, if they skim it and see it's just a repetition of what is already in the resume, they skip reading it," he notes.
If you can get your cover letter read, your chances at making the interview cut skyrocket. And the best way to get your cover letter read is to grab the reader's attention.
"The best cover letters get hiring managers at 'hello.' Don't be afraid to open the cover letter with a bolded, powerful statement," O'Donnell says.
Basically, you want to grab the reader's attention - truthfully - and express how your skills would align with the company's goals, mission, product, etc., without restating your resume. Think of it as the equivalent of giving an engaging presentation and supplementing the information on the slides without reading them verbatim.
Need an example?
Compare this opening line:
I am applying for your network engineer position as seen on Dice.
My life was changed the day I opened up my first CPU.
"Many of my clients have told me the first thing a recruiter has said to them during a phone interview is, 'Wow, your cover letter really was outstanding," O'Donnell notes. “It was so refreshing to read one like that.’ And that's exactly what you want, right? "
Click below for more advice on what to avoid - and what to include - in a great cover letter.