Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

What to Look for As You Screen Cover Letters

What to Look for As You Screen Cover LettersWhen you’re a hiring manager looking to fill an open spot within your company, the process can feel overwhelming. As resumes and cover letters pour in, you want to make sure you’re looking at all of the materials that come across your desk, without taking up too much time as you do it. Learning what to look for can help to make the process easier, as you quickly weed out the candidates who aren’t qualified for the open position. The traits of a great cover letter include:

A document that is well organized and free of spelling and grammatical errors

If you read the first sentence and notice a “you’re” when there should be a “your” then you should be highly skeptical about this candidate. No matter what kind of position you’re hiring for, good grammar is important. If the individual either is unaware of these rules or didn’t care enough to verify that their document was grammatically correct, they’re probably not the kind of person you want to bring on board.

A demonstration of relevant skills and experience

If you’re hiring for a web designer and the person only has skills as a writer, you may want to think twice before you invite them in for an interview. While a person with the right amount of enthusiasm can learn new skills, you don’t want to hire someone who lacks the technical training necessary to do the job well.

The ability to demonstrate tangible successes

The right person for the job is able to offer up real examples of times when they were successful in the past. Whether this includes solving a problem for a client or increasing sales, these examples are important for any good cover letter.

A sense of understanding about the company

The best cover letters are those that clearly weren’t being sent out to 30 other places. You want to see that the individual took the time to research your company specifically, and included some of this information in their letter.

As a hiring manager, what do you look for in a cover letter?

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Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.