Your cover letter provides an excellent opportunity to stand apart from other job candidates and to immediately impress your potential new employer.

A well-written cover letter can fast track you to an interview, while a generic one might find you left behind. That’s why taking the time to tailor your cover letter to both the position and employer you’re applying to can make all of the difference. It might take a little more time, but carefully crafting the perfect cover letter could springboard you into your dream job within the building supply industry.

Here are 10 tips to help you tackle your cover letter:

  1. Focus on your Strengths – Take the opportunity to highlight your 3-4 best qualities and explain how these make you an ideal candidate for the position.


  1. Demonstrate your Knowledge – Do your research and find out what your potential employer is all about — then demonstrate how you fit their culture and are in alignment with their mission.


  1. Focus on Them, Not You – Focus your writing on how you can exceed your potential employer’s needs. This allows you to demonstrate your hunger for the position by going beyond simply talking about how you are a good fit, and instead focusing on how you can be a real asset to them beyond the role.


  1. Tell a Story – There are few things as powerful as good storytelling. Create a human connection and keep the attention of the hiring manager by infusing your cover letter with a storytelling style that lets your character shine through.


  1. Connect the Dots – Even if you don’t have experience in the building supply industry, make it easy for the hiring manager to understand how your skills and experience can be applicable to this new sector.


6. Talk about Results – Numbers don’t lie. If you have an opportunity to share some quantifiable success — for example, if you received a 90% customer satisfaction rating at your last job — this will help position you as a leading candidate.


  1. Forget the Templates – Employers sometimes receive hundreds of applicants for a single role. It won’t take them long to identify who used templates versus who crafted something themselves. Stand out from the crowd.


  1. Keep It Short and Sweet: You can cut through by keeping your cover letter short and sweet, 4-6 paragraphs at most. This will force you to use your space wisely to share only your most relevant skills and experience.


  1. Cut the Formalities: Employers want you to get to the point — they’re looking to be inspired. Focus on the quality of your message and your organizational fit rather than vague formalities.


  1. Have Someone Proof It – It might sound simple, but having someone proofread and suggest edits to your cover letter can help you avoid any embarrassing typos or spelling mistakes. It will also help ensure your story is coming through in the right way.

Take a deep breath and remember that this cover letter could be the key to landing your next career. It’s not the time to be humble; be confident as you craft your message. Demonstrate your desire, skills, and the ways in which you could exceed the expectations of the hiring team.

Good luck on your journey towards a fulfilling career in the building supply industry!