5 Tips on How to Write a Winning Cover Letter for Remote Jobs
By Summer Paulus
If you’re dreaming of remote work, skipping traffic, spending more time with family or, perhaps, even traveling the world while working from your laptop – you are in the right place.
And while a remote job market is very competitive (let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a bit more freedom in their life!), with the right resume and a cover letter, a dose of determination and persistence, the flexibility of remote work is well within your reach.
Or Gina Amato, who was frustrated after applying for remote jobs, but never gave up and ended up having this “eureka” moment while asking for help with remote work interview questions on Pangian Chat. Guess what? Gina is now working remotely as a Junior Graphic Designer for Bitfinex!
So without further ado, here are 5 tips on changes you need to make to your cover letter in order to land that remote job in no time!
Tip #1: Cover Letter could be your hidden secret to landing a remote job!
First, the cover letter comes off as a little intimidating. Most people might want to avoid writing a cover letter whenever possible as it does require an additional time commitment.
However, remote work is a competitive market, as you will be competing with hundreds of applicants from the entire country or even the world for the same remote job opening.
Thus, a well written cover letter could be your key differentiation in a process. As a matter of fact, a lot of remote companies, like Doist or Invision, consider not including a cover letter a deal breaker!
Remember, the employer is checking to see if you can follow the “directions” stated in the job listing and if you are truly interested in the job. In fact, the cover letter could be the one element that could help you land that remote, dream job!
So, how do you know when to include a cover letter or exclude it?
Include a cover letter if:
- The details in the job description ask for a cover letter.
- When job listing doesn’t mention a cover letter.
- When the job posting list it as optional.
- A cover letter is a MUST to apply.
Exclude a cover letter if:
- If the job posting states NOT to submit a cover letter.
Okay, why is it so important that I write a cover letter?
First, it shows initiative. You’re showcasing that you’re more than willing to do more than many of the other applications. In other words: Standing out from the herd.
“…The cover letter is absolutely important. It’s your differentiation. It could be the difference between getting an interview and not getting one.” – Mag Boron, CEO of Pangian.
So, grab that cover letter, dust if off as here are 4 more changes to make in order to land that dream remote job in no time!
Tip #2: Be like an English Major!
Why an English Major?
You might be a freelancing engineer or programmer, but English Majors are geared on conducting research and supporting their thesis.
So, head on over to that job site, begin browsing their content and delve deep into the “inner-workings” of the company’s culture.
Ask yourself the following and take notes:
- What makes them “tick?”
- How are they “culturally?” Are they “stern” or “laid back?”
- What’s the company’s main goal or objective? What do they specialize in?
- If you don’t meet the “feel” of the company? Guess what, you likely won’t be a good fit and the hiring manager will be able to spot that.
You’re an introverted writer, but you’re applying to a remote company that specializes in showcasing client’s travels while working remotely. You will be interviewing those clients, so this job might not be the best fit for you.
Therefore, it is critical that you do sufficient research and come to really understand how the company functions on all levels. If you do think you’re a good candidate for that remote job, try adjusting the overall tone of your writing.
Tip #3: Wait! Don’t Put That On Your Cover Letter!
Alrighty, you’re really pumped now! Your keyboard is set and you begin by typing out an “opening statement.”
You begin with:
“To Whom it May Concern,”
Ouch! Did you hear that blaring horn? It’s basically stating you have instantly signaled the “death knell,” of your remote job prospects with that employer.
Why? Because you’re telling the reviewer: “I don’t care enough about this remote job to even check who is the hiring manager.”
Remember, a cover letter is meant to be a personal message to the company and to the hiring manager. Thus, whenever possible, try to personalize it and address it directly to the hiring manager to develop an instant human connection and build trust with your potential employer.
Don’t know the hiring manager’s name? The great thing about the internet is that you have an amazing resource of information to pull from!
Go on a site like LinkedIn, to the companies page and try to determine who will be reviewing your cover letter.
If worst comes to worst and you absolutely cannot locate a specific name? Start the cover letter with:
“[Company Name] team.”
At the very least, you are showcasing your commitment to the company and its team and getting the hiring manager’s attention.
On a similar note, make sure your cover letter is genuine and authentic. Remember it’s your personal letter to the company sharing your interest in joining their team. Thus, avoid at all cost using any online cover letter templates, as after a while they all look the same and the hiring manager will see that right away…and that will quickly send you to the rejected pile.
So, each time you go to apply for a remote job you need to create a new cover letter. If you try to go the “quick” route, the employer’s going to see it. In return, they will be questioning your work ethic. “Will they slack off on the job as well?”
Therefore, be proactive by submitting a customized cover letter for each position. That way, you’re increasing your chances of getting a phone call for an interview.
Lastly, review your document for typos and grammar errors. While it is difficult to spot all the errors upon the initial reviewing due to being “blind” to your own writing mistakes, I suggest, as a writer myself, doing the following tips:
- First, step away from the 1st finished draft for a little bit.
If you have time, sleep on it and review again in the morning. If you’re strapped for time, I suggest between a half-an-hour to an hour before looking over your document again.
- Change the entire font or text size of your document.
Granted, you might have edited the headings and fonts already, but changing the overall “look” of your document makes it easier for your eyes to spot mistakes. Again, the key here is for it to look “fresh” and “new” and, therefore, easy to catch those errors.
- Have someone else review your cover letter. Nothing works better than to have a friend or colleague review your work. They might have some insight that you would have never thought of. In fact, you can have request 1-1 personalized resume or cover letter review here.
- Review your document in “Read Mode.” Again, this changes the look of your document, making it easier to spot mistakes.
- Read it aloud to yourself.
- Or print out your remote cover letter.
- Lastly, you can use online applications that are more efficient than Microsoft Word, such as Grammarly, Ginger, or Hemingway (for tightening your sentences) to really give your cover letter that professional “edge.”
Okay, I understand if all these critical pointers can be a bit intimidating.
But, if you don’t spend the time and effort to make your cover letter shine, how will you impress that hiring manager?
“What’s the saying? You attract more bees with honey than with vinegar?” Or something like that…? Meaning if you put in poorly directed effort, you get dismal results.
Again, have faith that Pangian has your back! We wouldn’t be telling you all this if it wasn’t going to benefit you in the long run.
So, read on toTip #3.
For, it’s really going to help you stand out, introducing an overall premise that will give you the right mindset to create an amazing cover letter!
Tip #4: Iceberg
Quick question: What’re hiring managers really looking for in your cover letter?
Answer: What you didn’t put in your resume.
Basically, you’re expanding on yourself in a more personable way. Again, a resume is focused on your work history, skills and experiences, right?
Thus, a cover letter is an illustration of your personality and culture. It’s describing to the employer:
- Who you are as a person and why you’ve applied.
- Why you are a good fit for this position and company.
- What you’ll do for the company today and in the future.
Need more clarification? How about this:
View your resume and cover letter as a “package deal” or, like an “iceberg.”
Simply, there are two parts to the iceberg. The section that is above the surface, and the section that is beneath the water.
The top of it is small, it only reveals a small percentage of what’s hidden underneath. That’s your resume.
The half that lies hidden under the water is your cover letter, revealing more of what you had hinted at in the resume.
Therefore, those experiences and skills you had listed on your resume? Expand on those in your cover letter!
By keeping this idea of the cover letter being a “full picture,” you’re bound to create a cover letter that’s going to win that hiring manager over.
A picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Tip #5: A Peek into the “Mindset” of the Hiring Manager
The hiring manager wants to be “wooed” into hiring you for their company.
They’re hoping that they can catch the “real you” within your cover letter.
Hold on, wasn’t this just covered?
A moment! Let me explain:
I did just discuss the method of viewing your resume and cover letter like an iceberg, that your cover letter is revealing more of yourself to the employer.
The manager is looking for what you didn’t include in your resume. But, I didn’t quite touch on how to really win them over!
So, how do you truly impress them?
By showcasing your passion, the “synergy” with the company culture and the value you can bring to the company.
You can begin with a powerful opener, sharing who you are, why you love what you do, and how that brought you to where you are today.
For example, if you were applying for a graphic designer or illustrator position, you may start with:
“Illustrating has been my passion since I was in grade school, where I had drawn elaborate scenes for my best friend’s story. I loved drawing pictures for her story so much that I am now freelancing for x company, and I want to bring that same passion to (your company) company.”
By “showing” why you love illustrating so much, you’re showing the company that, if they choose to hire you, you will truly enjoy your work and bring valuable creative ideas and results for their brand.
Now, Go Create a Winning Cover Letter!
Alright, so we covered 5 tips for a great cover letter that can win over that hiring manager and land a remote job.
Here is a quick recap:
- Read the guidelines for applying to a remote job carefully. A well-written, personalized cover letter could be your winning ticket to landing a remote job so always include one (unless the job posting specifically states to not include one … which almost never happens).
- Make sure to address the cover letter directly to the hiring manager. If you can’t find a specific name, address it to the company team, eg: “Pangian team.”
- Carefully check your cover letter for grammar errors. Again, the employer may question if you’re up for the job and don’t even take the time to make sure your document(s) are free of mistakes!
- Don’t use templates. Create a unique cover letter that is customized for each company and job you apply. A hiring manager can easily spot a lazy submission, so don’t think you can fool them!
- Win the employer over by illustrating your passion and background. Help them understand who you are, and how you can be a valuable employee to their company.
Imagine, by overcoming that initial anxiety and following the cover letter tips, you could land that dream, remote job.
So, whether you prefer picturesque forests with snow-capped mountains or crystal, clear waves overlooked by breeze-kissed palm trees, you can achieve that dream of working from anywhere in the world.
You can write the winning cover letter that could eclipse your resume!
With new skills and confidence you will be booking that flight to your dream destination in no time!
We at Pangian are certain that you absolutely got this!