We don’t often give as much importance to cover letters as we do our actual resumes, and doing so makes us miss out on a golden opportunity to impress our potential employers. Two cover letters featured on Business Insider are prove that. One is an ESL (English as a second language) letter written by a foreigner named “Ace” who is applying for an undisclosed position at a certain shop. The other is an application to intern at Wall Street written by a young student.

At first glance, the two letters could not be more different from each other. However, a closer look shows that both unconventional letters have qualities that make employers want to “cut our hours just to hire this guy” and “[debate] about calling him up.”

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Want to provoke the same "hire-me!" response from the companies you sent your cover letters to? Here are a few essential tips:

1. Know exactly what you want.

Most applicants tend to churn out the same vague summaries of their goals and achievements, but don’t really get into what they want from the companies they’re writing to. Stand out by saying exactly what you hope to accomplish in your cover letter.

2. Show a bit of humility, but highlight your best assets.

Sometimes, admitting that you're not the best at something allows you to put the spotlight on what you're really good at. It's a bit sneaky, but it works.

3. Show that you’re willing to do anything to be considered.

Today’s cover letters no longer reflect how much applicants want to be accepted, and unfortunately, that’s one of the things that employers really want to know. After all, if the big bosses feel like they're not really your first option, why would you be theirs?


4. Express your passion for the industry.

When you write your cover letter, ask yourself why you really want to be part of the company you’re applying for, and put it on paper. Show your future employer that you love the industry and would put everything on the line to make any assignment given to you a success.

5. Don’t forget to say thank you.

It’s common courtesy to thank someone who is taking the time to read your cover letter. Never mind if you don’t think you’ll get in or if you don’t really want the job—saying thank you shows that you are polite and respectful.

(Photo by CollegeDegrees360.com via Flickr Creative Commons)

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