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Job Search Tip: How To Tailor A Cover Letter Using Keywords

Job Search Tip How To Tailor A Cover Letter Using Keywords

Do you need a cover letter to match your skills and experience? Or, should you customise your cover letter for a specific job? What are the keywords to use?

Just like your resume, a cover letter should be tailored specifically for each job application. But, why do you need to spend the effort to create the cover letter? You can put as much information as you want in your CV, however when recruiters/employers are flicking through hundreds of applications, it can quickly become overwhelming. Without a convincing cover letter, recruiters might not read your resume at all. A good cover letter can help you present yourself to the hiring manager with a brief description of why you are suited for the job, your skills and the value you can bring to the organisation. Therefore, you should focus on the qualities that make you stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips to help you customise your cover letter according to your needs.

Apply These Techniques To Improve Your Cover Letter


As a Resume Writer, we know that it is important that you choose the right keywords to attract the reader's attention.

You want to make sure that every word count in your resume and cover letter is strategically chosen as over 70% of hiring companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). They are programmed to match or identify specific keywords and rank all resumes and cover letters accordingly, before they even reach a hiring manager.

Keywords work in a couple of different ways, and there are many opportunities you can incorporate them in your cover letter. Start to analyse the resume writing skills required to excel in your target job and identify which are the most relevant to you and your skillset. This way, you're letting your recruiter know what makes you different from the other candidates and it'll make their job a lot easier.

Don't Waste Time! Insert Action-Oriented Words Into Your Resume/CV Or Cover Letter

We often use job keywords that describe our skills and qualifications in our resume; however, it is also good to include a mix of action verbs in our cover letter. Action verbs are words that show your ability to succeed. They also describe what you have accomplished in the past. You can check below for some examples of action verbs that you can use to get your application noticed when applying for jobs.




Technical Work





















































Sneak Through Applicant Tracking Systems Like A Pro!


 As soon as you hit "APPLY" for a role, your resume will be parsed, ranked, and filtered by an algorithm based on pre-selected keywords. If your resume does not include the specific keywords, your resume will be automatically rejected. The ATS will email you an unsuccessful email, usually set to on a delay, so it doesn't look like a robot refused you! To ensure your application is not rejected, you also must carefully tailor your resume for each application to be noticed. The best place to incorporate ATS keywords is in your experience section.

ATS keywords are divided into three main categories; hard skills, soft skills and other keywords.


Hard skills are typically learned through education or work experiences, such as proficiency with specific software, tools, or specialised processes. Try to match your resume skills or experience section precisely to those in the job description.


Soft skills are skills such as "detail-oriented" or "team player" and are less likely to be searched for by recruiters, as such they are weighted less in the ATS match rate. We recommend focusing on the "Hard Skills" section when tailoring your resume.


Other keywords can be words that appear multiple times throughout the advertisement.

Remember, keywords are used to match an applicant with an available job. The closer the keywords are to those in a job description, the better a candidate's chances of being selected for a job interview.

ATS Keyword Example


For example, the following advertisement is for a Project Manager. Hard Skills have been highlighted in yellow, and the soft skills have been bolded. The other keywords are highlighted in grey.

ATS Keyword example

The Best Way To Attract The Attention Of A Specific Company With A Cover Letter


Research your target company! Remember, the hiring process is not just about you. So, while you focus on your achievements and qualities, recruiters are also looking for people who will benefit them in the long-term. The best way to help them to decide you are the proper candidate, is to read the company's mission, vision, and upcoming projects on their company websites. Use this information to connect your background and skills with the company's goals. For example, if the job application mentions they are strong on “collaboration”. You should the word "collaborate" in your resume and cover letter. Using keywords or referencing their websites can demonstrate that you are a good fit for the company.

Grammarly link

Master The Art Of Highlighting Your Value By Customising A Cover Letter


Remember, the first thing that employers see when reviewing a job application is your resume and cover letter. You must make sure that your cover letter is as persuasive as your resume. Below are some of the things a cover letter can do for you before the hiring manager investigates your resume, LinkedIn profile, Selection Criteria and invites you for an interview:

  • Employers know that it takes time to research and hard work to be able to customise a cover letter accurately, therefore, they can take you seriously if you do.
  • A customised cover letter lets the hiring managers know exactly what position you are applying for and what you feel makes you different than the other candidates. It will make their job a lot easier.
  • A cover letter introduces you to an employer through a personalised description of your qualifications and interest in a position.
  • A cover letter gives insight into your soft skills, attitude, and motivation.
  • Employers use cover letters to get a sense of how you would fit in with their company culture.
  • The cover letter will provide a connection between your goals and the company values.
  • Employers use cover letters to know if you can add value and generate positive results for their organisation.

If you are not sure what to write, The Perfect Resume Team can help you to tailor your cover letter to your job application. Just send an email to info@theperfectresume.com.au and we can get started.

Other Blogs That May Help

How to Write The Perfect Cover Letter for a Job | The Perfect Resume The lazy person’s resume writing services job search tip! Cracking The Perfect Resume And Cover Letter Code


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