By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes

As technology leaps forward with each passing year, it is becoming more and more clear that it has left its imprint on our culture. For example, found that by December 2017, drivers using ride-hail apps—Uber, Lyft, Gett, Via and Juno—performed 65% more rides per month than taxi drivers did in New York City.

The same staggering shift into the new norm lives in the form of the cover letter. While many jobs still require a cover letter during the job application process, 90% of hiring managers admit that they never even read them.

Since you can’t write them off completely, here are some key aspects of the cover letter you should remember, and some ways you can up your job-hunting game outside of a cover letter, as well.

  • Keep it short: Don’t bother listing out your entire job history in a cover letter, that’s what your resume is for. Here, you’ll want to focus on how you can help the company, not share every detail of your life. How short is short? Almost 70% of employers prefer a cover letter that’s half a page or less.
  • Take the time to edit: If you’re going to include a cover letter, you need to make sure you’ve double-checked it, even for little things like grammar. Seventy percent of hiring managers say they’d automatically dismiss a cover letter with a typo, so once you’ve fine-tuned your masterpiece, give it a second, or third, glance.
  • The shift to social media: You can write a marvelous cover letter, have a great interview and be on the brink of being offered a life-changing position, only to be left waiting on a phone call that never comes. It’s important to remember that all your hard work can be taken away by the discovery of a few nasty tweets or a not-so-endearing picture from ten years ago. An estimated three out of four hiring managers check social media profiles, so make sure to do a deep clean of your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They may be telling far more about yourself than your cover letter and resume ever will.
  • The shift to freelancing: The rise of the freelancer has meant that companies aren’t searching for standard nine-to-five candidates anymore. Instead of a whimsical cover letter, they’re more concerned with client testimonials, updated portfolios, and a website that speaks for itself.

As the world becomes more connected, it’s important to display the best versions of ourselves, both in-person and online. If you’ve decided to embark on a new career odyssey, remember to take a look at the version of you that is living on the internet. With a strong resume, a polished cover letter, and an ambitious social media presence, 2019 is in the palm of your hand.

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  • I'm a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host (You Turn Podcast) and author, here to help you step into a career you're excited about and aligned with. This may look like coaching you 1:1, hosting you in one of my courses, or meeting you at one of workshops or keynote speaking engagements! I also own CAKE Media, a house of ghostwriters, copywriters, publicists and SEO whizzes that help companies and influencers expand their voice online. Before being an entrepreneur, I was an award-winning counterterrorism professional who helped the Pentagon in Washington, DC with preparing civilians to prepare for the frontlines of the war on terror.