Your cover letter, in combination with a winning
Resume, is your primary self-promotional tool and should
reflect your main strengths as they apply specifically to the
position you are interested in. The following are 15 ways to
ensure that your application gets noticed!
1. Be concise. Cover letters should be
reasonably short and to-the-point. Generally 3 to 4 paragraphs
will do to introduce yourself, state what position you are
applying for, and why they should choose you. Recruiters almost
always have a ton of applications to go through and do not have
time to process long documents.
2. Be creative. You would like to make an
impression, without getting off topic. What makes you uniquely
qualified for the job? Describe your skills in a way that brings
them to life.
3. Sell yourself. Show what you have to offer.
Give clear examples of your past performance and what you are
capable of at this point in your career.
4. Do your homework. Find out as much as
you can about the company, the position and the person they hope
to hire, then explain exactly how you intend to benefit their
organization using their own criteria. Show that you care enough
to do this kind of investigating ahead of time.
5. Use examples. Demonstrate how past experience
and accomplishments could specifically benefit their
6. Show a little personality. You are giving a
prospective employer a glimpse of the person behind the paper;
try to give an accurate sense of who you are. How well do you
fit into their corporate culture?
7. Personalize. Try to address your letter to a
real person; find out who is in charge of hiring, and/or their
title. Once again, this kind of attention to detail will set you
8. Be professional. Maintain an appropriately
formal format and tone.
9. Use a writing style that is appropriate, yet
distinctive. Do not be afraid to use humor in small doses if
this reflects who you are, or if you have a particularly
10. Customize. Write a different letter for each
position, or at least modify the details to maximize your use of
11. Attention to detail. Don't skip important
steps such as proof-reading, spell-checking, and including the
date, position title, and your up-to-date contact information.
12. Show some enthusiasm. Employers want to
attract employees who will contribute positive energy to their
13. Pay attention to the flow of your letter.
Try to avoid beginning each paragraph with "I." And keep
14. Show sincere interest, without excessive
embellishment. Qualify your claims, showing how past experience
demonstrates your dedication to a shared cause, etc.
15. Be honest about your experience, not overly
humble or exaggerating. You want to get the interview, but not
only to have them discover that you are not who you claimed to
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