Tips for writing a cover letter

Category: Jobs


When you’re applying for a job, your cover letter is just as important as your resume—in some cases, even more important. Alas, too many job applicants don’t realize the significance of their cover letter and as a result, don’t give it much thought; some people don’t even include cover letters when applying for a job. Because some hiring managers won’t even look past a poorly written cover letter and open up your resume, you could miss out on a terrific job opportunity by not taking the time to give your cover letter the extra attention it needs. As you apply for jobs, keep the following cover letter writing tips in mind:

Customize your cover letters

It might save a lot of time to write just one cover letter that you can use for all of your job applications, but most hiring managers can easily spot generic cover letters and this can be enough for them to move on to the next applicant. Take the time to express your interest in a particular job and company by creating a customized cover letter for every position you apply for. It may take a lot more time, but putting in that extra effort can go a long way and help you to land more interviews.

Don’t summarize your resume

Many job applicants use their cover letter to simply repeat everything that’s already included in their resume. Your resume will already speak for itself regarding your qualifications, so if you’re talking about your experience, include more detailed information that your resume doesn’t include.

Don’t just talk about how much you want the job

Aside from just summarizing your resume, simply expressing how much you want the job is another big mistake you’ll want to avoid in your cover letter. Hiring managers understand that you want the job and that you’re excited for the opportunity—otherwise you wouldn’t be applying. Showing your enthusiasm and expressing your interest in the company is one thing, but don’t make this focus of your cover letter. Instead of concentrating on what the company can do for you, talk about what you can do for them and how you’d be asset by joining their team.

Keep it short

A cover letter should never exceed one page, but keeping it even shorter than that is recommended—about three paragraphs. Avoid including fluff and be brief. Remember that hiring managers can receive hundreds of applications and cover letters for just one job posting, so you’ll want to get your message across, and without rambling. 

Stand out, but in a good way

If your cover letter is boring and doesn’t grab the hiring manager’s attention, there is a good chance that your job application will slip through the cracks. On the other hand, you don’t want to make jokes, be offensive, unprofessional, or do anything else with your cover letter that will make you be remembered in a bad way. Make your cover letter intriguing, and include information that you feel a hiring manager would genuinely find interesting.

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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

Tags: applying for a job, resumes

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