Need Cover Letter Tips? Read On!

The way your cover letter is written will directly affect the message it delivers – for better or worse!  As a result, you need to make sure it’s the best letter possible. Our cover letter tips will help you understand how to communicate your thoughts and show your personality.

It is extremely important to show employers how you can help solve their staffing problem. Use the following advice to make your letter look and sound better. When you finish, if you are still not satisfied with it, or need a critique, let us know and we can help!

  • Let your personality and energy shine through your words.
  • To capture the reader’s interest, include a few vivid details about your background.
  • Write each cover letter separately, even if you use a template. Personalize each letter with a sentence or two designed to reflect sincere interest in the specific employer.
  • Check and recheck for accuracy in spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure.
  • Express your capabilities with confidence, but don’t exaggerate. For example, two part-time jobs at a department store do not constitute “extensive retail management experience.”
  • Use natural language in simple, direct, and clear sentences. Don’t try to impress the reader by using slang, words you don’t understand, and complicated sentence structures.
  • Show the employer that you’ve done your homework by demonstrating a genuine understanding of the organization’s needs, mission statement, and business philosophy.
  • Be sincere in your praise, but don’t overdo it!
  • Make sure the letter is professional in appearance. Use standard business letter format on stationery that matches your resume. Do not use a dot matrix printer; the letter will not have a professional appearance.
  • Always write to the specific individual who is responsible for filling the position, rather than a human resources’ manager. Be sure you spell the individual’s name correctly.
  • Whenever possible, use networking resources (industry contacts) to introduce yourself in the opening paragraph of your letter.
  • Finish with a strong closing statement indicating the action you desire. Take the initiative to request an interview, and state your intention to call in two weeks. If you state in the letter that you will call, make sure you do. Many job seekers say that they will call, but never do.
  • Keep copies of everything you send, and follow up according to your stated intentions.
  • Make yourself easily available, and tell employers how to reach you. Provide a phone number that will be answered either by a person or by voice mail. If possible, include an email address.
  • It is important to mention activities, awards, and special skills. They can demonstrate skills that employers are looking for, such as leadership, organization, critical thinking, teamwork, self-management, initiative, and the ability to influence others.
  • Don’t forget to sign your cover letter; surprisingly, many job applicants don’t include their personal signature, and it makes the letter appear unprofessional.
  • Another great tip is utilizing any positive employee evaluation you may have received at any past jobs to attach to your resume.

A powerful resume = job interviews = job offers!

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Candace Alstad-Davies
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