Cover Letter Tips

Before even setting eyes on the resume, employers get their first impression of your personal “promo package” from the cover letter. Here’s how you can make that impression a positive one, and set yourself apart from the competitors.

Your cover letter should tell your story, be written in a formal and business-like tone and should be no more than one page in length.

  • Your cover letter is your chance to tell your story and show a more personal side of yourself than can be conveyed in a resume.
  • Have a colleague or friend help you draft your cover letter – it can be one of the most challenging letters to write.
  • If you have a mutual contact at the company, mention it in the opening sentence of your cover letter.
  • Start by clearly stating why you are interested in the position.
  • Next briefly summarize your experience, accomplishments and how you would benefit the company.
  • Conclude by requesting a meeting.
  • You will be sending your cover letter by email, but it is still important to keep the format formal and business like.
  • Your cover letter should be 3 to 4 paragraphs and no more than 1 page in length.
  • Have someone proofread your letter for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • There is no need to say, “resume is attached”.

Cover Letter Details

1st Paragraph: Why do you want to work for the Company?

  • Put the name of a mutual contact in the first sentence – this will set you apart from other candidates. Try something like, “name of mutual contact” recommended I get in touch with you about….
  • If you do not have a mutual contact you will need to develop an opening sentence that captures attention.
  • Tell a story if you can – relate your desire for the job to an experience or antidote in your life – this is not easy, but it can be effective.

2nd and 3rd Paragraph: Short summary of your career – tailored to the company and position.

  • Briefly summarize your experience in 1 – 2 sentences.
  • Make reference to your qualifications with examples of your achievements and how they would benefit the company.
  • Consider using bullet points for accomplishments, starting with the most relevant and important.
  • This section can be more conversational and story like to set it apart from your resume. You want to make sure your personality comes across in your letter. Do not cut and paste from the job advertisement or from your resume.

 4th Paragraph: Let them know when you will be in touch.

  • Conclude by requesting a meeting.
  • Let them know when and how you will get in touch.
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