How to Create a Standout Cover Letter

If you are not including a cover letter with your resume, you’re making a big mistake!  A cover letter sets you apart from other candidates. It says who you are, your past work experience, and what you can bring to the company if they hire you. It also shows your personality and sets the tone for how the potential employer will perceive your resume.

Here are a few tips on how you can make your cover letter attractive and informative to a potential employer:

  • Address the letter to the appropriate person. If you don’t know their name and title, then use “To the Human Resources Department.”
  • In the first paragraph, include the position you are applying for and the job number if it is provided. For example, “Please accept my cover letter and resume as my application for the Administrative Assistant position.” Also, you can include where you heard of the job opening and the name of a person you know in the company who may have referred you or would speak highly of your abilities.
  • In the second paragraph, briefly introduce yourself and the personal skills you possess. For example, you have a positive attitude or you thrive in workplaces with tight deadlines. Make sure that it is meaningful and reflects who you are as a person.
  • In the third paragraph, mention your work experiences, abilities, and the skills you have gained that would benefit their company. Focus on three of your best attributes and give examples.
  • Finally, include your education or courses you have taken that relate to the job.
  • Finish off the letter with something that makes you sound confident and excited to hear back from them. For example, “I believe that my combined work experience and education would be a valuable asset to your organization.  Thank you for considering my application and I look forward to hearing from you.
  • Make sure to include your name and contact information at the bottom of the page.

Important things to remember:

  • Get someone to review your cover letter to check for spelling mistakes and the flow of the letter.
  • Keep the letter to one page; short and concise is the best option.
  • Send your cover letter and resume as soon as possible. If you send it through the mail, make sure to give it enough time to get to the employer before the deadline.
  • With every new job application, make sure to update it to make it relevant and targeted towards a particular job.
  • Make sure not to just repeat your resume.
  • Don’t start every sentence with “I”.

Find samples and more tips here!

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