Top 10 cover letter writing tips

When it comes to writing a cover letter, it needs to be perfect. It’s important to take the time and effort to write a letter that is simple and straightforward, free from grammar or spelling errors, and customized for the position you are seeking.

Ten tips and advice below for writing effective cover letters will increase your chance of getting selected for an interview. Please complement your suggestions to the list if you have ones to share.

1.      Write targeted cover letter

Read through the job description again and again to make a list of criteria the employer is seeking at potential candidates. At the same time, make a list of your own skills and qualifications. Then, make a match between the two lists to state the common things clearly in your letter. This way, the hiring manager can see, at a glance, why and how you're qualified for the job.

2.      Never duplicate your CV
Your cover letter should add more specific details to your resume than be a copy of itself. Highlight the qualifications, skills and experience you have that are related to the position. Remember to make your cover letter short, concise, straightforward and to the point.
3.      Make your cover letter personalized
When it comes to cover letters, taking the time to get personal is really important. Find out as much as you can about the company and the hiring manager via online research or phone call.   Personalize your cover letter by addressing it to the person responsible for recruiting. Use email for cover letters, but, keep them short and include in the email message. You shouldn’t attach a cover letter unless it is specifically required by the employer
4.      Double-check your letter before submitting 
It is difficult to notice errors in your own writing, therefore in addition to spell checking and proofreading by yourself, ask somebody else to review your letter before sending it. Remember to make your correspondence brief and targeted. Each letter should be less than a page long and each paragraph should contain maximum three or four sentences.

5.      Don’t forget to sign your name

If you don’t have to fill out and sign an application form, then the only place where you can provide your signature is your very cover letter. Signature is important as a genuine proof of your authenticity regardless of the fact that it may seem old-fashioned in this technology era.

6.      Put your letter in good layout

Presentation really matters, so make sure your letter has a clear layout without any tying or spelling errors. If possible, compare your covering letter to that of other candidates to be ensured that you’re standing out from the crowd.

7.       Tell the employer who you really are

Make sure that your correspondence reflects your impressive personality. Show the recruiters how motivated and enthusiastic you are. Never include negative comments in your letter. For each skill you want to elaborate on, try to use dynamic acting verbs. For instance:
Research - Analyzed, clarified

Interpersonal skills - Collaborated, communicated

Teaching - Instilled, motivated

 8.      Keep your letter short and to the point

A letter speaking to the needs of the company and position with relevant experience should draw the attention of the employers immediately. A well-written and targeted letter would make a positive pen-picture of you in the mind of the recruiters. Remember to keep your covering letter less than a page long.

9.      Focus on the first and last line

Don’t beat around the bush in the first paragraph. It is the place where you must make clear the reason you are writing and what makes you more qualified and outstanding than other candidates straight off. That first glance at your cover letter is your one opportunity to make a good impression and make it to the next round. Remember to finish your letter with a call to action. Ask the recruiters arrange you an interview and let them know you will be available to discuss.

10. Tell what you are impressed with the company

It is crucially important to take the time to do some online or offline research into the company, then include in your letter some specific information about them that make you are impressed and attracted to them at first glance. 

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