10 Tips For Writing an Effective Cover Letter

The cover letter is an essential element in your job search.  On this article, we discuss ten valuable tips on how you can write a more effective cover letter:

1.  Take advantage of connections.  If you have a friend who is directly connected with the company you are applying for, it’s a good idea to mention this in your cover letter.  A potential employer is most likely to give you a chance for an interview and even hire you if you have a mutual connection.

2.  Use a personal name.  Your cover letter should be addressed to the name of the manager or the company owner.  Instead of using “To Whom it May Concern” in you salutation, your cover letter would make a bigger impact if you will address the hiring officer by the name.  Do your research on this one and it can make a big difference.

3.  Don’t be too formal.  The traditional way of writing the cover letter in a formal style is outdated.  It is completely okay to use a conversational style as long as you maintain professionalism.

4.  Sell yourself.  Don’t be afraid to brag about your best qualities and achievements. As long as you’re telling the truth, there’s no reason to be ashamed.

5.  Focus on why you should get hired.  A potential employer is looking for someone with the right credentials and someone with confidence to represent the company.  You are therefore encouraged to speak about what you can do for the company in your cover letter.

6.  Keep it short yet concise.  The cover letter does not need to be very long or elaborate.  You can save the details in your resume.  However, you want to make sure that your cover letter will grab the attention of the hiring officer.

7.  Don’t make it complicated.  There’s no need to use grandiose terms to describe your achievements. You want your cover letter to be easily understandable but you also want to choose strong words that aptly describe your qualifications.

8.  Send as attachment.  First, you want to make sure that the job ad does not say don’t send your resume as an attachment.  While job seekers are often advised not to send their resume as a file attachment with their cover letter, you may consider sending it both as email message and attachment just in case the employer want to print out your resume for reference.

9. Proofread your cover letter.  Even a single typographical error or an incorrect grammar can make you look bad in the eye of a potential employer.  There is simply no good excuse for missing out an error in your cover letter and resume.

10. Be positive.  Don’t use statements in your cover letter that would leave the impression that you lack confidence in your qualifications.  For example, don’t say, “Attached is my resume and it would be great if you can take a look at it for further evaluation.”  Such statement gives your employer the option NOT to take a look at your resume.  Instead, you should say something more straightforward and convincing.

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