12 Steps to Effective Cover Letter Writing

If you are preparing to apply for a job, this post presents twelve tips so you can write an effective cover letter:

  1. Believe in yourself. Have confidence in your abilities and skills.  If you believe in yourself, it will show in your writing as well as in your speech when you show up in the actual interview.
  2. Be positive.  Don’t use statements that send out a negative impression about you.  Prospective employers are looking for people who have a positive outlook and attitude because they are often more productive.
  3. Get straight to the point.  Since your cover letter should be short, each sentence you include should count.  Choose your words carefully, omitting unnecessary words and phrases.
  4. Be professional.  Your professionalism will also show on how your cover letter is presented.  You do not necessarily need to use a very formal style of writing.  In fact, job experts recommend using the conversational tone of voice to make your letter more engaging.  However, avoid using slang words or jargon which could send the impression of disrespect and lack of professionalism.
  5. Read sample letters.  You can read sample cover letters from the internet so you can get a better idea as to the right approach and the right style.
  6. Do not talk about pay.  Avoid speaking about matters of compensation in your cover letter.  In fact, a job seeker must never discuss compensation issues until you are certain that the employer wants you for the job.
  7. Persuade the employer to look at your resume.  Encourage your potential employer to take a look at the next page of your job application, which is your resume.  Your cover letter serves as your formal introduction of your intent to be part of the company.  Your resume contains the details of all your credentials and qualifications.
  8. Restate your interest in the position.  Before ending your cover letter, you should repeat your genuine interest to work for the company.  Concluding your letter in this manner will help the prospective employer to remember you.
  9. Proofread your letter.  Never send out a cover letter and your resume without taking the time to check it for possible errors.  Keep in mind that even a single misspelling or incorrect grammar can hurt your image.
  10. Let someone else proofread.  After checking your cover letter, it’s a good idea to let another person review it once again.  This is because others are more likely to spot errors than the person who wrote it.
  11. Don’t send attachment. If you are sending your job application through email, make sure that you don’t send your resume as an attachment.  Instead, send your resume as an email message after your cover letter.  Some job experts recommend sending the resume both as an email message and attachment, just in case the prospective employer needs to print it out for reference.
  12. Be courteous.  Show courtesy to the person reading your cover letter.  Thank the hiring officer for his/her time reading your letter and use proper closing.



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