Are cover letters an afterthought on your job application? Many people focus on the job search and the resume, but leave the cover letter until the last minute. The cover letter can be the key to making sure you get a job interview. Below are 15 cover letter writing tips to help your cover letter stand out.
Cover letters are super important in your job search. Don’t treat it as a quick summary note. Put time, effort, and thought into your cover letter. It’s often the first thing a recruiter will read, before they browse your resume (Find tips on writing a resume too). Use your cover letter to grab their attention.
A cover letter only needs to be a few paragraphs. You need to introduce yourself, explain how you found the job (maybe on a job board or via your network), sell your skills and experiences, and say thank you. Keep it short and sweet. When you write your cover letter, consider the following cover letter writing tips:
- Introduce yourself
- Don’t repeat your resume
- Include research about the company, industry, and/or recruiter
- Explain why you are the best person for the job
- Write concisely, but tell your story so the reader wants to learn more
- Drop a name from your network if it’s appropriate
- Include keywords from the job description
- Be positive (don’t bad mouth your old employer or yourself)
- Leave out personal details
- Proofread to avoid any grammatical errors and typos
- Write your own cover letter – do NOT let someone else do it
- Keep it professional
- Customize it for each job and company
- Use proper letter or email formatting tactics
- Say thank you
A valuable and well written cover letter may be the reason that you obtain a job interview and ultimately land the job. It’s your chance to connect with the recruiter and impress him before you even meet him.
Take your cover letter seriously. Allow it to paint a picture of you in a way that your resume cannot. Write a new cover letter for every job and include it when you send in your application. It’s easy to attach your cover letter when you apply for jobs on JobMonkeyJobs. Why not apply for a job today?