Great Tips to Give Your Cover Letter a Boost

Nancy Anderson
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No matter how many skills you have or how long you have worked in your industry, you still need to spend time customizing and polishing every cover letter you write. In some cases, a great cover letter is what convinces a hiring manager to interview one person instead of another, so don't overlook this important task. Here are several cover letter tips to follow if you need to give your job hunt a boost.

A busy hiring manager doesn't have time to read two or three pages of rambling text, so keep your cover letter short. When you are writing the introductory paragraph of your letter, think of it as a sales pitch. Instead of pitching the latest software program, you're pitching your skills and experience to the hiring manager. Write a strong introduction, two or three body paragraphs, and a short closing. If you are sending your cover letter by mail, sign your name at the bottom instead of typing it on your computer.

The purpose of customizing your cover letter is to make it easier for hiring managers to remember you. If you don't take time to make your personality shine through, the manager is likely to have trouble distinguishing you from the dozens of other people who applied for the job. If you have done business with the company as a customer, talk about how your experiences made you want to work for the company. Tell an anecdote that shows the hiring manager why you want the job. Make sure every sentence of your letter is relevant to the job or the company.

Be careful not to treat your cover letter as a summary of your resume. Your resume is the place to list all of your previous employers and tell hiring managers what duties you have performed at past jobs. It's okay to mention one or two of your previous jobs in a cover letter, but don't rewrite your entire job history. Instead, make sure your cover letter includes new information that might convince the hiring manager you deserve a chance at the job.

Hiring managers often have their assistants screen cover letters and resumes in an effort to reduce the size of the applicant pool for a particular position. If you don't want to get screened out, make sure your cover letter doesn't have any spelling mistakes or typos in it. If you don't take time to review your cover letter before you send it, you might be giving a hiring manager a reason not to interview you.

Hiring managers appreciate a well-written cover letter, so don't skimp on the amount of time you spend writing yours. Follow these cover letter tips to ensure you produce a professional-looking letter that convinces hiring managers you are an applicant worth further consideration.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Carrie thanks for your comment and saying what all of the other readers are thinking. There is no other option but to press on and continue applying. We wish you all the best.

  • Carrie D.
    Carrie D.

    Thank you for the tips. It is very frustrating to send over 40 resumes with cover letters, all customized, and not one response. I will re-write and carry on!

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Terisa thanks for your comment. We have many articles here @Beyond that can help you as you search for a new position. Many things have changed in the job hunting world in 28 years. It would be worth it to just take a little bit of time and peruse some of our articles or do your own search on the Internet for guidance. Probably the best advice to get you started is to think about where you want to work going forward and then do a career assessment. You will find tons of free career assessments on the web. See what the results are and then you can start your job search from there. You might be surprised at the results of the assessment! We wish you all the best.

  • Terisa Gentry
    Terisa Gentry

    Thank you for these great tips on cover letters. I have never used one but I am going to from now on. I just left my job of 28 years and I'm a little rusty, c as n you refer me to more helpful tips on landing a new job? Thank you again Terisa Gentry

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