Cover Letter…Don’t Sweat It

Posted by

Writing a cover letter to accompany a resume, for some, can conjure up bad memories from high school or college composition class. With sweaty palms, they reach for the Thesaurus and Dictionary. That feeling of uncertainty begins to cloud their thoughts and words as they ponder, “What do I want to say? Why should they hire me? What makes me a worthwhile candidate?” My advice to clients who are job searching is to keep it brief and to the point. The individual or team, who is screening the applicants and possibly interviewing as well, have lots of reading to wade through. Brevity, clarity, and appeal for action will help you get noticed. In three to four paragraphs, tell the potential employer :
  • What you want? How did you hear of the position and why are you applying? Do you know someone who works there? Are you familiar with the product or the service? Make the connection.
  • What you can do for them? Why should they hire you? What do you bring to the company? Expand on a few key points regarding your skills and experience from your resume
  • Make the contact for an interview. Lead the employer to action. Be proactive and say you will be contacting them regarding the position. Make sure you give your phone number and email. Be available for the calls or emails.
Other Tips:
  • Outline the cover letter with notes of what you want to say. Jot down words and phrases. The cover letter is a reflection of you. So, “know thyself” means take time to reflect and organize what you want to say before you construct the letter.
  • Do your research on the employer using the Internet, annual reports, newspaper, etc.
  • The salutation should include a name, Dear Mr. Brown or Dear Ms. Clark. This is no time for “Dear Sir, Dear Madam” and never, never “To Whom It May Concern.”
  • Proofread the cover letter. Use the professional format with proper spacing and margins. Appearance matters. Ask someone else to proof it as well.
  • Read the cover letter aloud. Does it flow? How does it sound to you?
  • Show energy and enthusiasm in the letter. Would you hire yourself?
The good news…once you create a professional cover letter, it will serve as a template that can be used for other applications.

Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • wilson
    i have gone through the tips you have given for writing a cover lettern and i have found it very usefulthanks!
  • arismawan
    If You find professional cover letter samples, especially for engineering field , You could visit
  • Henrietta
    In addressing a cover letter, I have come accross a situation in which a name for conact person is not included. This is in the News Paper classifieds and on search engines. So how and to who do I address my cover letter too. Also since I dont have a name and some times the company is not even mentioned in the add, who do I follow up with?I hope I am not the only person out there with this problem, please provide some answers. Thank you
  • Martha Duron
    Martha Duron
    I changed careers for the past 10 yrs and am now returning to the previous career (admin/clerical). I have had several short term jobs...(I didn't like them, I quit, I got fired...)now I don't know what company to put down and mix up my lies. I sound like I'm begging in my cover letter.
  • Cheryl
    I have been doing a job search for 1.5 years to no avail. I have a BS in Business. Do you think it could be my cover letter?
  • Marlo
    I always have the job description in front of me when I write my cover letter; I tailor it to the job for which I am applying. I always use a bulleted list of my skills and level of experience for the skills they say that they require in the job ad. That way, the reader has very little to read to determine that I am the right fit. And ALWAYS proofread and spell-check before sending it. Nothing turns off a potential employer more than someone who cannot write a complete sentence or use correct grammar and punctuation. If "dina" above is writing her cover letters like her posted message here, well, do I need to say more?
  • dina
    Its very beneficial but it lacks the overall look .i need to have a look for a model cover letter.what exactly should be inculded .the job objective can be written in it.
  • Alisa
    How do I write a cover letter if I want to change careers from teaching drama to working from home as an online writer?  What could I say?

Jobs to Watch