Cover Letter Tips

One of the toughest aspects of running a job-hunting campaign is writing winning cover letters that effectively introduce you to prospective employers while helping you to gain interviews. Cover letters have always been important, but in today’s competitive job market, they are of greater importance than ever. Use the following tips for cover letters that stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Top Tips for Writing Great Cover Letters

Writing a basic cover letter is simple. Writing one that helps you stand out from the pack is just as easy, but it does require you to take your time and tailor the content to the specific situation at hand. When writing a cover letter, use the following tips to help ensure that you get great results.

  • Try to get contact information for a hiring manager or other individual so you can customize your letter by addressing it to a specific person.
  • Look at cover letter examples before starting your cover letter. Consider which type of cover letter will work best for you and consider making a few different types before deciding on a final cover letter. Taking your time and making the process a deliberate one is among the best ways to leverage the power of the cover letter so it works as intended.
  • Work your hardest to impress the person who will be reading your cover letter, but don’t do it by using pretentious language. Instead, focus on impressing the reader with your top accomplishments and skills relevant to the job at hand. Use simple language and don’t overcomplicate your sentences. At the same time, don’t do a sloppy job – and even if your writing happens to be stellar, do not skip the important step of having someone review your cover letter, proofreading it for mistakes and considering whether it is effective. If you have no one to help you with this, at least run your document through spell check to be sure there are no errors.
  • Specifically tell the employer how you will be able to contribute to the company. Show that you understand what the company needs, and illustrate how you will be able to meet those needs in a very specific way. Giving solid examples is a great way to distinguish your cover letter from the others that the company is almost certainly receiving. Know what kind of competition you are likely to encounter and do your best to outshine other applicants. At the same time, remember to be honest!
  • Show that you are a capable individual and illustrate that you are unique. When companies are looking for people to fill positions, they are searching for those who stand head and shoulders above the competition. So spend some time thinking about what it is that makes you unique, and be generous with yourself when you do so. Humility is indeed a virtue, but your cover letter is not the place to be overly humble! What is the one reason this company needs you? Why should they choose you for the position you’re applying for? If you can come up with one major difference between you and the competition and build an outstanding paragraph around it, you are almost certain to be at an advantage.

Finally, be sure to structure your cover letter properly and know what information to include. You’ll find more fantastic cover letter tips throughout Ginger’s writing center.