Tips and Advice for Writing Cover Letters That Will Get You Noticed

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Resumes are hugely important, but cover letters are just as important and should never be considered an after-thought. Every cover letter you write should be customized for the job you are applying for. Your cover should be clear, concise, grammatically correct, and error-free. Remember, people see your cover letter before they see your resume. It's your opportunity to make a good first impression.

Here are tips and suggestions for writing cover letters that will help you stand out from the crowd and get you one step closer to a job offer.

Send a Customized Cover Letter Each Time

Your cover letter may make the difference between obtaining a job interview and having your resume ignored. Your cover letter is your first opportunity to create a relationship with the person who is doing the hiring. Even if an employer doesn't request a cover letter, it's helpful to send one.

Target Your Cover Letter

Take a good look at the job posting and make a list of the criteria the employer is looking for. Then list the skills and experience you have that correlates to what the employer is looking for. This is not cheating. It's simply being smart enough to target your skills to the job. Be sure to address how your skills match the job requirements.

Don't Rehash Your Resume

Your cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. It should expand upon your resume and highlight your skills and experience and how they relate to the job you're applying for.

Write Simply and Clearly

Get right to the point and write short targeted letters. No one has time for an epic novel, so keep your cover letters to one page. Also, make sure each paragraph has no more than three or four sentences.

Personalize Your Letter

If you can, address your cover letter to the individual who is doing the hiring. If necessary, conduct some online research or make a phone call to find out who the hiring manager is. This is not being pushy. The hiring manager will respect you for taking the initiative.

Use Email for Cover Letters

However, keep them very short and include them in the body of the email message. Don't send a cover letter as an attachment unless the employer specifically requests it that way.

Keep copies of all your cover letters, so you know what you sent to whom.

Spell Check and Proofread

Then ask someone else to read your correspondence before you send it. It's often easy not to notice mistakes in our own writing.

Keep copies of all your cover letters, so you know what you sent to whom.

Cover Letter Examples

Review cover letters examples, both written and email, that are designed for a variety of different types of job applications and employment inquiries.