If you're looking for
information on how to write a cover letter, you're in the
right place. A large number of books and
websites will note that your cover letter is essential to introducing your
resume. In our findings, this is
usually not the case. Our research
has proven that more often than not, the reviewer will read your cover letter
only if your resume passes an internal review. However, it’s still an
important and necessary part of the job application process.
move on to the cover letter tips, we wanted to touch on the topic of
paid resume and cover letter services. In the past, we were skeptical of
paying to have a resume or cover letter professionally written.
However, after testing the services we’ve drastically changed our
Reason being, prices for resumes and cover letter writing
services these days are fairly reasonable (full services start at about $125).
We’ve recommended a few of our top picks, only highlighting services
that hire top-notch professionals. Therefore,
you can rest assured that the individual writing your resume is someone that has
studied how to position your skills for your particular industry. Bottom
line, they’re not just using templates to write your resume – each resume is
individually written. In closing, while the cover letter tips below will assist
you in the preparation of your cover letter, we would recommend using a paid
service from the beginning, or using a semi self serve free
resume and cover letter builder that
cover letter and resume critique after you’ve completed a final draft of your
Without further ado, on with the free cover letter tips.....
When writing your cover
letter (and resume), keep in mind that the reviewer is only interested in one
thing; the facts. Do not think of your cover letter as an autobiography; it
should be brief and to the point. The purpose of the cover letter and resume
should be one thing – it should demonstrate that you meet or exceed the
requirements listed in the job description. It should demonstrate that you’re
interested in the position, and that you are available to accept the position if
offered. Additional information beyond this can be counterproductive as it
dilutes the core purpose of the cover letter and resume.
When writing the cover
letter, avoid negatives. A cover letter is not the place to explain why you left
or are leaving an employer, why there are gaps in your employment dates, etc.
These "negatives" are best delivered in person during the interview so
that your personality and can counter them.
Try to avoid a salary
history in the cover letter. Even if the position specifically asks for your
salary history, providing this information will more likely to cost you a job
than not. If the job ad specifically says that resumes without a salary history
will not be considered, give a historical salary range and state that your
salary requirements are flexible based on the opportunity the position will
||Spend time thinking
about the layout of your letter, and make it sure that it is easy on the
eyes. It should be easy to scan the letter and have a logical
progression. Keep in mind, the reviewer of your resume has 100's (if not
1,000s) of cover letters and resumes to look at, therefore make it easy
to find the information you want to
highlight. Bunched up text in long paragraphs will frustrate anyone
who has to review hundreds of resumes and cover letters a week. In addition to
the layout, don't just repeat your resume. Your cover letter is not a summary of
your resume, instead its an introduction of yourself and an argument for why
you are the best candidate for their company and the specific position - ie -
avoid the generic cover letter (this point will be noted again in later tips).
PLEASE do NOT follow the
advice of poorly written resume books and websites that advise on using
platitudes and clichés in your cover letter. Resume reviewers do this for a
living. They know that almost every candidate promises "excellent written
and verbal communication skills", and the ability to "think outside
the box" and "juggle multiple tasks". The point here is to be
different and stand out. The goal is to demonstrate your written communication
skills by writing a good cover letter – Cutting and pasting a phrase from a
cover letter / resume book is not impressive.
noted above, personalize your cover letter if possible. Your cover letter should
be addressed to a specific person - avoid the "Dear Sir or Madam".
Form letters insult the reviewer's intelligence and indicate that you, the
writer, are broadcasting his/her resume to every employer in the area. Or you
have not made an effort to learn more about the company. Generic/canned cover
letters can lead to failure. Even if you do not know the name of the recipient,
you usually can find a contact name at the company fairly easily. Go to their
company website, and search the "about us" pages for names of
individuals to address your cover letter and resume to. It takes a few seconds;
however will make your letter stand out.