Cover Letter Questions and Answers

Nancy Anderson
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The function of a cover letter is to show potential employers your skills, experience and education. The letter is a vital part of your job search process and should include details about why you want to work for the company. Show your personality and your professionalism when preparing application materials to prompt the hiring manager to seek out your skills.

Your cover letter should stand out from the typical, general form letter. Avoid using a template for each position you're seeking. Tailor your letter for the job by comparing your skills to the desired qualifications listed in the job description. An employer who is seeking proficiency in particular computer programs or equipment is seeking a candidate who describes experience with the desired qualifications. Use keywords from the industry and the job description to capture the interest of the hiring manager.

Candidates who are serious about working for a particular company should perform research prior to writing a cover letter. Learn about how the company operates, know the products and services provided and seek out people in your network who work for the business to get inside information about the company's culture and benefits. Note what you know about the company's standing in the community and the industry within your letter and detail how you would like to be a part of the company's future accomplishments. Show how your personality fits within the company's culture so hiring managers can clearly see that you are an ideal fit for the position and the company as a whole.

Highlight your skills and experience within your cover letter, but avoid repeating information included on your resume. Instead, provide information that can't be found on your application materials. Detail how you work well with teams by providing specific examples of projects completed in past positions. Outline your motivation for wanting to work for the company and show you have the skills and experience to impact the company's productivity and profitability. Your job search should focus on finding companies who have similar goals and missions as your professional beliefs. Write about what you know about the company's mission and show that your professional actions, goals and behaviors are in line with this mission.

Allow your personality to shine through in your cover letter. Provide a creative opening statement that details who you are and what you hope to become professionally. Hiring managers read through hundreds of letters each week, so your letter needs to stand out from the remaining candidates.

Finalize your cover letter by proofreading thoroughly. Application materials riddled with grammar, punctuation and spelling errors are often tossed in the trash. Secure your credibility and maintain a professional demeanor with a thorough, brief, concise and proofread letter.

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