Effective Ways to Write a Cover Letter

John Krautzel
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An effective cover letter can make or break your chances of landing that dream job. Craft a letter that highlights your accomplishments and details how your skills and qualifications match the position so hiring managers view you as the ideal candidate for the job.

Formatting matters when crafting a cover letter. Pay close attention to the formatting to impress hiring managers, explains Career City. Include your name, address, and a link to your online portfolio or professional website at the top of the letter. Instead of using a generic greeting, such as "To whom it may concern," identify and address the letter to a specific hiring manager.

Your introduction should indicate the job you are applying for and supply references to any professionals in your network who have referred you to the position during your job search. Employers want to know how you learned about the job, and referencing people associated with the company can increase your chances of obtaining an interview.

Focus the body of your cover letter on selling your skills and experience. Highlight skills, qualifications and knowledge you possess that directly relate to the job description. Analyze the job description for keywords you can use within the letter, and describe professional development activities, educational courses and work experience that are in line with what the company is seeking in a candidate.

Craft a theme for each paragraph within your cover letter. Keep paragraphs focused by detailing computer skills in one paragraph, soft skills and personality traits in another, and leadership experience in an additional paragraph. Employers seek candidates who can clearly and concisely detail their experience and provide examples of on-the-job successes and accomplishments. Expand upon your career goals, and tie this information to the goals and mission of the company to show that your professional values are directly related to the goals and mission of the business.

Show off your confidence when writing a cover letter. Spend time during your job search identifying your strengths, and detail these persuasively within the body of the letter. Use phrases such as "I am confident that my skills and experience will be an asset to your company" or "I am a ideal candidate for this position" to show that you are invested in your abilities as a potential employee.

Job candidates who are confident yet persuasive are often attractive to potential employers seeking motivated additions to their staff. Show your professionalism as a potential new hire by thoroughly proofreading your cover letter, customizing your application materials to the specific position, and formatting the letter so it conveys a professional and creative tone. Increase your chances of nailing the job by focusing on how you can positively impact the company's growth.

Photo Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Michael thanks for your comment. It is true that sometimes you can't find out who the hiring manager is so that you can address it properly. However, if you can find out, you should use their name. Check on LinkedIn or Glassdoor or even check out the company website if you can. It is possible that you might even know someone who works at that company who can give you the hiring manager's name. If you can't find out, then you will have to use Dear Hiring Manager or Dear Sir, etc. We certainly do understand that it's not always possible to find it out.

  • Michael M.
    Michael M.

    I stopped reading this the moment the author threw out the proverbial "address the letter to the hiring manager" line. When are the writers of this material going to realize that in many cases that information is difficult if not impossible to obtain?

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