Enhance Your Cover Letter with These Secrets

John Krautzel
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A cover letter does a few things for your job search in just a few sentences. Your words show your prospective employer how you fit into the company's culture thanks to your personal story. Keep in mind a few writing tips that enhance your vital document that could get you noticed more than other candidates.

Many human resources professionals suggest you have a friend help edit your copy and read the cover letter. Sometimes this isn't practical simply because everyone else may be too busy to help you. When you lack a second set of eyes to help, take matters into your own hands. You can still wow a potential manager even if no one assists you with your first step.

Pretend you're a complete stranger reading your cover letter for the first time. Show, don't tell, how you can help the company who wants to hire a viable employee. You already know you're perfect for the position, but you have to convince someone else of the same. Instead of telling someone you "adapt quickly," show how you did this with a concrete example that illustrates how you were thrust into an uncomfortable position and adapted to persevere and succeed.

After you read your cover letter, ask yourself, "Is this person worthy of a second look?" If you answered no, then go back and change it. You don't have to start all over, but convince yourself you have a strong chance to get an interview.

Take a risk, but don't go over the top. Have a creative format that fits the job for which you apply. If your future position revolves around a social media coordinator, consider writing 140-character Twitter posts as your cover letter. Write a sales pitch if your new position includes managing a sales team of 10 people. Use a few interesting and unique first lines to grab someone's attention and make your document more memorable.

Print out your letter, read it aloud and mark out wasted words with a red pen. Write another version after the changes, and do this process again. It may be laborious, but the more you read, reread and hear what your introductory letter says, the better you can convey what you want to show to a prospective employer.

Don't repeat information already found on your resume. If your resume symbolizes the business card of your life, a letter represents a blog entry of your website that relates a personal story. If you supervised a team of 20 from December 2010 to July 2013, share a personal story of how your past success can benefit the company in front you.

A cover letter often serves as the first impression given to a prospective employer. You still have more work to do with regards to landing that all-important interview, but these writing tips may help enhance your initial standing during the application process.

Photo courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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