Get an Interview With These 9 Cover Letter Tips

Nancy Anderson
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Few things are more discouraging than applying for job after job without getting any interviews. If your job search is off to a slow start, take a close look at your cover letter and resume, and then review your job search process. Get input from friends and other professionals, if needed. Then, make any necessary changes to improve your chances of landing a job interview. Start with these nine tips.

1. Apply to More Places

The more applications you send out, the higher your chances of landing a job interview. If possible, apply for an average of five jobs a day to bolster your odds.

2. Target the Right Person

Unfortunately, not every application gets seen by employees with hiring power. Speak to someone in human resources about the position, and find out the name of the hiring manager to ensure your application package reaches the person who is responsible for setting up interviews. Alternatively, try checking out the company's website or LinkedIn page for names of department heads.

3. Always Include a Cover Letter

A well-crafted cover letter gives you a chance to explain who you are and why you are the best choice for the position. Never overlook this essential document. A resume alone is less personable and easier to ignore.

4. Customize Every Cover Letter

Avoid sending the same cover letter out for every position. Instead, target your letter by showcasing how your qualifications relate directly to each job. Try writing up a handful of sample letters focused on the different types of jobs you desire. Then, customizing is a simple matter of selecting the sample that most closely fits and adding a few details directly related to the position.

5. Relate Your Cover Letter to Your Resume

Think of your cover letter and resume as a package. Avoid repeating details from your resume in your cover letter. Instead, focus on how the skills and experiences listed on your resume prepared you to handle the responsibilities of the position.

6. Be Succinct

Keep the length of your cover letter short, using no more than three paragraphs. Busy hiring managers may ignore longer letters.

7. Create a Memorable Introduction

Catch the hiring manager's attention by crafting an interesting first paragraph for your cover letter. Introduce yourself in a memorable way. For example, share a specific experience or accomplishment that directly relates to the position.

8. Connect to the Company

Part of your cover letter should focus on how the position fits in with your career goals. Include specific reasons why landing the position is an important step in your career.

9. Assume Action

When you end the letter, state that you look forward to an interview. This helps to help encourage the hiring manager to take the next step and lets him know that you're ready for a face-to-face conversation.

Boost your job search by applying for more jobs and including a high-quality cover letter with each application package. Research every company you want to work for before applying, and in your letter, describe exactly why you would be a valuable addition to the organization.


Photo courtesy of Eric.Yale 2011 at


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