Should I Add a Testimonial to My Cover Letter?

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Recruiters and hiring managers often receive dozens, even hundreds, of applications for a job opening, which means they normally spend only a few seconds looking over each one. If you want your resume or application to stand out, create a succinct cover letter that tells potential employers why you are right for the job. One fail-proof cover letter technique is to add testimonials that support the claims you make about your skills and achievements.

Your cover letter is one of the most important pieces of your resume or job application, as it can help to catch a recruiter's eye even if your resume is average. According to a survey by The Washington Post, 75 percent of surveyed employers agree that a well-written cover letter makes even less-qualified applicants more likely to be called to an interview. In addition to a career summary, qualifications and other basic information, testimonials add credibility to your claims while making your cover letter memorable.

One of the few situations in which you should not add testimonials to your cover letter is if you have none that are appropriate for the position. You also may want to refrain from adding these quotes if there is no logical place for them in a particular cover letter. Make sure to add no more than one or two testimonials in order to keep your cover letter from looking overcrowded. If you wish to include testimonials that are lengthy, or if the quotes add too much clutter to the cover letter, consider including them on a separate page in your resume.

Testimonials can come from previous employers, clients and coworkers. Look for positive praise in memos, performance evaluations, thank you letters, internship summaries and letters of recommendation. Find brief excerpts of one or more sentences that cast you in a favorable light and retype them into your cover letter. Consider italicizing the testimonials and place them in quotations marks. Place a dash after the quote followed by the person's name, position and company or place of work. You may also include a telephone number in case the recruiter wishes to verify the testimonial. You want them to grab attention, but they should not distract from the main body of your cover letter.

The best places to include testimonials are after your areas of expertise, in the blank spaces around the body or at the very end of the document. If you include cover letter testimonials in the body, be sure to put them in separate paragraphs to make them stand out. Lastly, choose the testimonials for your cover letter wisely, as the hiring manager uses them to determine how others view you as a professional.


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