Tips to Help if You are Rusty at Writing

John Krautzel
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If you're able to write well, you have a highly marketable skill. Job seekers need to show off their writing skills when compiling a cover letter. This letter is the first opportunity to make an impression on your potential employer, and even if your skills are a bit rusty, it is possible to strike the right chord using the right strategies.

Start From Scratch

Many job seekers mistakenly think that revising an old cover letter is the place to start when applying for new positions. Resist the temptation to recycle the old and begin the process fresh with a blank page. It is likely that your experience, skill set and objectives have changed, and your new letter needs to reflect these initiatives and accomplishments.

Read to Write

Writing skills improve when you are exposed to examples and articles about the craft. Read as many sample cover letters as possible, and model the styles of writing that fit your industry. Notice how job seekers craft sentences, organize paragraphs and list their experience and skills. Use the examples as a guide to create your own style of writing.

Begin Writing

You cannot craft a clear, cohesive and professional letter without forcing yourself to begin writing. Take a deep breath and begin writing about why you are a good fit for the position, how the company's mission and goals are in line with your professional philosophies, and what you have accomplished in your career. Your first draft may not be ready for printing right away, but putting words on the page gives you the opportunity to jump into the task of writing while establishing your skills in print.

Follow a Format

Once you have words on a page, format the cover letter to show a high level of professionalism. List the date of the letter, your name and address and the company's name and address at the top of the page. Customize an introduction that details the position you are applying for and your familiarity with the company. Craft body paragraphs that detail your accomplishments, career achievements and skills, showing how they the job description to demonstrate how you are the ideal fit for the position. Close the letter by requesting an interview and offering your appreciation for the hiring manager's time. Limit the text to one page of content, and provide your contact information and a link to any professional portfolios you may have. Avoid just restating information from your resume. Remember that the cover letter is your opportunity to show skills that do not appear on your resume.

A cover letter is an important element of a candidate's employment package. Put your best foot forward by working through the challenges of writing and outlining why you are the best fit for the job.

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