Ways to Improve Your Cover Letter

Nancy Anderson
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Few things are more frustrating to a hiring manager than reviewing a resume with no cover letter. Your resume tells the story of where you were educated and where you’ve worked. Your cover letter speaks to who you are and what kind of worker employers can expect should they hire you. Carefully construct your cover letter in an engaging manner and remember some key points to help you stand out.

Use action verbs where possible to engage the interviewer when writing your cover letter. Additionally, put the information you want to stand out to the hiring manager in the first sentence of the first paragraph. Write the paragraphs in order of importance. However, use as few words as possible so that you don’t lose or bore the reader.

Don’t repeat achievements from your resume in your cover letter. Instead, expand on them. If you ran a successful project for one of your employers, explain how and why it was successful.

The hiring manager wants to know how well you adapted to your previous bosses. Make mention of this in your cover letter by explaining how you worked together with employers on various tasks and how the two of you succeeded in achieving the goals of the company.

Keep your cover letter as focused as your resume. If you don’t have the qualifications for something, don’t try to spin the words to make it seem as if you do. Skilled hiring managers notice this quickly, and your cover letter and resume end up in the trash before the human resources department has the chance to call you for an interview.

Proofread your cover letter for errors. If you don’t have proofreading skills to catch small errors such as a misplaced comma or too many hyphens, ask a friend with editing skills to help you. Errors in cover letters not only look sloppy, they give the impression that you’re not serious. Moreover, the hiring manager may feel that if you didn’t take the time to provide a crisp, clean and error-free cover letter, then you may not take the time to perform your job duties without errors as well.

Show hiring managers that you respect their time by keeping your cover letter brief. Your paragraphs should be short; only a few sentences are required in each paragraph. In doing so, readers stays focused on what they are reading, and they can sift through the information quickly.

Your cover letter is the first impression that hiring managers have of you. It is important that this document stands out and provides the information they are looking for. If you use this letter as an opportunity to engage with a potential employer, your interview won’t be far behind.


Photo courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Most welcome. I know, from experience, that cover letters are the toughest part of the application process. You don't want to sound too much like a braggart but you want to show the hiring manager that you are more than capable of handling the job and that you really want it. All of this without repeating anything from your resume! If you get into a bind there are thousands of sample cover letters on the Internet. Just google cover letter for the position you want - i.e. - cover letter for a marketing assistant. I wish you the best.


    It was knowledgable

  • Vilma J.
    Vilma J.

    thank you

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