Your Cover Letter Shouldn't Be So Boring

John Krautzel
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Writing a cover letter might seem like a mundane task, but it is worth your while to use a little more imagination the next time you apply for a job. Writing an interesting cover letter is a skill that can make your job application stand out and improve your chances of landing your dream role.

When you apply for a job, bear in mind that your application will likely be competing with dozens, if not hundreds, of other applications. If your cover letter is full of boring clichés, such as "hard-working," "good communication skills" and "team player," you might want to consider giving it a makeover. Recruiters get bored of reading the same few buzzwords over and over again.

In order to stand out, you need to reach past the usual clichés and tell an engaging story to the recruiter who will read your application. It is not enough simply to stuff your cover letter with bland statements that claim you have all the skills required for the job. Instead, you need to use this opportunity to demonstrate how you have used those skills in your professional or personal life.

Forbes advises choosing two or three skills that are listed in the job requirements and telling a story that demonstrates each one. To avoid boring the recruiter, you need to include concrete details of what you did and what the effect was. For example, if the job you are applying for requires strong sales skills, you could tell the story of the time when you closed on a large sale or recruited a major new client for your business.

New graduates often struggle to write interesting cover letters because they have little work experience to draw on. However, even these new entrants to the job market have interesting stories to tell. If you are applying for a job straight out of college, use stories from your studies or extra-curricular activities to bring your cover letter to life. For example, you can demonstrate your leadership skills by telling the story of how you led your teammates to victory as the captain of the school lacrosse team.

Many people use cover letter templates to help them prepare their job applications. While a template can provide a good place to start drafting your letter, you need to make sure that your final cover letter is not boring or formulaic. Filling your cover letter with detailed stories that demonstrate your skills can help you to avoid falling into this trap.

A cover letter is your opportunity to show the recruiter that you are a good fit for the job. Don't fill up space with boring buzzwords; instead, tell engaging stories that show off your skills.

Photo courtesy of graur codrin at


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