How to write a cover letter

by fred 8. February 2010

Your cover letter is your chance to make a good first impression with an employer and it is arguably more effective than your resume. Resumes are usually impersonal lists of experiences, education and accomplishments. Your cover letter allows you to tell a compelling story that provides a personal, relatable context for your resume. It allows you to make yourself stand out from the crowd of candidates, it provides you with the chance to convince a recruiter to read your resume and it lets you explain how your experiences match the job to which you are applying to.

Before starting to write a cover letter, you should make sure that you have carefully read the job description. Highlight qualifications and duties that relate to your profile and ensure that, if there are any gaps in your resume, you can explain them with your cover letter.

It is also essential to research the company which you are applying to and, if possible, the hiring manager who will be reviewing your resume. Your cover letter is your first chance to express how your profile matches up with that of the company and make a personal connection with the hiring manager.

Your resume cover letter should be formatted clearly and professionally. Most cover letters are sent electronically. If they are sent as an attachment, you should format them as you would format professional correspondence.  If they are sent in the body of an email, heading elements can be left out, as they may look odd.

Your first paragraph should identify the position you are applying to. More importantly, it should grab the hiring recruiter’s attention and make it clear that you are a serious candidate for the position.


In your middle paragraph, you should emphasize how your skills match the requirements of the position. Include details about the organization you are applying to. This will not only make it clear that you are serious about the job and not sending out a generic letter, but it will also make it easier for you to provide compelling arguments for how you can help the organization in reaching its goals.


The last paragraph should accomplish four main goals. You should direct your readers to your resume, request an interview, indicate a time period during which you will get in touch with them and express your gratitude to them for their time and consideration.


Once your letter is ready, do not forget to proofread it. Grammatical and spelling mistakes should be avoided at all costs. Remove colloquialisms and contractions. Your cover letter should be less than a page in length. Be concise and clear; do not provide too much extraneous information. Also, make sure that your language is precise rather than vague. Tell the reader exactly what experiences you have had that make you well-suited to the position, not just that you have experience.


Ensure that your cover letter looks professional, and, if possible, matches your resume. Use a simple, elegant font. If you are sending a physical letter rather than an electronic one, use the same sort of paper as your resume. If you are sending an electronic document, use the recommended file format.

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Comments

February 10. 2010 00:19

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MY cousin asked me to write an impressive resume cover letter of his own. Good thing I have dropped by here, I will just inform him about this post, so he can be able to compose a superb resume of his own. Sounds great, isn't it?

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