So you want to write the best cover letter you can to impress your potential employer? Good! Cover letters are an essential part of job seeking and a sub-par letter can doom your efforts to failure. While there are many cover letter tips the main tip you need to know is this:
Do not do a general cover letter!
Cover letters are supposed to be an introduction and promotion of yourself for a specific job with a specific company. To make a cover letter you just slap onto every job application you send out will send a signal to the reader that you do not care enough about this job to write a personalized letter for them and you have not taken the time to learn anything about their company! Your resume is your general letter to companies and though it is a good idea to tweak them as well the cover letter should be different every time.
This does not mean you have to rewrite your cover letter from scratch every time of course. You will usually have a great portion that will not change from job to job and can be cut and pasted into your letter but your introduction in particular has got to be written and targeted towards that particular position. Keeping this in mind lets look at how you should structure your letter.
As has been said this should be targeted towards the exact job you are going for. You must introduce yourself and explain who you are and why you are writing along with where you heard about the job offer. Be respectful and confident and vibrant enough the reader will want to read more.
This is where you need to show off your skills and abilities however most people tend to just copy parts of their resume into this section which is not a good idea. IT is better if you use this part of focus on experiences and skills you have that relate to the position you are applying for. Target the specific criteria the company is looking for from their advertisement and give short examples of how your past experience will help you meet these demands and excel beyond them. It is okay to boast of your accomplishments as you are trying to sell yourself as not only the best candidate for the job but one that will contribute much more than what has been asked. Exceed their expectations if you can!
Keep your closing statement short and offer a proactive approach to getting this job such as telling them you will contact them shortly to follow up. You want to end sounding as enthusiastic and confident as you started and again if there is anything specific about this position you can include at the end then do so.
Will this get you to write the best cover letter you can? Well if not I hope you are much closer to it than before with these cover letter tips. Stay focused and good luck!
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