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Like a firm handshake with someone new, your cover letter makes the first impression to potential employers. Crafting a strong cover letter takes time, and could make the difference between landing the job or being rejected before your resume has been reviewed. In order to create that perfect virtual handshake, it’s wise to review these cover letter samples below. You can use these as a template or read on to learn how to draft your own cover letter.
How to Write a Cover Letter
The old-fashioned cover letter is boring and full of the same types of phrases. In a job market where many people are applying for the same position, making your cover letter memorable will allow you to stand out among the rest.
Express yourself: With today’s modern cover letter, adding value and telling a brief story is a true benefit to the reader, and should entice them to want to move forward. Here’s your chance to make your resume come to life!
Use the language in the job description: If the job posting states that it seeks a “Jack of all trades,” use this exact phrase to describe yourself. Be sure to include an example to solidify your point.
Thank your readers for their consideration: People took time out of their day to read what you wrote. Respect that, and show it.
Be proactive: Remember to end your cover letter with a date and time that you will be following up. This will be the first project you start and complete before even being hired. Employers and recruiters alike will appreciate your proactive approach, and you have a shot at standing above the rest.
How to Format a Cover Letter
First, try to address the letter to the hiring manager. Although it’s acceptable to use bullets to list your achievements, your cover letter should not be more than four short, succinct paragraphs.
Your first paragraph should mention a person who referred you to the company, or whom you know works there. Next, write the second paragraph about why you would be an asset to the organization. Your third paragraph should be a brief summary of qualifications, achievements and awards. Although you can use bullets to list your achievements, don’t be afraid to tell a story about how winning an award made you feel. The last paragraph should compliment the company and remind them of the value you will add to the position available.
Common Cover Letter Mistakes
● Grammar matters: It’s imperative you take the time to use correct grammar and punctuation. Misspelled words are a red flag, so have someone proofread your cover letter before you hit “send.”
● Do not include a photo: Leave the photo out, and use an invitation instead. A link to your LinkedIn account is a great way to show off your professional appearance.
● Write a letter, not a book: A short, succinct, one-page cover letter written correctly is much more attractive than a rambling page of words.
You’ve Written Your Cover Letter. Now What?
You’ve taken the time to write it; now let someone you know read it! Remember to follow up – because you said you would. In an employer’s market, you’re swimming in a sea of candidates, so be the buoy, not the anchor!