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Cover Letter Tips: a Winning Formula

It’s true that nobody really likes writing cover letters or resumes. What’s even more interesting is that cover letters are not even enjoyed by their recipients. The problem derives from the cover letter templates. If you want to get the message quickly to as many recipients as possible then you have to create a cover letter template. It’s impossible to structure a new sentence or paragraph for every cover letter.

This causes all cover letters from all job seekers to look the more or less the same and the phrases in the letters to sound repetitive. This repetition simply destroys the entire letter. Imagine 100 job seekers using the same cover letter template and send their letters to the same recipient. After reading some letters the recipient is frustrated and there’s no point at reading any more..

Here are some tips to make your cover letters stand out from the crowd and look inspiring and fresh:

Make A Good Start

It’s true that the beginning of a cover letter is the hardest part. Most writers get stuck and cannot come up with an inspiring first sentence or paragraph. So, write down a list of good “first phrases” and use them accordingly. Here are some examples:

- I am writing to you to introduce myself and to apply for the current opening in your company for a skillful …

- Does your department look for a talented …

- I’ve heard a lot of people talking about a potential opening in your company for a …

- Please accept this letter and my attached resume as an interest in the position of…

- I am a … with … years of experience in … and I hope to utilize my skills at your department…

- I have just completed my … studies at … university and I am looking for a position that will capitalize my experience as a …

- During the last … years I have held complex positions within the … industry. My areas of expertise are …

- There’s nothing that would please me more than to join your team of talented …

These are some examples of interesting and eye-catching first sentences that could help you.

Add Your Contact Details At The Top

On the top of every page write your name, address, phone number and email address. You can create a simple letterhead with this information on your computer. You can use smaller fonts. It will save you a lot of time from writing the same information for every recipient.

Decide What You Want

Before writing a cover letter be realistic and decide why you want to be part of a specific company. What is so different about that company that makes you want to work for them? What specific parts of your work do you like the most? Do not just write a cover letter just because you need a job. Everybody needs a job. So sit down and write the things you like the most about the specific company. Then carefully add this list of things to your cover letter template. It’s also a good practice to use bulleted lists of abilities and skill areas. You could make a grid that matches your skills with the company’s needs.

Professionalize Your Cover Letter

Do not use sentences like “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Human Resources Manager”, it really looks nonprofessional and boring for the reader. Instead try to find the actual name of the recipient.

Closing Is Important

Make a smart close. Do not use begging sentences like “I really hope to talk to you soon”. Be brief and straightforward. Show your intentions. Here are some examples:

- I would be interested in an opportunity to interview for this position and will look forward to scheduling a meeting with you.

- Thank you for your consideration. I will call you next week to talk further or schedule an appointment.

These examples are a bit direct and if this is not you then you can use the good old “..I look forward to hearing from you..”.

Remember that the length of your cover letter doesn’t really matter. Timing and follow-up is what matters the most. Send your letters and make calls a few days later to schedule appointments. If you need assistance here’s a winning cover letter formula that will get your phone ringing with more quality job interviews.

Image taken on 2009-09-29 10:38:24. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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