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Five Tips For Writing Attention-grabbing Cover Letters

A cover letter is perhaps the trickiest letter you will ever have to write as a job seeker. It can’t be too long so as to bore the reader while at the same time, it can’t too short either. If you really look at it, you won’t be writing anything more than who you are and why are you writing the cover letter, yet you still want to make it impressive by making it different from the tons that might be fighting to be on top.

So what are the secrets to writing that magical cover letter?

Top Five Tips To Writing Cover Letters That Get Results

Let’s look at the five most important tips that will make your cover letter get attention:

1.Please don’t use a standard cover letter (read: template) with blank spaces for addresses and date insertions. For god’s sake, avoid this as it is going to drive the recruitment manager nuts. If they have read a thousand resumes before they get to yours and they find a cover letter which is not exactly and specifically made for them, they will possibly lose interest and not continue with your resume any further. But seriously speaking, this kind of template gives a feeling of being disregarded to the reader. Can you afford to let this happen?

2.Don’t let all the goodies out of the bag in the cover letter itself. Writing all about yourself in the cover letter is meaningless when you are enclosing your resume as well. Also, a lengthy cover letter is boring and frustrating. The most a hiring manager will do is throw it aside for the circular file. This effectively means you are out of the running. So avoid lengthy cover letters, and keep it brief and to the point.

3.Clearly specify the job code (if it is provided), and give the reference as to whether you are writing the cover letter in response to an advertisement. This prevents your letter from being delivered to the wrong person/department. The right person will understand the position that you have applied for, which makes it easier for him or her to contact you.

4.Personalizing and proofreading the cover letter – this goes without saying. You may argue that perfect spelling and grammar in the cover letter are not evidence of your talents, skills and abilities. Well, look at it this way; what will you do if your talents get buried under unintentional and silly errors? Better yet, how will you know – because if they are, you certainly aren’t going to get called for an interview.

5.Grab attention in the opening sentence itself – This will grab the reader immediately and entice them to read your cover letter carefully and with interest. Think of this as sales – if you don’t get the reader’s attention from the very start, the sale (i.e. – your candidacy) is lost.

Because the cover letter is the first contact that you will have with a company or recruiter, it is absolutely essential that it gets the right kind of attention from the get go. By following the five tips above, you will ensure that your resume ends up at the top of the “yes” heap.

Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end. If you need cover letter samples and tools, go to

Image taken on 2009-09-28 15:21:58. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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