4 Nifty Ways to Make Your Cover Letter Amazing

cover letter tipsBy Gerrit Hall

Peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, Ben and Jerry... some things are just meant to be together.

Just like these great pairs, your cover letter and resume should be a match made in heaven. When written the right way, these two documents complement each other in a way that engages the employer of your dreams.

Check out these four nifty ways to make your cover letter the perfect introduction to your resume:

1. Tailor it.

It might be easy to write out a "template" cover letter and jet it off to dozens of employers, but it won't get you far. Employers respond to tailored resumes that show you did your research. Make your best effort to address it to the right hiring manager and include details that only the company would have.

Know someone linked to this company? Now's the time to drop their name. Nothing is better than a referral.

2. Insert some personality.

I've noticed that many job seekers read "be professional" as "be a robot". Using bland, overly formal language says nothing about you. Employers want an employee who is capable, but also someone who would be a good addition to their company culture.

3. Go for detail.

Your resume is full of solid facts, but your cover letter can benefit from a detail or two. Consider including a short anecdote or an example from a time when you succeeded in your career. This is the time for prose.

4. Email it

Last, but not least, you're best off including your cover letter in the body of the email you're sending. If you include it in your resume attachment, what's going to be in the body of your email anyway?

What do you think? What other tips would you share with job seekers writing their cover letters? Any particular mistakes to avoid? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Gerrit Hall is the CEO and co-founder of RezScore, a free Web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes -- instantly. Gerrit has successfully combined his passion for computer science and the careers space by helping job seekers write the best resume possible. You can connect with Gerrit and RezScore on Facebook and Twitter.

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Donna Caissie

Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.

Don't just run spellcheck; proofread. If your grammar is lousy, have someone else proofread the cover letter for you.

When I was in charge of reviewing resumes for relevance, any resume or cover letter that contained a typo, misspelling, incorrect word usage, etc. went into the trash -- immediately.

=>Donna Caissie, the ExtraOrdinary Assistant

November 08 2011 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hi..my biggest issue is that although I have many talents, and have worked in my field for many years (in non-profit direct services and management)... I don't have a degree. There have been many job descriptions that fit me to a 'T' but t every post requires a degree.

November 06 2011 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
champion castle

Another hint: Don't wear black nail polish on your interview!

November 06 2011 at 9:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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