Five tips for writing an effective cover letter
Contributed, March 29, 2019, 5:35 p.m.
You’ve stumbled onto an amazing job posting, you have all the right qualifications and your resumé is impeccable. The catch? The cover letter. The following tips will help you shine if you have a hard time writing this type of letter.
1. Be brief. Summarize what you want to say in one page. Remember that recruiters receive dozens of letters and only spend a short time on each one.
2. Be clear and specific. Avoid long, convoluted sentences, and give examples. Mention numbers if you’ve managed a major project; describe an experience where you demonstrated organizational skills rather than just saying you’re a well-organized person.
3. Don’t repeat your resumé. If a cover letter is required, it’s certainly not meant for you to mindlessly repeat the contents of your CV. Explain who you are, why the position and the company interest you and why you should be considered for the job. The challenge is to do all that without bragging.
4. Don’t talk only about yourself. A cover letter should also put some emphasis on the enterprise. Demonstrate that you’re familiar with the company; talk about its needs and the fact that you would be a valuable addition to their workforce.
5. Perfect your writing and presentation. Use your best writing skills and avoid pompous words. Use the vocabulary of your profession and check that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Leave plenty of space between paragraphs and use a legible font size of at least 10 points.
One last tip: Make sure to grab your potential employer’s attention with your first sentence. The idea is to make him or her want to continue reading it instead of just going on to the next application.