Job Search Tips Resumes & Cover Letters

How to Write a Killer Cover Letter

Written by Peter Jones

You have a great resume, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll get the job. Imagine another candidate with an almost identical set of skills and experience. The trick to distinguishing yourself among comparable candidates is to set the tone with a terrific cover letter. It can really make the difference in making the final cut.

Pitch It Right

Don’t just write a cookie-cutter form letter addressed To Whom it May Concern and send it out with every inquiry. Tailor your letter for each application, making sure to think about the position and the company and the person who might be reviewing your application. The extra bit of work shows your thoughtfulness and also that you’re willing to go the extra mile to be professional and polished. Remember, hiring managers are hoping the next candidate they see will be the slam-dunk they’re looking for. Why not make it easy on them?

Talk Yourself Up

Imagine you’re a salesman with a briefcase full of… yourself. Getting hired is really no different than peddling a product. Prove with your letter exactly why you’re the absolute best fit for the position and the company. And believe in what you’re selling. Show them you are exactly what they need.

Talk Numbers

Did you have massive success at a particular company or with a particular project? Don’t just say that, give the numbers. Percentages, rates, dollar amounts—these can pack a lot of "wow" factor and grab the attention of the hiring manager.

Take a little extra time to write your cover letter with these suggestions on your mind, and you’ll really start to see a difference in how many interviews you land. It’s almost as good as being personally recommended, only you’re recommending yourself! Remember not to brag, but do your best to pitch yourself as the answer to all of their professional prayers.

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1 Comment

  • As a recruiter I honestly don’t spend much time reading cover letters. Hiring managers have to sort through hundreds of resumes and realistically don’t have time to give most resumes and cover letters more than 30 seconds to scan for the information they are looking for. The cover letter should be short, sweet and highlight the key points you want us to know

    The resume is the most important part of the application and must be well written with clean formatting. Recruiters and HR Managers want to get to the point of where have you been working, for how long and what have you accomplished? Also, you may want to tailor your resume and cover letter to each job you are applying to so that it shows to be a good match for the job. Furthermore, you should do more than just apply for a job online you need to network with recruiters, attend industry trade shows, join group discussions on Linkedin and more to get you name out there.

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