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How to write a cover letter like a pro

A well-written cover letter is more important than an impressive résumé because it reveals your work ethic and attention to detail. It provides glimpses into your personality that a list of achievements can’t.

Recruiters skim through your resume in 7 seconds but they take time to read your cover letter and see what you have to say about yourself.

Confident African American businessman stands at his workplace with his colleagues in the background

Here are a few tips to consider if you want a good cover letter.

Use an eye-catching opening line

When addressing your cover letter, don’t choose the lazy salutations, unless your goal is to blend in with other boring job seekers. Avoid using words such as “dear sir/madam” or to “who it may concern”. Instead address it to the employer and go straight to the point.

Keep it a single page & go beyond your resume

The most common mistake many job seekers make is to use their resume to generate the full cover letter. Everything you want to say should fit in one page, so you should be selective with your words. Avoid repeating information that is already in your resume or CV. In one survey, more than two-thirds of employers said they preferred a cover letter that’s either just half a page.

Write personalized letters for each organization

A recruiter can quickly tell if you have written a generic cover letter that you use for every job. That is a quick way to get your application thrown out. Instead, take the time to customize your cover letter so it reflects your interest in the specific position and company you’re applying to.

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Be yourself and show your personality

Unlike a resume that is space-constrained, a cover letter allows you to elaborate your personality traits. The wording of your cover letter can express your personality in a way that your resume cannot. The tone of your letter gives the employer an important insight into your personality and the kind of traits that could add value to their team.

Proof read your letter

Because recruiters look at hundreds of applicants, a small typo can make or break your chances of getting an interview. Once you’ve drafted your cover letter, go over it a few times to check for spelling, grammar, and structural errors. You may also want to give it to someone else to read it for you.

Finish strong

Your closing paragraph is your last chance to emphasize your enthusiasm for the position, the company or how you’d be a great fit for the position.

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