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5 Tips for Writing a Winning Cover Letter

Last week we discussed whether you really need a cover letter as a job seeker, the answer is yes! It might take a little extra effort on your part but in the end, it can only benefit you. For some reason, cover letters have become a daunting task for a lot of job seekers but the trick is to keep it short and simple. Not saying you shouldn’t put thought and effort into crafting a winning cover letter, but be clear, concise and focused. Here are 5 tips to help you write your best cover letter yet:

1. Map it out. The purpose of a cover letter is to make a case for yourself as a good match with the position you’re applying for. Prior to sitting down and writing, match your skills to the job, list out your aspirations in your next role and why you would be a fit for a particular position. A general layout to follow is: first introducing yourself and why you’re applying, then a summary of skills and background as they pertain to the position and finally a thank you with contact instructions.

2. Personalize your cover letter. Using a template from a career resource site is a good way to start but make sure you keep the letter focused on your skills, expertise and career goals. Show off your unique skill-set and how you can add value to the organization.

3. Research! Before you customize your cover letter, examine the job description and the company. You should find out what type of person they’re looking for to fill the role and what the goals of the company are. Incorporate some of this language into both your cover letter and resume so the hiring manager can see that your skills and values match with theirs.

4. Keep your letter focused and concise. A cover letter is meant to give a very clear picture of you as a job applicant and it’s your first chance to directly communicate with the hiring manager. Try to avoid dragging on with long-winded sentences. Once you’re done with a first draft, cut out any filler words that aren’t necessary and try and be as clear as possible.

5. Make it unique. Many people list off their resume in paragraph form in a cover letter. Don’t do this! Your cover letter should obviously speak to the experiences listed on your resume, but make your resume and cover letter two different documents. Use your cover letter to showcase your personal voice, your curiosity and interest in your field and make a great first impression on the hiring manager.

Still stuck? Let us know if you have any questions and we can answer in the comment section below.

If you’ve already completed your cover letter, what are you waiting for? Apply to one of our open jobs today.

 

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