What makes a good cover letter?


Whether you are faxing over a resume or sending it with an email, a cover letter will position you to get noticed.  You need to write enough to “make your case” and convince whoever is reading the material that you should be seriously considered for this position.  Following are some useful tips for an effective cover letter.

Make sure you’ve done your homework so you are writing to the hiring manager.

If you got their name from a specific contact at the company, mention that in your letter.

State your purpose for the letter in the first sentence and include the title of the position or job function you are interested in and even an ID number if there is one.  Let this person know how you found out about this position so he/she will know you have done some research on this company and its personnel needs.

If you are not answering an ad, but are sending out an inquiry letter to see if there are any openings, mention that you have been following their company and feel you would be an excellent addition to a specific department there.

Mention keywords that either match the job description or reflect something you saw in a branding message on their website.  Provide some specific examples of how you have contributed to companies you’ve worked for in the past and relate that to the position or department you are applying for.

Think of your cover letter as a sales pitch for yourself.  You want to entice the buyer to buy your product – you.  Be convincing and compelling and give the hiring manager a reason to call you for an interview.  Make sure that whatever you write communicates that you would be a strong and enthusiastic hire.

Always, always check over your grammar and spelling.  You never get a second chance to make a first impression and you don’t want to be passed over due to a typo.

Good luck with your cover letters and your job search campaign.

Gale Brown Sandler is the founder of Griffin Resume Service and can be reached at galerbrown@gmail.com. 


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