Cover Letter Basics

Published on 08 February 2010 by Jamie Mack in Interviewing

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Cover letters can be almost as important as a resume when it comes to landing you that job you’ve been searching for. Often they are overlooked, but a well crafted cover letter can set you and your resume apart from the hundreds of other applicants you’re competing with.

iStock 000005894685Small 300x198 Cover Letter Basics

Just like a good story, cover letters should start with a bang, hooking your reader and reeling them in, making them want to read on to see what you have to offer. Then, as quickly as possible, get to the point of the letter, why you’re writing, and what position you’re interested in.

Plainly present your qualifications for the position. Here’s where you can really shine by speaking directly to the qualifications specific to the position advertised. You should be specific and, if possible, list some cold hard facts and/or  figures that back up your claims. You say you’re good at coming in under budget? Tell them how you saved your company(past or present) that one million dollars last quarter. But don’t tell them everything, you want to make sure they pick up your resume so they can find out what happens next in the story of you.

End with a thank you for the reader’s time and always include a statement on the time frame in which you will contact the reader to follow up, or even better, to discuss the possibility of setting up an interview.

As with your resume, your cover letter should be flawless and presented in a format that is easy on the eyes and also similar to your resume. Using the same font and/or layout and headers can really tie the two documents together and lend your correspondence a certain cohesion, and it might just be one more way to make you and your resume stand out.

5 Responses to “Cover Letter Basics”

  1. Twitter Comment


    @WIAWorksIL thanks for the retweet! [link to post]

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    Cover Letter Basics [link to post]

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    TIP: Cover letters can be almost as important as a #resume in landing #job: RT @360JobInterview: Cover Letter Basics [link to post]

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  4. Jamie Mack says:

    Thanks for the links and retweets folks, it’s never a bad idea to go back over the basics. Sometimes it’s the small things that can really help.

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