Top Cover Letter Tips

Follow these cover letter tips to make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves. Your cover letter directs the reader to your resume and is an essential part of your application.

Use these tips before writing your cover letter and then again as a checklist before you send it off.

7 essential cover letter tips

  • The body of your cover letter should emphasize how your experience and qualifications will directly benefit the person hiring or the organization. Avoid writing about how getting the job will benefit you.

    Sometimes we write that we hope to get the job because it will "entrench my knowledge of copper widgets" or it is "aligned with with my love for nursery plants". Change the focus of your letter to how hiring you will benefit the company. Be specific if possible.

  • Personalize your cover letter: address it to the name of person hiring and personalize it to the job you are applying for. If you don't do this your cover letter quickly begins to sound as if it's a standard letter you send out to every company.

    Go out of your way and personalize the letter for the person who will read it. Don't mass produce your letter.

  • Make sure you correctly and visibly state the specific job you are applying for, as well as any related reference number.

  • Leverage your social and professional network. Networking is very powerful and can influence your application. Mention contacts you have in the organization or the names of people who have referred you in your letter (check that they are well thought of first!).

  • Keep all your correspondence formal and businesslike. If you're sending an email application don't be less formal because it's email. Follow these important tips when sending email job applications.

  • Edit your cover letter carefully. Every word should work hard for you. Make very sure that there are no grammar or spelling mistakes in your letter. Get a friend or colleague to read it if you are unsure about grammar or spelling.

  • Write a proactive cover letter. Ask for an interview. Don't wait for the employer to contact you. Say that you will follow up - and then make sure you follow up.

Writing a professional cover letter

A cover letter really needs to reflect your resume or CV and make the reader want to find out more about you. When you get that right their next step will be to open your resume and then invite you to an interview.

It's not difficult to write a cover letter - you just need to follow the basic structure for effective cover letters and you'll be sending them off in no time. Cover letter tips such as these will help you create a professional image.

If you plan to send your application by email make sure you follow these tips for emailing your cover letter before you click 'send'.

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Top tips to create your best resume

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