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How to Write a Cover Letter

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Learning how to write a cover letter is a crucial part of the job process. The cover letter typically accompanies your resume and, more importantly, is the first chance to impress an employer. You may have a knock-em-dead resume, but if your cover letter falls flat, the employer may not bother to even look at your resume. Job experts stress that the people who get jobs usually are the ones who make a good initial impression and then follow that up in the interview process. Follow these tips on how to write a cover letter to make the impression that will help you earn a job.

  • Update your resume. You may even wish to make small changes to your resume to have it apply specifically to the current job you are trying to win. For example, a resume will usually describe general skills and strengths. You may want to highlight and only use those skills that would appeal to your potential employer. Your cover letter and resume should work hand-in-hand. So it's important that references in your cover letter directly related to items on your resume.
  • Keep it short. The cover letter should be no more than 3 or 4 paragraphs. Imagine a manager for the company with a huge pile of job applications. Immediately grabbing the company's attention is how to rite a cover letter. A lengthy cover letter will stand out, but not in a good way. If your cover letter looks like too much trouble because it's so long, it may not even be read.
  • How can you help the company? Job experts say it's vital to transition very quickly from an introductory sentence to one that explains what you can do in that job position. Don't tell the company you're applying for a particular job. That's obvious from the cover letter and resume. Get to the point of why you are best qualified to get the job.
  • Make your qualifications pertinent. Don't simply list your qualifications. Refer to the job description and include your qualifications that will allow you to perform the job duties the company has listed. For example, mention that your English degree allows you to write reports that are compelling.
  • Use specific examples. Don't make generic points. Explain how you can make a difference for the company and offer specific examples, either from your previous experience or your list of credentials. Mention, for example, that your accounting experience allows you to work comfortably with numbers and include statistics comfortably into reports.
  • Action statement. Job experts who teach how to write a cover letter advise that you mention your enclosed resume in the final paragraph and tell the employer you are available for an interview. Provide all your pertinent contact information and let the employer know you will get in touch with them before the end of the week or month or whatever time period you choose. Always thank the employer for their time and the opportunity to earn the job.

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