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Cover letters are important – arguably more important than a resume. It’s your chance to demonstrate your writing and communication skills. Can you explain yourself in a succinct, professional and intriguing way? There is a lot more to a good cover letter than you might think.

It should be different from your resume. Don’t just copy and paste the information from your resume. They already have your resume. Instead, expand on the information in more detail.

Be specific. Avoid sending the same cover letter to every job for which you apply. Potential employers know a template when they see one. Instead, tailor it to the job – explain why you are applying for this specific position, how your skills can contribute and what you hope to achieve.

Make it short. Your cover letter is likely one in hundreds. Potential employers don’t have time to read through your life story. Make it brief, touching on important and relevant points. Keep it less than one page.

Address it to somebody. Addressing the letter to someone general like “Hiring Manager” or “to whom it may concern” might demonstrate that you haven’t done your research. If possible, know who will be reading your resume and address the letter to him or her.

Send it as a PDF. In today’s job market, it’s common to send a cover letter via email. But with so many different computers and programs, sending a Word document can be risky. The last thing you want is to send a cover letter someone can’t open. To be on the safe side, send it as a PDF.

Spell check. Don’t leave a glaring grammatical error in your cover letter. This might show potential employers that you are careless and don’t understand the importance of paying close attention to detail.

If you’re going to spend time applying for a job, it’s important to make sure you’re cover letter will help you rather than hurt you.

Looking for more resources about resumes and cover letters? Check out these blogs.

by sophie

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