13 tips for writing an effective cover letter

Writing too much "An overly wordy cover letter is a waste of time and a big mistake," states Jessica Hernandez, an executive resume writer and president and CEO of Great Resumes Fast. Also make sure you and your prospective employer are both calling an apple an apple.

Do take the time to find out the hiring manager's name, and open the letter with a proper greeting. In most cases, three or four paragraphs are enough to tell your story.

cover letter format

Regurgitating your resume When candidates don't know what to write in their cover letter, they often resort to restating their job history.

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Cover letter 2018 examples

Framing your cover letter to address the needs of the company, Hassinger says, will show how you are the best candidate for the job without explicitly saying so. Including non-essential information The main thing you want to get across in your cover letter is why you're the right fit for the job. Do end with a statement of intent e. Also make sure you and your prospective employer are both calling an apple an apple. Those characteristics are bare minimums that a hiring manager expects from any applicant. Don't go beyond one page. By doing this, the reader automatically thinks in their head, 'Hmm, what am I doing that day? Thinkstock Make Your Cover Letter Personal Experts agree that it's wise to try to figure out who the hiring manager is and address your cover letter to that person. But of course, other things matter, too — things like personal traits, work habits, communication skills, people skills, intelligence, drive, and enthusiasm for the job. In most cases, three or four paragraphs are enough to tell your story. The No. Thinkstock Keep Your Cover Letter Concise The experts agree that the ideal cover letter should be short and succinct with about three paragraphs. Your cover letter is supposed to give a window into those things. This will not only show the employer your initial interest in the position, but also your seriousness as a candidate. A good cover letter should be personalized to the job.

Basically, you don't want to use the same cover letter for every job with just the contact name, company name and position title swapped out.

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13 Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts