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  1. Blog
  2. Applying
  3. January 24, 2020

21 Cover Letter Tips to Make Writing Quick & Easy

Dear hiring manager: I’m not bossy, I am the boss

21 Cover Letter Tips to Make Writing Quick & Easy
Photo courtesy of Laika Notebooks

It’s time to write the dreaded cover letter. It’s a part of any job search process, and when done right, can land you the role. But fear not: InHerSight has the cover letter tips that will make you stand out in the applicant stack.

Before you write

  1. Do your research. Learn as much as you can about the company you’re applying for. Knowing what’s important to the company and what they look for in employees will help you tailor your cover letter to show off what a good match you are.

  2. Have your resume at hand. You’ll want to make sure 1) that you’re not just repeating in your cover letter everything that’s on your resume , and 2) that you’re adding color and detail to the experience listed on your resume.

Set the right tone

  1. Complement, don’t repeat. A cover letter is a companion to your resume , not a substitution or a recap. This is your opportunity to further explain your work experience and how it’s prepared you to tackle the new role.

  2. Be clear and direct about what you want. Let the reader know you want the job and why you’re the right person for it.

Content tips for writing your cover letter

  1. State your name. It seems obvious, but introducing yourself in the first few lines is important.

  2. Make it clear what position you are applying for . Specificity is key. It’s likely that the company is hiring for multiple positions, so make sure it’s clear what job you want.

  3. Don’t forget your contact information. What good is a dazzling cover letter if the employer can’t contact you? Including your name, phone number, and email address is standard. If you have an online portfolio, include that too.

  4. Show, don’t tell. Your resume is the place to tell an employer about the experience. But a cover letter is your chance to show them that you have the skills the job requires. Use numbers, anecdotes, and clean writing to prove your expertise.

  5. Personalize it. We know, we know. It can be a pain to customize every single cover letter, especially when you’re in the depths of searching for a new job. But it’s not hard to spot a templatized cover letter, and that’s a good way to ensure your application ends up in the bin.

  6. Address the cover letter to a specific person. This does require some research, but it can show that you’re detail oriented . Find out whose hands your cover letter is likely to end up in and address it to them.

Read more:How to Address a Cover Letter with No Name

  1. Provide detailed examples that don’t fit on your resume. It’s hard to boil down an entire job into a couple of bullet points. Use your cover letter to give some details and context to what you’ve actually done in the past. For example, if you list on your resume that you got a promotion , your cover letter might discuss the big project or achievement that got you that promo.

  2. Throw around some stats. Recruiters and hiring managers love to see numbers. Use your cover letter as a way to prove the value you have added at previous organizations. Toss in those percentages, statistics, and dollar figures!

  3. Don’t undercut yourself. Don’t talk about how there might be more qualified candidates or better hires. Go in with confidence.

  4. Be specific about how your skills match the job. Explicitly state the ways your skills align with the responsibilities of the position you are applying for.

Read more:4 Ways to Start a Cover Letter That Will Set You Apart

  1. Get to the point. A cover letter is your way to prove that you are the perfect person for a job. It doesn’t take pages and pages to do that. Introduce yourself, explain why your skills fit the position, ask for follow up, and thank them. One page will do. Short and sweet.

  2. Ease up on the exclamation points. You want to let your potential boss that you’re excited about the job opportunity, but overdoing it on exclamation points can come off as juvenile or unprofessional. Express your enthusiasm with language, not punctuation.

  3. End with an ask. Whether you are asking for an interview or asking the hiring team to review your resume, be sure to end the cover letter with the point of the letter in the first place.

  4. Better to brag than to hold back. It can be a little uncomfortable to shout out your own accomplishments. But if you don’t let the employer know, no one will. It’s better to honk your own horn than to not make any noise at all.

  5. Include a thank you. Manners can make all the difference.

Read more:The Complete Guide to Getting a Job, Whether You’re on Your First or Fifth

Before you send it off

  1. Refine and edit. Proofread, run it through grammar and spell-check, read it outloud. An extra bit of polish can make all the difference between being ignored and being called in for an interview.

  2. Have a friend read it over. Shoot an email to a friends and have them give your cover letter a once-over. Ask them to read it for content, flow, and overall professionalism before giving you notes.

Read more:How to Write a Career-Change Cover Letter That Knocks Their Socks Off

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Photo of Brandi Dye

Brandi Dye

Contributor

Brandi Dye is a Las Vegas–based writer and true lover of words. When she's not writing, you can find her cooking...or refreshing Twitter.

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