Hustle

How-To Write the Perfect Cover Letter

Your application is never complete without the perfect resume and cover letter. Both of these essential job hunting tools speak for us as applicants before we’re able to meet with the person who is hiring us. Most hiring managers are flipping through cover letters so quickly that we can often be overlooked. But, with these tips, you’ll be signing an employment contract in no time!

Font Matters

It is essential to select a font that is readable because this is considered more professional. According to an article on HerCampus.com, it is best to use Times New Roman or Georgia rather than Arial or other sans serif fonts. The vertical lines in sans serif fonts make it more difficult to read.

Personalize the Letter

LinkedIn provides us with an advantage that we didn’t have before! Use it. Address the letter to the person responsible for hiring in that position because it makes it seem as if you did the additional research to address the letter to the appropriate person. When addressing a woman, use “Ms.” rather than “Miss” or “Mrs.” because indicate marital or single status. Address a man as “Mr.”

Be Clear and Concise

The first paragraph of the cover letter should be flavorful, but get to the point. Use it to explain who you are and what position you are applying for. “If you’re applying for a job, it should be in response to your ad on Monster.com or wherever you saw it,” explains Beth Conyngham, President of Conyngham Partners, an executive search firm. “Reference the job, where you found it, and the date. If there is a number beside it you should reference that as well. You want to give the reader as much explicit information as you can about the job to which you are applying. Make it easy for them.”

The next paragraph should introduce you to the employer and explain your reason for applying.

Brag on Yourself

In life, we’re supposed to be humble about our achievements. Our cover letters allow us to brag on ourselves and sell our abilities to the corporation. For the cover letter, list the most impressive and relevant qualifications based on the job you’re interviewing for. According to Penelope Trunk, co-founder of Brazen Careerist, a career management tool for next-generation professionals, bullet points work best for conveying this information. “Odd numbers of bullets are proven to be easier to read than even numbers, so use either three or five,” Trunk says. “Seven is too many. The list will look so long that people will skip it.”

Include Contact Information

Your cover letter should end with a phone number and e-mail address, so whoever is hiring can contact you to schedule an interview.

No Grammar and Spelling Errors

Your grammar and spelling should be perfect! Use Microsoft Word or another word processing program to catch spelling and grammar errors. Have an editor read over the cover letter before sending it off.

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