Top 10 Cover Letter Writing Tips

Advice for Writing a Top Notch Cover Letter for a Job

When you need to write a cover letter to apply for a job, it's sometimes the small things that can make a big difference. The closer to perfect your letter is, the better your chances of getting the interview.

Review these tips and techniques for writing top notch cover letters to send with your resume, including format and presentation, advice for choosing a type of cover letter, writing custom cover letters, how to send, and examples and templates.

Select the Right Type of Cover Letter

There are several types of cover letters that can be sent to employers and contacts. Be sure to choose a type of cover letter that reflects how you are applying for the job or the type of job search assistance you are requesting.

Your cover letter should be designed specifically for the purpose you are writing and customized for each position you seek. Review samples of each type of cover letter, then pick the one that works best for you.

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Try to Find a Contact Person

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When it comes to cover letters, taking the time to get personal is really important. Find out as much as you can about the company and the hiring manager.

Personalize your cover letter and, if you can, address it to the individual responsible for hiring. If need be, research online or make a phone call to find out who the hiring manager is. More

Address Your Cover Letter Correctly

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How to address a cover letter can be tricky if you are responding to a blind ad and don't have a contact person's name to include or you don't know the hiring manager's gender. Here's how to address a cover letter. More

Review Cover Letter Examples

Take the time to review cover letter examples before you start writing your own, then make sure that your letter explains how your skills relate to the criteria listed in the job posting.

Here's a selection of professionally written cover letters for a variety of jobs to give you inspiration for your own job search correspondence. More

Format Your Cover Letter Properly

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How you format your cover letter, both from a content (the information you include) and a presentation (what your cover letter looks like) perspective is important.

Even when applying online or via email, your cover letter needs to be properly formatted, readable, and without any mistakes. 

Here's how to format a cover letter. More

Include Keywords in Your Cover Letter

It's important to include skill, results and recognition keywords which match the description of the job for which you are applying and attest to your credentials in your cover letter to increase your chances of getting selected for an interview. Here's how. More

Write a Custom Cover Letter

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It can be time consuming to write a custom cover letter for each job you apply for, but it's important to take the time and effort to show the company why you are a good match.

Review these guidelines for matching your qualifications to a job description. More

Start From a Cover Letter Template

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A cover letter template can be a good way to get started writing cover letters to send with resumes when you apply for jobs.

Use a cover letter template as a starting point for creating your own personalized cover letter by adding your own information to the template.

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Send an Email Cover Letter That Will Get Read

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The most important part of sending an email cover letter is to follow the employer's instructions. If the job posting says to include your cover letter and resume as an attachment, attach Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files to your email message.

It's important to send your cover letter and resume attachments correctly, to include all the information you need so your email message is read, and to let the receiver know how they can contact you to schedule an interview.  Here's how to send a cover letter as an attachment.

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Explain an Employment Gap

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When you have recent gaps in your work history, whether from being laid-off and out of work, taking time out from the workplace to spend with your family, traveling, going back to school, or for any reason, your cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain an employment gap. More

Review More Cover Letter Tips

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More cover letter tips and suggestions for writing cover letters which will help you stand out from the crowd. More

Video: Cover Letter Writing Tips

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Writing a cover letter can seem like a difficult task. However, if you take it one step at a time, you'll soon be an expert at writing cover letters to send with your resume. More

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