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22 Tips for Writing Cover Letters

Updated Oct 25, 2022

1. Who is your audience?

Address this question by thinking about who you want to work for and what kind of work you want to do. Indicate that you have done your research to find out what companies in your field are doing and who they are hiring. That way, they can see that you are serious about wanting to work for them. You can also explain what makes you unique and a good candidate for the job.

Consider this example: I am a recent graduate of Boston University with a degree in English Lit. I am passionate about writing and want to work for a publishing company that focuses on children’s books. I have done research to find out which companies in this field are hiring, and I have identified XYZ Publishing as a company that fits my interests and skills. I have included a link to my portfolio website, which includes samples of my work.

2. What is the purpose of your cover letter?

The purpose of your cover letter is to help your application stand out to the hiring manager. You can do this by highlighting your relevant skills and experience, as well as describing why you are interested in the position and what you hope to gain from it. Additionally, you can explain any gaps in your employment history and why you are now ready to return to work.

Also, if you have any relevant skills or experience that aren’t necessarily listed in your resume, you can mention them in your cover letter. By highlighting your skills and experience, as well as explaining why you are interested in the position and what you hope to gain from it, you can help your application stand out to the hiring manager.

3. How can you make your cover letter stand out?

This is a great question to answer and it can help you stand out if you can mention a specific accomplishment that’s closely related to the role you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, you may want to highlight a campaign you ran for your company or a marketing initiative you spearheaded at your current or previous job. Mentioning a specific accomplishment can help you stand out because it shows the employer that you have experience and knowledge in the industry. It also shows that you’re able to take initiative and that you’re a go-getter who’s able to drive results.

4. What format should your cover letter be in?

The cover letter format is largely dependent on the industry you’re working in. For example, the majority of cover letters are written in the traditional business letter format. However, if you’re applying to a creative or artistic field, you may want to consider using a different format. For example, you could create a comic book or an artistic resume. Your cover letter should communicate your creativity and individuality, so be sure to use a format that best showcases your talents and abilities.

In addition, consider the company you’re applying to. For example, a large corporation may prefer a more traditional cover letter format. By doing your research ahead of time, you can ensure that your cover letter is tailored to the specific company and industry.

5. How long should your cover letter be?

A cover letter shouldn’t be longer than a page. That’s a maximum. You should include your contact information and a brief overview of your qualifications. If you have a lot of experience or a lot to say, try to keep it to a page. If you don’t have a lot of experience, cover letters can be short and sweet.

If you have a lot of experience and only a sentence or two to say about each experience, then you can go longer. If you don’t have a lot of experience, you can include a sentence or two about each experience and still stay under a page. Make sure to include your contact information and a brief overview of your qualifications. That’s all you need!

6. What should you include in your cover letter?

Your cover letter is a chance to stand out from the crowd, express your interest in the job, and showcase your personality. It’s a chance to show the hiring manager that you’re truly excited about the opportunity and that you care enough to take the time to write a personalized message. If you’re able to demonstrate that you’ve done your research about the company and the role, it’s even better—it shows that you’re a motivated candidate who has their act together.

In the cover letter, briefly describe why you’re interested in the company, what skills you have that are a good match for the role, and what experiences or accomplishments make you a valuable candidate. As you write your cover letter, be sure to include information about yourself that will help the hiring manager get to know you as a person, not just as a resume. That way, you will stand out from the crowd!

7. What should you not include in your cover letter?

I see many cover letters that list things such as “loyalty,” “hard worker,” and “perfect fit” as qualifications. You don’t need to tell an employer what they already know about you. The hiring manager already knows that you are loyal, hard-working, and a perfect fit for the position. What they want to know are your experiences, qualifications, and how your unique experiences make you the perfect candidate.

The cover letter is your opportunity to tell the employer about your experiences, qualifications, and why you are the perfect candidate. Don’t waste this opportunity by telling them what they already know about you. Instead, use your cover letter to highlight your strengths and why you are the perfect candidate

8. How can you best sell yourself in a cover letter?

When writing a cover letter, it’s always good to be specific in your writing. If there are specific tasks or responsibilities that you have performed in your previous positions, be sure to highlight these points. When a potential employer reads through your cover letter, they want to see that you have the skills necessary to succeed in the position they are offering. Listing tasks you have performed in the past will show that you have the necessary experience to succeed in their company.

Being specific will also allow you to highlight any transferable skills you may have. If you have experience in a certain area, and you believe that you can apply your knowledge to a new position, be sure to highlight this in your cover letter. Being specific in your cover letter will help you sell yourself and show that you are a good fit for the position.

9. What are some common mistakes people make in their cover letters?

People are often too eager to get the interview and forget to include their contact information at the end of their cover letters. A general rule of thumb is to include your name, email, and phone number at the top of your cover letter so the hiring manager can easily access them.

Cover letters are a great way to show your personality and creativity. However, avoid being too informal or casual with your language and tone to avoid turning off the hiring manager. Hiring managers are looking for employees who will be a good fit for the company culture. Being too casual or informal in your cover letter will give the wrong impression about who you are as a professional.

10. How can you avoid making those mistakes?

Don’t use cliches such as “I am a hard worker”, “I am a team player”, or “I am a quick learner”. Instead show what you bring to the table by providing examples of your hard work, your ability to work well with others, or your ability to quickly learn new skills.

Also don’t be afraid to put in your cover letter that you are available for an interview. This shows that you are serious about the position and eager to be hired. Most cover letters have a thank you section at the end. Use that section to reiterate your interest in being interviewed and ask when you can expect to hear back from the company.

11. What are some tips for writing a great cover letter?

When writing your cover letter, focus on highlighting your greatest strengths while also showcasing your personality. It’s important to show companies that you’re the best cultural fit for their company and that you’re someone that they’d be excited to work with. Make sure to highlight your achievements and how they align with the company’s values.

Finally, don’t be afraid to give a little insight into your personality and how you think you’d fit well with your potential future colleagues. A cover letter is a great opportunity to discuss your passions and hobbies and how they relate to the position you’re applying for.

12. How can you make sure your cover letter gets read?

Avoid using clichés and overused phrases in your cover letter. For example, there’s no need to mention that you are a hard worker and passionate about the job. Instead, explain how you will demonstrate these qualities in your work. Employers are looking for real-world evidence that you can achieve results. So, show them how your past work performance aligns with the job requirements.

Don’t be afraid to brag about your accomplishments, but do so in a way that doesn’t make you sound arrogant. For example, you can say something like, “As a top performer in my previous roles, I’m confident that I can help your company see similar results.”

13. What should you do if you don't have much experience?

If you have little to no experience, you can mention a hobby or interest you have that relates to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a job at a tech company and you’re not very experienced in tech, you can mention that you’ve been learning to code on your own, or that you’ve been doing a lot of research about the company and its products. This will show the company that you’re excited about the opportunity and that you’re willing to put in some extra effort to learn what you need to know in order to be successful in the role.

If you mention that you’re willing to put in extra effort to learn what you need to know, it will show that you’re a hard worker who is self-motivated, which are important qualities for any company to look for in a new hire. If you don’t have much experience, don’t stress out too much – just make sure to mention any extra effort you’ve been putting in.

14. What should you do if you have too much experience?

It’s possible that you have so much experience in your field that you don’t know what to do with it. The truth is, even though you’re great at what you do, it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn new things. Even though you have more experience than others, you can still always acquire new skills.

You can learn how to market yourself better, how to improve your productivity, how to better interact with others, and so much more. In fact, these are things that you can use to help you grow in your career. So if you have too much experience, you should focus on acquiring new and helpful skills so that you can still contribute to your organization and grow as a professional.

15. How can you address a career change in your cover letter?

Mentioning your interest in a career change in your cover letter is a great way to highlight your motivation. This can work well in tandem with your resume. You can highlight your experience and skills relevant to your previous roles, and also explain your desire to pivot or expand your skillset. This will help your potential employer know that you are committed to your desired career path and will be a dedicated employee.

Additionally, you can explain how your past experiences and skills have prepared you for this desired career path. This will help bolster your case for getting the job. Of course, be careful not to come off as desperate or insincere. Your cover letter should be written in a confident tone, highlighting your strengths and interests.

16. How can you address a gap in your employment history in your cover letter?

Explain that you were taking time off to pursue a qualification. If you have taken a gap in your employment, you can explain to the recruiter that you were pursuing a qualification, and that you pursued it with the same commitment and energy that you put in your work. Then, you can give a short description of the course and its duration, and write that you have now completed it and are ready to get back to work.

You can also write about how you were always interested in the field and that you have decided to pursue a qualification in the same field you are applying for. This will show the recruiter that you are enthusiastic about the job and that you are ready to start.

17. What if you're applying for a job that's not a perfect match for your skills?

When you’re applying for a job that isn’t a perfect match for your skills, it can be easy to worry that your application isn’t going to make the shortlist. However, if you remember to be specific and honest about your skills and experience, you can stand out from the crowd. Rather than focusing on what you have that might not be relevant to the job, explain how you can adapt your skills to meet the requirements. Employers appreciate candidates who aren’t afraid to be honest about their shortcomings and who are willing to work hard to be successful.

It’s also important to remember that there’s no such thing as a perfect match when it comes to careers. Most people have a variety of skills that they’ve developed over the course of their lives, and even if you can’t think of all of the skills that you have right now, you’ll likely be able to think of more as you think about your past experiences. When you remember to be specific and honest about your skills and experience, you can make sure that your application doesn’t get overlooked.

18. How can you customize your cover letter for each job you're applying for?

Mention the name of the company you’re applying to in your cover letter and mention how you found out about them, as it shows that you’re dedicated to the research phase of the recruitment process. For instance, you can say “I recently read an article in Forbes that mentioned your company and its efforts to improve employees’ work-life balance, which is something I am passionate about.” This works best when you find a noteworthy fact about the company and tie it into your personal accomplishments and reasons for applying.

Another way to customize your cover letter for each job you’re applying for is to include specific keywords from the job description. This will help the hiring manager know that you’ve read through the listing and are familiar with the position’s responsibilities. To do this, read the job description carefully and note any skills, experience, or personal attributes that are mentioned. Then, use these keywords in your cover letter so that it aligns with what the hiring manager is looking for in an applicant.

19. What are some common questions employers ask in cover letters?

In cover letters, the most common question employers ask is “Why should we hire you?” They want to know what makes you stand out from the crowd. It’s important to highlight your unique qualities and skills, as well as your commitment to the company and the job. It’s also helpful to include links to any work you’ve done that is related to the position you’re applying for.

When writing your cover letter, make sure to address the specific job description and highlight any relevant experience or skills. Explain why you are interested in the position and why you would be a good fit for the company.

20. What are some red flags that employers look for in cover letters?

Duplicate content is a huge red flag that employers look for. It shows sloppiness and a lack of care when it comes to sending emails. Not only is it unprofessional, but it is a clear sign that you are not detail-oriented. Employers will not hire someone with poor attention to detail because it is a huge responsibility to hire someone who will be handling important client and company information. You should try to avoid any spelling or grammatical errors as well. It shows that you lack attention to detail and care about what you are sending out to potential employers.

With all that said, it is important to not be over-zealous when editing your cover letter and resume. You don’t want it to look like you copied and pasted it from somewhere else. That is a sure-fire way to get tossed in the trash. So be professional and make sure your cover letter and resume are error-free, but don’t go overboard and make it look robotic.

21. How can you avoid red flags?

Make sure to highlight your achievements and skills, not just your responsibilities. Red flags arise when applicants only mention their duties and responsibilities, but do not include any quantifiable results. It is important to include specific numbers and percentages, in order to provide a good overview of how you contributed to the company’s success.

For instance, it is a red flag if the applicant mentions that they were responsible for managing a team of 10 employees, but they do not mention any metrics regarding productivity or employee satisfaction. By adding achievements and quantifiable results, you can avoid red flags and show the hiring manager that you are a qualified candidate.

22. Is there anything else you should know about writing a great cover letter?

An effective cover letter should provide a brief overview of the applicant’s relevant experience, skills, and abilities, as well as their interest in the position.

The cover letter should also include a list of references and a way for the employer to contact the applicant. Finally, the cover letter should explain any gaps in the applicant’s employment history. For examples, please try our cover letter generator .

Here’s one example:

Cover Letter Example

June 1, 2022

Mr. Steven Scott

HR Manager

ABC Company

123 Main Street

Anytown, AZ 12345

Dear Mr. Scott,

I am writing to apply for the position of warehouse supervisor at ABC Company.

I have over 10 years of experience supervising employees and working with inventory management systems.

I am a hard worker who is committed to providing excellent customer service. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about this position. Please feel free to contact me at 555-555-5555 or email me at john.doe@email.com.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

John Doe

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