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Write The Perfect Cover Letter

How To Write The Perfect Cover Letter

DO NOT DESTROY YOUR CHANCES What are cover letters supposed to say, anyway? The following is how I pretty much see standard cover letters:

“I’m so and so and I have this much experience and I think you should hire me because I can do x,y, and z. Please contact me if you feel like it. “

I can’t tell you how people – even with stellar resumes – destroy their employment chances with ineffective cover letters. You’re making an introduction and a sales pitch to a person you’ve never met. You have one chance. You wouldn’t audition for American Idol without practicing would you?

BECOME AN INVESTIGATOR Make a personal impact! Know the company you’re applying to! I mean, really know. Not just skim the website and blindly send in your marketing material by e-mail.

Learn everything you can about the company AND their competitors. Learn about their products or services, current statistics, and who within the firm can help improve your employment chances. If you can manage, try scraping for some inside dirt like mergers, product issues, and structural changes. Look for ways you, within the position you’re asking for, can improve the company and the services/products it makes.

FLATTERY GOES A LONG WAY Tell the company the specific reason why you want to work for them. Is it because of their stellar reputation for safety? Is it because of their fantastic company culture? Do you believe in their mission and vision? Whatever you like most about the company in question, be sure to mention it.

BE THE ANSWER TO THEIR PROBLEM The company you are applying for has a problem and you better be the solution. If you can find a company that is hiring for no good reason with health benefits and five weeks paid vacation, let me know! Find the reasons why they are hiring and tailor your language and experience to hit their sweet spots!

USE STRONG LANGUAGE Don’t say, “I believe” or “I think” or “I would like to”. Use affirmative language that demonstrates your abilities and showcases the confidence you have in yourself. Instead, say, “X Company will save…” “X Company will gain from my…” “Your company needs someone who…” Strong verb phrases apply the impact you desire to convey.  Be convincing, but not conniving!

AVOID TELLING A STORY While incorporating some enticing tidbits from your professional past with some solutions you propose, listing everything you’ve done is just plain boring and serves no purpose. Repeating phrases from your resume is obvious and totally unimaginative.

KEEP IT RELATIVELY SHORT How, after all of this advice, will you keep your cover letter short? Practice! For standard cover letters, I typically go for three to five brief paragraphs with about 3 – 4 sentences each. Keep the flowery language at bay. Use straight to the point language and you will waste nothing.

MAKE IT PERSONAL Address it to the hiring manager and/or to the person who is responsible for the final hiring decision. Don’t just address it to “Whom it may concern.”

MAKE A CLOSING Don’t just ask for an interview, tell them that you will follow through to confirm they received your letter and plan to arrange a meeting, too. Naturally, follow through with action and live up to everything you’ve offered in your cover letter!

If you are unsure about writing a cover letter, give me a call or e-mail. I will happily create a custom cover letter for you!


Leslie, Inc. offers solutions for finding happiness through one-on-one coaching, mindful leadership retreats, and digital products. If you’re ready to GET HAPPY, check out Leslie’s guide packs. For more tips on achieving your state of happiness, sign up for Leslie, Inc’s weekly newsletter.

#career #communications #jobsearch

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