Writing Cover Letters

October 22nd, 2013 3 Min read Writing Cover Letters Blog
Download PDF The cover letter is a valuable tool to demonstrate critical job skills and highlight your accomplishments. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how your skills can benefit the organization. It’s a showcase to demonstrate written communication skills. Personalizing the cover letter sets the stage for the reader to want to learn more.

For a Good Cover Letter, Consider the Following:

  • Use the same quality paper your CV is printed on
  • Address a person, not a title
  • Do your homework/research
  • Tailor the information to the reader. “Your ad on xyz.com captured my attention and motivated me to learn more about your practice. I’m convinced yours is the type of group I want to be associated with and I could make a significant contribution”
  • Refer to a specific job. “As a specialist in the field of ______, I felt you might be interested in (specific skills) and (behavior traits)”
  • Include a short paragraph that highlights one or two special contributions or achievements
  • If the job requirements reveal an aspect not addressed in your CV it should be included in the cover letter
  • After researching the position, it’s an opportunity to highlight areas not covered in the CV that may be beneficial to the employer, i.e., foreign language, computer skills, etc.
  • Be specific: Include information relevant to the job you’re seeking
  • Make it clear to the reader that you want to talk
  • Detail when, where, and how you can be contacted or that you will follow-up at a certain point in time
  • Set a tone that is both professional and friendly
  • Demonstrate flexibility, i.e., shift work
  • Provide examples of what you can do for them and the benefits. “I am very organized and detail oriented, so all charts that I keep will be complete and easily understood by others. I have good communication skills and interact well with others so I will be able to work well in a team environment”
  • Emphasize core values, hard work, honesty, and respect
Good Cover Letters:
  • State the purpose of the letter
  • Tie it specifically to the company and a specific job
  • Include references to personality or behavioral traits crucial to success in your field
  • Use sentences that begin with or contain action verbs and phrases that demonstrate your skills and positive traits
  • Include power phrases. For example, “What you need and what I have to offer sound like a match. I have a strong background in and talent for...so I could...” “I know how to...”
  • Emphasize with italics, underlined phrases, boldface or capitalized titles
  • Are printed on good quality paper
Good Cover Letters Avoid:
  • Wasting space by listing irrelevant responsibilities or job titles
  • Cramming too much information into a small space making the letter hard to read
  • Being too short
  • Grammatical and spelling errors
  • Hand writing or using a typewriter
  • Unorganized layout
  • Using more than one font on a page
  • Faxing or emailing. If required to do so, always follow up with a hard copy