Six Tips for a Blowout Cover Letter

cover letterA résumé gets you noticed, but a cover letter can make or break your chances of walking in the door for the first interview.

Writing a cover letter that will land you that job interview doesn't have to be difficult. Instead of digging through cover letter templates online and trying to fit your personality into someone else's format, let your personality shine through. The more natural your cover letter sounds, the more likely it will stand out from the crowd.

To achieve that blowout cover letter, try some of these tips:

1. First Paragraph is Everything

You want to start your cover letter with a strong opening, especially the first two sentences. The opening paragraph will determine whether or not the hiring manager will be interested enough to keep reading the rest of your letter. Instead of starting off with a cookie cutter opening that states your name or how you found the job posting, be creative. Try starting off with why you're different from other applicants or the reason why you deserve the position.

2. Be Natural

While keeping your cover letter professional is key, many cover letter templates don't allow you to show off your personality or writing skills. You can remain professional, yet still give your writing a natural voice. Try reading your letter out loud and if you get tongue-tied, you know you need to revise it.

3. Personalization

Every job applicant works from the same cover letter for every job, but be sure to personalize your letter for each company you send it to. Even if you're applying for all administrative assistant positions, each of your letters you send out should be specific for that company and that job.

4. Spotlight Your Skills

Instead of repeating what the hiring manager can read on your resume, spotlight some of your skills that you can't list on your CV.

5. State Your Goals

You can show the hiring manager that you're always thinking one step ahead by stating what your goals would be if you received the position. If you're unsure what your goals would be for the position at hand, state your own personal career goals and why they relate to the job you're applying to.

6. Edit, Edit, Edit

The one thing that will surely put your resume into the trash can is if you don't edit your work. Check for spelling mistakes, grammar errors and most importantly that you address the letter to the correct hiring manager and company.

Next:How to Write a Cover Letter for Maximum Impact

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