Basic Cover Letter Tips

Learning basic cover letter tips can help you write a better cover letter to include with your resume and employment applications.

When it comes to first impressions, your job applications materials speak volumes. Not only do they tell a potential employer whether or not you are qualified for the position, but they also give clear messages as to how well organized you are, how thorough you are, and whether or not you possess the transferrable skills the employer feels are important to the job.

Taking the time to create cutting edge employment documents is essential to positioning yourself ahead of the competition and effectively landing a job interview.

Basic Cover Letter Tips

Make sure you include one!
The most fundamental of basic cover letter tips is making the committment to include a letter with every job application you send out. Many people either overlook the cover letter, or feel it really isn’t that important. But regardless how good your resume is, it can be always be made better by including a well-written cover letter.

Mind the basic rules.
When it comes to job application materials, it’s important to make a great impression by way of all the “little” things. Make sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s – good grammar and spelling are fundamental!

Create a professional look.
Create your document on high quality paper with a professional standard font that is easily read. Be sure to address your document to a person rather than the company. You can usually obtain the necessary names by simply calling the company and asking who to address your job correspondence materials to.

Write a concise and targeted letter.
By using a basic cover letter format, you can create a document that says only what it needs to say. There is no need to regurgitate all of the information from your resume. Respect the employer’s time by including only pertinent information. A supporting example or two from your resume draws attention to your most valuable qualities, but an endless list of information will be a big turnoff.

Use a conversational tone.
Your letter should be written in the tone with which you would speak to someone – it is, after all, a letter! Avoid using lists and bullets. Let your own voice shine through.

Make your letter interesting.
Avoid starting each sentence with “I”. Instead, vary your sentence structure to create interest and inflection in your letter. Use descriptive action verbs that clearly demonstrate targeted ability - words like “did” or “performed” tend to be generic and lack specificity.

Use quantifying statements.
Quantifying statements grab the reader’s attention and speak directly of your past accomplishments. If you increased sales, profits, or annual employee retention rates, be sure to include an appropriate percentage or number for emphasis. However, remember not to overdo examples that are also listed on your resume – again, use one or two examples of your finest points.

Emphasize transferrable skills.
Regardless of how much targeted experience you have, employers generally like to see solid transferrable skills, particularly in the areas of communication and interpersonal skills.

Use positive, upbeat language.
Always avoid negativity, even if you feel they may be justified. Regardless of the fact that you may have been fired, laid off, or had a ruthless and overbearing boss, it’s important to always speak positively of your past experiences. Learn to reframe your language to emphasis the positive rather than the negative.

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