5 Tips and Tricks to Writing a Successful Cover Letter

By: Erynn Lynch

A cover letter should tell the story of your resume. This is where you can elaborate on your achievements and accomplishments. Having a well composed cover letter can set you apart from the competition. However, writing a cover letter is not a simple task. Here are 5 tips and tricks you can use to help write your next cover letter.

Be Professional

            Even though a cover letter is the story of your resume, it is still crucial to be professional when telling your story. Be sure to address the person by name and use a suffix. Mr. or Ms. is your safest bet. Never address the person by just their first name. Use a suffix and last name, or use a suffix and their full name. 

Have a Great Opening Line

            Your opening line sets the mood for the rest of your letter. If boring or poorly written, it will easily get your cover letter thrown out, or not read. A fellowship manager from Forbes Magazine writes, “If your first line reads: “I am writing to apply for [job] at [company],” I will delete it and suggest a swap every time” (forbes.com). Start your cover letter by, sharing a professional achievement. 

Use Key Words

            It is important that you don’t just use a template for every single cover letter you write. Each one should be tailored. Using a template is an easy way to make common mistakes. Using key words or touching on key things cited in the job application will help you stand out. 

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Show Your Problem-Solving Skills

            Your cover letter is the place to explain the things that you mention in your resume. Make it a point to explain a problem that you solved or help solve. It is important to show your potential future employer that you can think outside of the box. You want to leave the reader wanting to know more. 

Proofread Your Cover Letter

            If you have grammatical errors in your cover letter, chances are you won’t be getting the job. Glassdoor.com says the best way to proof your cover letter, is to write first and move onto editing when you have finished your draft. Try using a grammar guide to help you edit, or ask a friend or mentor to proofread  your letter. An extra set of eyes can pick up on things you might not have seen. 

Telling your story is the most important thing you can do, so make sure you tell it the best way possible. With these 5 tips and tricks, you will be on your way to writing the best cover letter you can!


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