A Strong Cover Letter Can Get You in the Door

John Krautzel
Posted by

The job search can often be tedious as you carefully prepare application materials for multiple positions. The cover letter, though, is a key element of your job preparation that should not be overlooked. Hiring managers read through introductory letters first and evaluate whether or not you should qualify for an interview based on the letter's content. Prepare a comprehensive and engaging overview of your professionalism to get your foot in the door.

Your cover letter should be anything but general or vague. Make your intent clear from the start by stating which position you are applying for and why you want to work for the company. Avoid vague phrases such as "to whom it may concern" and instead, address the letter to a specific manager.

Make your cover letter unique. Many candidates compile generic letters from templates that basically say the same thing. Stand out from the rest of the crowd by forming an engaging opening statement. Detail why you are interested in the company and show that you have done your research by highlighting goals and missions of the business that are in line with your professional values and goals. You can also compliment the company on recent accomplishments to show that you are informed about their operations and successes.

Be specific when describing your qualifications within your cover letter. Don't provide exaggerations or overly brag about your accomplishments. Mention any successes you have achieved in past positions, and focus primarily on your skills and experience that are in line with what the employer is seeking. Outline the skills you have that match what the company has included in the job description or advertisement. Provide an overview of how you would fit well within the company's culture and explain how you would like to contribute to the success of the business.

The primary purpose of a cover letter is to prompt the hiring manager to request an interview. Provide a call to action toward the end of the letter that states you are willing and available to meet with the employer face to face. Indicate that you look forward to the opportunity and that you are eager to begin making an impact as part of their team. List multiple methods the employer can use to contact you, and provide links to professional social media profiles and online portfolios.

Application materials should be professional and free from any grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors. Comb your cover letter and resume for errors, and pay close attention to how you are phrasing your experience and skills to match what the company desires. Hiring managers want to be impressed from the start, and your letter is an ideal opportunity to get your foot in the door.

Photo Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Scott, if a job posting calls for a resume and a cover letter and you are not sending a cover letter, your resume is going to be thrown out because you did not follow the directions for the job. There are tons of examples and all kinds of articles on the Internet about how to craft a cover letter and what it should include. Give it a try and you will see that there is nothing to fear about writing a cover letter. Best of luck.

  • Scott D.
    Scott D.

    I don't think i have ever used a cover letter. I have no idea how to write one as far as content and i don't have any extra to hire some one to write one for me.

  • Katy P.
    Katy P.

    i don't employers see what they like my resume or they think it looks weak not strong suited for the job.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Paula thanks for the comments. You can also find many examples on the web. But the cover letter is a very personal piece of information for the hiring manager so make sure that you put it in your own words. Good luck.

  • Paula C.
    Paula C.

    Thank you so much. I have never done a cover letter because I wasn't sure what I needed to put on it. Everyone I asked about a cover letter told me that they didn't have one. So I have been left in limbo all this time.

Jobs to Watch