8 Top Cover Letter Must-Haves

By: Juliana Weiss-Roessler

The cover letter can be one of the most daunting tasks of the job search, especially since you should customize it to each opportunity you apply for. Nowadays, most cover letters are sent in the form of emails which make them slightly different from the print versions of the past. Here are a few things that you should make sure your cover letter includes before you hit send.

  1. Personalization – Be sure to include the name of the person you are sending it to. Don’t know? In the age of the internet, that’s not an excuse! Hit the search engines or call the company to find out the name of the person who does the hiring.

  2. Detail – Don’t just put your resume in paragraph form. Give them something more. Let them know what sets you apart from other candidates. Share a quick story about an achievement you made or explain how you use certain skill sets in your day-to-day work. The goal is to give them a more complete picture of you as a person.

  3. Enthusiasm – Your cover letter should be professional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t express the many reasons why you are interested in the position and your field. Explain why the position is the perfect match for you, as well as why you are a perfect match for the position.

  4. Sincerity – It can be tempting to simply throw together some generic accolades and hit send, but consider it from the reader’s end. Every other cover letter reads the same. Instead, find something specific or personal to say about the position or the company.

  5. Brevity – A cover letter that is too long won’t be read. In fact, even if you write a short one, it will likely be skimmed. You can help to keep things easy to read by using bullet points and making your paragraphs short.

  6. Contact Information – Yes, they obviously now have your email address, but it is customary to include a phone number as well. A formal header is not always necessary via email.

  7. A Good Email Subject – If you submit a job posting to any major website, you’re bound to receive dozens of applicants within a few hours. Often, you simply start from the top and work until you find enough qualified applicants to interview. How can you increase your chances of being one of these applicants? Write a subject line that will catch their eye. Instead of simply listing the job title, use this as another opportunity to sell your skills.

  8. Links – Do you have a professional website that showcases your past work? What about a Linked In account? Or maybe a Twitter feed related to the industry? Never share personal websites or profiles, but anything that shows that you are active and engaged in your field can help put you ahead of the rest.

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About Amr Badran

An Egyptian Business Consultant and Corporate Trainer since 1997. I've trained on Management, Leadership and Soft Skills to thousands of people from many nationalities, backgrounds and professions in more than 10 countries across the Middle and Far East. Holder of an MBA and a Candidate for Doctorate in Business. Find more about my Management and Personal Skills Courses at AmrBadran.com and feel free contacting me at Amr@AmrBadran.com
This entry was posted in Job Search, Résumé Writing and Interviewing. Bookmark the permalink.

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