4 tips for writing a killer cover letter

Cover credit: Flickr

Cover credit: Flickr

We're here to help you come to grips with the stress of writing an appealing cover letter.

1. Keep away from generic statements.

There's no need to start with a cover letter with a name and follow it up with the position you're applying for. There's a pretty good percent chance whoever is reading your cover letter already knows that. Hiring managers have also read enough cover letters to still tolerate 'I'm a good team player'-type statements. It’s best to get a little more creative (and specific) with your sentences, in order to sell yourself and stand out from the crowd.

2. Do not reiterate your résumé.

What's the purpose of writing a cover letter if you're basically going to repeat everything that's already listed on your résumé? You need to pinpoint specific skills or past experiences that are suitable for the job you’re applying for at some point of course, but do not fall into the trap of rephrasing the whole thing just because you’re out of ideas/afraid to mess things up. Your cover letter should be shorter, more personal and definitely more fun to read than your résumé.

Related: 5 résumé mistakes no one should be making in 2016

3. Focus on what you can bring for the job instead of what the job can bring for you.

Do not build your cover letter around the oh-so-obvious fact that the job you're applying for will add tremendous edge to your résumé and help boost your professional experience because this is what every single job seeker on the planet feels about landing a respectable job. Instead, highlight what YOU can bring to the table in terms of skills, ideas and qualities that would serve the advancement and development of the company/department in question.

4. Condense and customize.

The best way to avoid undesired cover letter flops both linguistically and structurally is to keep it short. Hiring managers are interested in what you can bring for the job and are by no means looking to read a detailed novel-length dissertation about your philosophy of life, or an amalgam of excessively template-ish sentences that sound like they've been randomly picked up from a two-minute Google search. You need to filter out unnecessary information and follow a clear, purpose-driven train of thought in your writing. It would also be helpful to have someone go over your draft before sending it out to employers.


Christina Fakhry