Write an Effective Cover Letter

Published: Feb 20, 2014

What Employers Want To Hear In Behavioral Job Interviews
February 20, 2014

By BioSpace.com

There will always be situations when you will need to write a good cover letter. For example, you may currently hold a staff role but are applying for a supervisory one—use a cover letter to explain why you are qualified for the more senior position. Or, you can explain any gaps in your resume due circumstances such as travel, school, or motherhood. A cover letter also gives you the opportunity to say something personal about yourself, which can differentiate you from other applicants. Ultimately, the cover letter should make the recruiter's job easier. Here are ten rules to keep in mind when writing the perfect cover letter.

Rule 1
The letter must be brief.

Rule 2
The letter should be formally addressed to the recipient (i.e., Ms/Mrs./Dr./Mr. Smith). If you do not know the person's name, call to find out.

Rule 3
The letter should show enthusiasm and that you know something about the job and the employer.

Rule 4
The first paragraph should refer to the position for which you are applying, and don't forget to give the reference number of the job, if applicable.

Rule 5
The letter should explain how your skills and experience fit the position and what additional factors you would bring to the job.

Rule 6
Use bullets or point form for items that you want to emphasize. (In this internet era, many people browse for content rather than read text, so you have to appeal to this mindset.)

Rule 7
In your concluding paragraph, request an action—an interview or phone call—and indicate that you will be following up with either a phone call or email.

Rule 8
Thank them for their consideration.

Rule 9
Include your contact information after your name.

Rule 10
And, finally, make sure that your cover letter (like your resume) contains no typos or grammatical errors. Such errors look unprofessional and can detract from the content!

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