How to write a wining cover letter

A cover letter introduces your resume and spells out your reason for sending the resume. It also presents your qualifications and availability to prospective employers. If written in a succinct, appealing format, it is your first opportunity to make an impression with the hiring authority or HR department.


By sending a cover letter with your resume you tell the reader you are serious about your job search. It should entice the reader to review your resume over the many others received for each open position.

Professional resume writers are regularly asked, “Do I really need a cover letter?” We always answer – yes – because sending a resume through the mail is like showing up at your physician’s office without an appointment – you will probably get nowhere. Your resume should arrive on the decision-maker’s desk with a cover letter that introduces you and presents your qualifications in such a manner as to entice him/her to actually read your resume.

Cover Letters should be clear and to the point so that they can be quickly scanned by the reader. They should include the specific job title you are applying for. They should provided a list of reasons why your experience makes you a good fit with the position. They should provide a brief summary of your career highlights.

Some resume writing firms and some Internet job search firms offer “Broadcast Cover Letters” where the cover letter is “canned.” Successful cover letters are personalized. A personalized cover letter shows that you are serious about working for the company. The letter should mention something specific about the company and should be address to a specific individual whenever possible.

The cover letter is an excellent vehicle to brag about your special skills and accomplishments. Cover Letters can also be used effectively to make you stand out from the crowd and to show how you would be a valuable addition to the company. But the cover letter is no place for negative information – personality conflicts with previous managers, pending litigation, or knocking your previous employer do not belong in either the resume or cover letter.

If the advertisement asks for salary history or willingness to relocate you can say something like “My salary requirements are in the range of $—– to$——, depending upon the duties and requirements of the position plus the overall benefit package offered” and “I am willing to relocate to the geographic areas of ——– and ————.” If the advertisement is silent on salary requirement or relocation, never include such information.

One of the most effective tools of a cover letter is that it allows you to be proactive. You can state that you are available to fill immediate or anticipated needs; you can provide a variety of ways to communicate with you (home number, cell phone number, email address or even a friend if you are traveling). You can also note that you will follow up by telephone to provide additional information if necessary. You can even say “Please keep this resume and cover letter on your desk and I will call you Friday morning” (or other specific date or time). If so, don’t forget to call.

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