The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing an Effective Cover Letter

Woman Writing an Effective Cover Letter

An effective cover letter not only introduces you to prospective employers, but it also helps you stand out. Your letter needs to stand up against many others that are written using templates and generic writing. Most cover letters sound the same – but yours doesn’t have to. 

Use the following tips to write your next cover letter effectively and get more interviews: 

Don’t use generic templates 

As previously mentioned, many people will send a generic cover letter or one using a premade plug-and-play template. These cover letters come across as insincere and don’t exactly grab the attention of the reader. Hiring managers and recruiters read many cover letters, so making sure yours stands out is paramount to getting noticed and getting that call. 

Do customize your cover letter 

The best way to stand out among your competition and write an effective cover letter is to customize, customize, customize. Read the job description carefully and tailor your letter to elements of the description that match up with your strengthsDraw attention to the specific tools and skills mentioned where you check off the boxes.  

An effective cover letter not only showcases your experience, but also your personality. Write your cover letter to the company. Do some background research to see what kind of culture they have and explain why you would be a good fit. Take the same tone as they seem to on their website to show an understanding of the company and how you relate to them. 

Don’t write your resume again 

Your cover letter is meant to generate interest in and encourage the hiring manager to read your resume. Don’t go over every detail listed there. Hit some of the highlights, but in a general sense. Instead of saying “I did x at y company for 2 years and a at b company for 3 years,” say “I  have 5 years experience doing x.”   

Mention key items that you didn’t include in your resume. This can be specifics such as individual tasks or projects and the results you saw. Writing an effective cover letter includes showcasing your best work. You can’t include everything in your resume and cover letter, but what you do include should make the hiring manager want to know more.  

Do give a broad overview about your experience 

In addition to a few key results, discuss your overall experience from a bird’s eye view. Talk about why you’re a fit for the position, but don’t go overboard on every little detail. To write an effective cover letter, make it more about how you’d be good at the job because you’ve generally got the experience and skill set. Let your cover letter and resume complement each other, highlighting different aspects of your experience. 

Don’t use weak language 

Weak or passive language is not the best way to write an effective cover letter. You’re applying for the job. Be confident that you can do the job and do it really well. Let your experience come through and let the reader know that you can do this job better than any other applicant. 

Do give a call to action 

A call to action is a sentence or phrase that asks the reader to do something. At the end of your cover letter, ask the hiring manager to look over your resume and call you to schedule an interview. Don’t just give your contact info and hope they call. Give them specifics. An effective cover letter leads to action. 

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, get in touch with us here at Staff Force. We can help you find premium jobs quickly. Contact a branch near you today to submit your info.