Five Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter

Many job seekers hire professional resume writers to create a dazzling (and expensive) account of their professional accomplishments, qualifications, and experience, but when they email it to a prospective employer they write something like:

Dear Mr. Johnson,
Attached please see my resume.
Regards,
Unlikely to be hired

A cover letter is an applicant’s opportunity to really connect with the hiring manager or screener who, according to a study by CareerBuilder.com, spends an average of 6-7 seconds scanning resumes.

A cover letter goes further; it introduces you, explains your purpose for writing, highlights a few relevant experiences or skills, and requests an opportunity to meet personally with the potential employer. By writing a cover letter, you are demonstrating your professional writing skills and seizing the opportunity to introduce the information you choose, rather than letting a 6-second scan of your resume speak for you.

It’s crucial to put yourself in the position of the hiring manager and reflect on which of your strengths would stand out if you were screening the application. It is a delicate balance; you should never come across as arrogant, but a certain amount of confidence is admirable.

Here are 5 Tips:

1.       Always limit your cover letter to one page. Be clear and concise.
2.       Match the employer’s needs to your skills, and specifically reference needs listed in the job posting. If they need a technician who does A, B, and C, don’t expound about your experience with X, Y, and Z.
3.       Use action verbs and the active voice; convey confidence, optimism, and enthusiasm coupled with respect and professionalism.
4.       Arrange the letter in a sequence of points, and have them laid out in a logical order.
5.       End the letter with a conclusion, thank the employer, and ask for an appointment to meet in person.

It is important to note that the same CareerBuilder.com study also found that 61 percent of recruiters will automatically dismiss a resume because it or the accompanying cover letter contains typographical or grammatical errors. What can you do about that?

Wordzen is a truly unique email editing tool that uses professional editors to review messages and improve them. Our editors are experienced writers, journalists, and wordsmiths who have had their own written work analyzed, rearranged, and polished by other editors over many years. They’re very talented.

Sending your cover letter to Wordzen editors will improve and strengthen it, and you can be assured that you are sending a cover letter free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Wordzen users constantly tell us they gain confidence in our ability every time they use us.

Wordzen is an extension for the Google Chrome browser and works with any active Gmail account. It is easy to sign up for Wordzen by visiting www.wordzen.com. You can also view a step-by-step video guide here: Wordzen YouTube Video.

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