Basic Cover Letter Writing Tips

It has been said that when searching for employment, a cover letter is more important than the resume. While such an assessment can be considered debatable, it is still definitely true that writing a high quality cover letter can greatly aid in being called in for an interview. That is why it is helpful to examine a few basic tips regarding how to write an effective cover letter.

First and foremost, it is vital that the cover letter have all your contact information. That means it needs to reflect your name, address, phone number, and email. While this may seem ultra basic, it is also an element that many people overlook. Don't make that mistake! Be sure to have all this necessary information in place when drafting a cover letter.

And while there can be certain ‘canned' components to the cover letter such as a standard opening and closing, you do not want to write one single form letter and then send the same thing out for every job you apply for. When cover letters lack originality, they lose much of their impact and that is certainly not what you will want since making an impact on the person reviewing the letter will play a large role in terms of whether or not you land the job.

The content of the cover letter should not be a rehash of what appears in the resume. There is no reason to be redundant with the material since this will not provide the hiring agent with any information they do not already have access to. Instead, it is best to use the resume as a means of introducing yourself and then giving the hiring agent a reason to actually read the resume.

And try to avoid being ‘cute' with the cover letter by printing it on colored paper. This is not a nice touch and it can be considered highly distracting and problematic. Stick with traditional white paper as it is simple and effective. Some may consider white paper to be a little dull. That may be the case but it is also does not draw attention away from the important components of the letter itself.

Keep the language in the cover letter tight and to the point. Being too flowery or longwinded in your prose will certainly not help your cause. You want to keep the letter straight and to the point since you want the letter to convey necessary information.

And it is most definitely advised to proofread the cover letter and eliminate any typos or grammar errors. These are highly distracting and unprofessional and can certainly sink your chances of being called in for an interview. Worst of all, such errors can be easily avoided simply by performing a cursory proofreading.

Honestly, writing a decent resume cover letter is often about basic common sense and when you follow such basic tips of composition, you will discover that composing quality cover letters is easier than some thought.


Gail Esparan