Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

Mastering the Art: Your Guide to Writing a Cover Letter

cover letter

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Whenever you apply for a job position through a job search board or a company’s career site, it is highly recommended to include a cover letter. This will effectively communicate the alignment between your skillset, experience, and the job opportunity to the hiring manager.

A cover letter provides an opportunity to showcase your professional skills and experiences, highlighting why you are a suitable candidate for the job. The way you craft and deliver the cover letter speaks volumes about you. To create an impressive cover letter that captivates prospective employers, consider the following essential tips:

How to Write a Cover Letter

  • Understand the Purpose: A cover letter introduces you to potential employers, highlighting how your skills and experiences align with the job requirements and company culture.
  • Research the Company: Tailor your cover letter by researching the company’s values, projects, and the role itself. Show how your background makes you a perfect fit for their team.
  • Address it Properly: Whenever possible, address the cover letter to a specific person. Use “Dear Hiring Manager” only if you cannot find a name, to add a personal touch.
  • Start Strong: Begin with a compelling opening sentence that grabs attention. Mention the position you’re applying for and how you discovered the opportunity.
  • Highlight Key Experiences: Use specific examples from your past work or education to demonstrate your qualifications and how they apply to the position at hand.
  • Show Your Enthusiasm: Express genuine interest in the role and the company. Explain why you’re passionate about the opportunity and how it aligns with your career goals.
  • Include Soft Skills: Mention important soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Explain how these have benefited you in past roles or projects.
  • Keep it Concise: Aim for a single page. Be direct and to the point, ensuring every sentence adds value and relevance to your application.
  • Close Strong: End your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering your application and expressing eagerness to discuss your application in further detail.
  • Edit and Proofread: Before sending, meticulously proofread your cover letter for typos, and grammatical errors, and ensure it’s tailored to the job and company.

Introductory Paragraph

Start your cover letter by addressing the hiring manager directly. Ideally, find their name in the job ad or contact the HR department for it. If unable to find the name, address the letter to “Dear Hiring Manager for [name of position].” This shows personalized effort. Begin by clearly stating the job position and then highlighting the specific skills and experiences that make you the ideal candidate for that role. Proofread the content to eliminate any typos, grammatical errors, or other mistakes.

Main Body Paragraph

Next, you will write the body paragraph, which serves as the core of your cover letter. Here, you will demonstrate how you meet the requirements of the job position. Highlight specific skills that align with the job requirements and showcase relevant experiences that support your suitability for the role. When applicable, refer to your resume to provide additional evidence. If you’re not applying to a specific job, explain how your skills and abilities would contribute to the company’s success. Proofread the content carefully to eliminate any typos, grammatical errors, or other mistakes.

Closing Paragraph

In the final paragraph, express your continued enthusiasm for the job and convey your anticipation for an interview. Reiterate your interest and provide your contact details to facilitate communication with the employer. Conclude the letter by expressing gratitude to the hiring manager for their time and consideration. Proofread the content meticulously to rectify any typos, grammatical errors, or other mistakes. Your attention to detail ensures a polished and professional cover letter.

Don’t Make These Mistakes

  • Spelling errors – Your cover letter should be free of all spelling errors or grammatical errors. Proofread your cover letter or use a product like Grammarly.com.
  • Lack of Follow-up – Don’t leave the letter “open-ended”.  Indicate that you will follow up in two weeks.
  • Summary of Your Resume – To cut and paste from your resume or restate what is already included in your resume. Your cover letter should be a stand-alone document.
  • Form Letter Format – Your cover letter should be specific to the opportunity and not a form letter.  It should specifically mention the job title and skills that are aligned with the job opportunity
  • Research the company before writing your letter (take a look at Company Research). Find out as much as you can about the company and the job position. Research the hiring manager via LinkedIn.  Your cover letter should show that you are familiar with the company.
Whenever you apply for a job position through a job search board or company career site, you really should include a cover letter so that the hiring manager knows there is a match between your skillset, experience, and job opportunity.Click To Tweet
  • Never send the same cover letter for every job posting.

Gear You Need for Your Resume and Cover Letters

Okay, you are ready to find your job, but do you have everything you need?  Not sure that you have everything, take a look at the following links.

Resume Paper

Here are our favorites

Type of Resume PaperWeightColorDescription Review
Cotton Resume Paper24lbsIvoryThis stationery has a rich texture and distinctive crispness that set it apart from ordinary printer paper or copy paper. Endorsed by the National Résumé Writer’s Association"I used this paper for my resume at a college career fair, and I'd say that it impressed especially considering that most college kids were printing their resumes on normal printer paper."
Linen Resume paper32lbsIvoryThis stationery has a rich linen paper texture and distinctive crispness that set it apart from ordinary printer paper or copy paper. "This is an amazing textured resume! It's a very light cream color. Not too thick or too thin (not transparent). Ink adheres fine and it looks and feels great with the linen texture.
Cotton Business Paper32lbsIvoryUsing this 25% Cotton Linen Business Paper, in creamy linen ivory, means you’re on your way to making a lasting impression. To be honest I never imagined I would get this excited over paper. I was just looking for some good quality papers for formal matters, and these are some very beautiful sheets I’ve stumbled upon here on Amazon
Business Cotton24lbsWhiteThis premium 24 lb. paper is great for proposals, resumes and reports or for any document where quality matter."This paper really is great. It has a very nice weight to it and is extremely professional looking. I found that it was just enough to be nicer than normal paper, but not so fancy as to be off putting. I do recommend it."
Parchment Specialty Paper24lbsGreyThis quality textured paper is free of acid and lignin, so your documents can stand the test of time and stand out with the distinguished, distinctive look of parchment."I love this brand of parchment paper for creating certificates, it's great quality, prints well, the price is better than what you pay in a retail store and because I buy in bulk, they last a long time!"
Cream Linen Paper28lbsCreamThis letterhead paper is made from a 28b bond Cream linen textured paper stock. ream Linen Paper & Envelopes combo pack makes it easy & simple to create professional resumes."A very nice stationery set -- no frills (which is what I wanted). The color and texture of the paper are elegant. "

Gear for Your Job Search

  1. Office Depot

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  2. Southworth Exceptional Resume Paper, 100% Cotton, 24 lb, Ivory, 100 Count (R14ICF)
    $11.08
    All the gear you need for your job search
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  4. MaxGear Professional Business Card Holder
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    Store approximately 10-20 business cards, also suitable for ID cards, credit cards, gift cards, and more. This business card case is made of premium stainless steel. Size: 3.7"L x 2.3"W x 0.3"H.
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    04/12/2024 02:31 pm GMT
  5. Leathario File Folder Padfolio
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    Business presentation folder Portfolio. The Product Dimensions Is 12.87"Hx10.14"Wx0.78"D. Could be put in a briefcase.
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  6. HP OfficeJet 3830
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    HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One Wireless Printer, HP Instant Ink & Amazon Dash Replenishment Ready (K7V40A). Main functions of this printer: copy, scan, fax, wireless printing, AirPrint, touchscreen, Instant Ink ready - never run out of ink.
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  7. Office Depot Resume Paper

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  8. Southworth FSC Certified 55% Recycled 25% Cotton Linen Business Paper, 8 1/2in. x 11in., 24 Lb, White, Box Of 500, 554C
    $26.79 $24.70

    Southworth Exceptional Resume Paper, 100% Cotton, 32 lb, White, 100 Count

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    04/12/2024 04:36 pm GMT
  9. Southworth FSC Certified 55% Recycled 25% Cotton Linen Business Paper, 8 1/2in. x 11in., 24 Lb, White, Box Of 500, 554C
    $26.79 $24.70

    Resume Paper

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    04/12/2024 04:36 pm GMT
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