Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

Your Guide to Writing a Cover Letter

cover letter

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 skill set, experience and the job opportunity.

There is no getting around it. A cover letter is a necessary evil in today’s job market. It’s a job seeker’s best hope of catching the attention of a recruiter, headhunter, or hiring manager all of whom receive tons of resumes.

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A cover letter allows you to demonstrate the professional skills and experiences that make you a suitable candidate for a job position. How you write a cover letter, how effective it is and how you send it to the employer tells him a lot about you. To know how to impress a prospective employer with an inspiring cover letter, you should consider the following tips:

Introductory Paragraph

Start your letter by addressing the hiring manager. You can find his name in the job ad that you are applying to. However, if you are responding to an online job application, then you can try to contact the HR department for the name of the hiring manager. If all else fails, you can address the letter to “Dear Hiring Manager for [name of position]”. While not ideal, this is better than not addressing the letter (which might make it look like a form letter). Begin your cover letter by indicating the job position and then highlight the particular skills and experiences that make you the perfect candidate for the specific job position.

Main Body Paragraph

Next, you will write the body paragraph.  This is the “meat” of our cover letter and where you will indicate how you meet the requirements of the job position. Highlight specific skills that meet the job requirements. Provide any experiences that further shows that you are the right person for the job. Make references to your resume wherever applicable. If there is no specific job that you are applying to, then you can establish how your skills and abilities would benefit the company.

Closing Paragraph

In the last paragraph, you will remind the hiring manager about your interest in the job and that you are looking forward to an interview. Give your contact details so that the employer can contact you. Wrap up your letter by thanking the hiring manager for their time.


Image by blom3 from Pixabay

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 mention skills that are aligned to 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.
  • 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.

Job Search Approach

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

Job Search Approach


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