TAO Self-help

Title:Ten Cover Letter Tips

Author:Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, CMRC, CFRW

Date:July 2011

Source:www.militaryresumewriters.com and www.careerproplus.com

Since online applications replaced snail mail, Fed-Ex, and other delivery methods, I am sending a cover constantly asked how important sending cover letters are now. I always recommend letter for online applications unless the job vacancy states otherwise. First, you should determine the type of cover letter to send.

Below is a list of different types of cover letters you may need to use, depending on your application situation. In future articles I will explain each type of cover letter in detail and provide a sample.

  • Customized Cover Letter Example
  • Sample Targeted Cover Letter
  • Cold Contact Cover Letter
  • Sample Cover Letter Requesting a Meeting
  • Cover Letter Applying for More Than One Job
  • Employee Referral Cover Letter
  • Sample Letter of Application
  • Cover Letter for a Job Promotion Example
  • Cover Letter Example for Unadvertised Openings
  • Networking Cover Letters
  • Sample Referral Cover Letter
  • Sample Cover Letter with Salary History
  • Sample Cover Letter with Salary Requirements

Before you apply for your dream job, check out these tips that will make your cover letter stand out. Your goal is to explain the value you bring to an organization. Gain the hiring official's interest and get called for that all-important interview.

Tip #1: Keep it brief.

Your cover letter should not go over one page. Use short paragraphs and bullet points whenever possible. Do not regurgitate information used in your resume. Avoid flowery or excessive words when fewer words will get your point across equally well.

Tip #2: Be assertive and proactive.

Explain what special skills and qualities you can bring to the job. Don't explain what the job will do for you. Avoid empty clichés, such as "I am a self-starter", or "I'm a people person". Use active words and phrases. Avoid "are" and "is".

Tip #3: Tailor the cover letter to the specific company.

Don't write generic praise about the company. Be as specific as you can and demonstrate your knowledge of the company. Research the company using its own website, as well as business information sites such as www.hoovers.com. Look for recent company events, product launches, or technology initiatives that you can reference in your letter.

Tip #4: Revise your cover letter for each application.

One size cover letter does not fit all. Different aspects of your background will fit different jobs. Focus on relevant job experiences and skills. For instance, an employer for a publishing organization won't be interested in your sharpshooter skills.

Tip #5: When writing about non-professional experiences, translate them into "business-speak". Always demilitarize your experience and avoid using acronyms.

Explain how your deployments have prepared you to work in diverse and multi-cultural environments. Provide an accomplishment relating to a human capital success.

Tip #6: Address your letter to an individual rather than a department.

Call the company directly to identify the proper addressee. Use formal language (Mr., Ms., Dr.) when addressing them and never just their first name—even if you know them personally.

Tip #7: Your first impression counts.

Maintain lots of white space. Use small paragraphs and bullet, indent, and/or bold accomplishments that match the position.

Tip #8: Let the hiring official be the judge of your skills.

State your skills and qualifications, but don't tell the hiring official that you are the best person for the job. It can appear arrogant and presumptuous. Match the skills the job vacancy lists so you eminently appear to be a good fit.

Tip #9: Proofread! Proofread! And Proofread again!

Check grammar, spelling, and especially the spellings of names. Have somebody else read your letter—they can pick up on things missing from your letter.

Tip #10: Follow up with a brief note thanking the hiring official for their consideration.

State that you are very interested in the position and hope that you will be strongly considered.

Barbara Adams, President and CEO of CareerPro Global (CPG), the parent company of http://www.careerproplus.com/ and www.militaryresumewriters.com, has been a member of the careers community for the past 20 years. Ms. Adams holds four prestigious industry certifications. CareerPro Global is the only ISO 9001-2008 Certified Career Service in the industry, as well as one of the fastest-growing Military, Federal, and Civilian Resume-Writing and Careers-Coaching companies. The team of Certified Professional Federal and Military Resume Writers at CPG assist thousands of clients in applying for and gaining employment each year. We can help you land your military to civilian job.

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