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I’ve read a lot of cover letters throughout my career.When I was a fellowship program manager, I reviewed them in consideration for more than 60 open positions each year.
Like the resume, the cover letter is a sample of your written work and should be brief (preferably one page), persuasive, well reasoned, and grammatically perfect.
Before crafting your cover letters, review the following tips.
You want your cover letter to stand out for all the right reasons.
So, before you click submit, take a few minutes to make sure you’re putting your best (and most memorable) foot forward.
So I saw it all–the good, the bad, and the standout examples that I can still remember.
As a result, I’ve become the go-to friend when people need feedback on their job applications.(Yes, every single time.) When a hiring manager sees that, she won’t think, “How thoughtful of the applicant to remind me what I’m reading!” Her reaction will be much closer to, “boring,” “meh,” or even “next!Most often, people send me just their cover letter and resume, so I don’t have the benefit of reviewing the position description.And yet, whenever a letter follows the format of “I am skilled at [skill], [skill], [skill], as evidenced by my time at [place].” Or “You’re looking for [skill], and I am a talented [skill], ” I could pretty much re-create it. Again, the goal isn’t just to show you’re qualified: It’s to make the case that you’re more qualified than all the other applicants.Your current address should be aligned with the center of the page or the left margin.Under your address you should include a telephone number where you can most easily be reached (i.e., your cell phone) and email address.I got the point across that I’m a take-charge problem solver, without saying, “I’m a take-charge problem solver.” Plus the “(gracefully)” shows that I don’t take myself too seriously–even in a job application.If your submission follows the same list-type format all the way through, see if you can’t pepper in an example or anecdote that’ll add some personality.Sure, you might still include lists of skills, but break those up with anecdotes or splashes of personality.A couple lines like this will not only lighten up your letter, but also highlight your soft skills.