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4 Steps to a Professional and Polished Cover Letter

Ivy Divider

If you’re wondering how you can write the kind of cover letter that grabs your potential employer’s attention and lands you an interview, you’ve come to the right place.

The cover letter presents hiring managers with the opportunity to gauge your communication skills and interest level. So, whenever you have the chance to submit one, do so! Worst case scenario, the hiring managers don’t read it. Best case scenario, you stand out in their minds by making a strong case for why you’re the perfect fit for the open position.

The purpose of the cover letter is to:

1.) Show the Employer That You Read and Understood the Job Description

Hiring managers read a ton of cover letters that are vague and nonspecific, which indicate they’re merely a ditto copy of many others you are sending out. By reiterating some of the ideal qualities and/or responsibilities articulated in the job post within your cover letter, you’re signaling to the person reviewing your application that you took the time to read through the entire post and absorb the information available to you.

2.) Prove That You’re a Good Match

Highlight the specific components of your resume that are especially applicable to the position in question. Don’t repeat information, instead elaborate and offer more qualitative information and context that relates specifically to the job posting. A successful cover letter will showcase just how much their description of the ideal candidate overlaps with you—your background, skill set, and goals.

3.) Differentiate Your Application

Take the time to go above and beyond. Do you have any special knowledge of the industry? Do you have personal connections at the organization? Have you completed any special projects that align with the company’s mission? Have you been keeping tabs on the company through social media? Infusing your cover letter with nitty gritty details about how your values or interests align will strengthen your application. Your letter should be so specific that you’re unable to copy, paste, and submit it to any other company.

4.) Introduce Yourself

While the cover letter should be succinct and concise, don’t let the opportunity to inject a bit of your personality pass you by. You want the person reading your application to get a sense of who you are and what having you on the team might be like. If you’re the humorous type, you might add a joke or make a knowledgeable reference, and if the ad has a playful tone, you can mirror that. 

Finally, always be professional and thank the person reviewing your application for their time and/or consideration. We recommend using positive hopeful language like, “Can’t wait to connect,” or “Looking forward to hearing back from you!” Bring the confidence and own your qualifications. As always, we’re wishing you the best!

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