1. Know to whom you’re talking.
Think of your cover letter is a letter of intent. Don’t use the typical “to whom it may concern” and go the extra mile by addressing it to a specific person. Do your research to find out the name of the HR manager or the name and position of your potential boss.2. Be specific. State the position you’re applying for, so the recruiter or hiring manager won’t think that you’re only after getting a job, regardless of what position it may be.
3. Fill in the gaps. If you had stopped working for a few months or years, make sure to explain this in your cover letter. It’s a good way of preventing your potential employer from assuming the worst about your “sabbatical” or time off from the daily grind.
4. No to braggadocio. Sure, you want to impress, but exaggerating or bragging about your achievements and capabilities won’t get you anywhere. Choose one or two career highlights and state them matter-of-factly. If you’re not sure about your tone, get another person to read your cover letter and have him or her give you an honest opinion.
5. Make it unique. Avoid churning out cookie-cutter cover letters whose only difference is the addressee and position you’re applying for. Write from the heart and tailor-fit your words to suit the job you’re applying for. Conveying your passion for the job is one way to impress your future employer, more than a generic and overly formal document.
6. Don’t forget your contact details. Even though your accompanying resume will contain your contact details, play it safe and include your email address and phone number so a recruiter can get in touch with you easily.
7. Keep it short. A brief description that states why you’re the best person for the job will do. Your cover letter should be no longer than three paragraphs. What’s more, don’t ramble on about WHY you need the job. The cover letter should make the employer want you, so you should “sell” yourself in a way that will make the company think that you would be a great addition to the organization.
8. Before printing and sending off your cover letter, double- and triple-check your spelling and grammar, and watch out for typographical errors.