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5 Cover Letter Tips: Do What Most Job Seekers Don't

Although your cover letter is as significant as your resume, career and job coaches put more emphasis on writing a good cover letter for obvious reasons - prospective employers usually read the cover letter first. For most employers, a resume is a kind of "fact sheet" that supports the academic and professional accomplishments you highlight in your cover letter. There’s no such thing as a "one size fits all" cover letter when applying for a job. You will probably be targeting different types of jobs in your search, so it is crucial that you adapt your cover letters to fit the needs of each particular employer.

Below are 5 tips that will help you write the kind of stellar cover letters that set you apart from the crowd and get noticed by employers.

Write for the Employer - Not Yourself

Your letter should be precise and must strictly address the needs of the employer. All too often, job seekers make the mistake of writing long and detailed letters, only to ignore the needs of the company. Your employers are too busy to go through mundane letters – and if you write a cover letter that is all about you and don’t address their needs, they are bound to ignore your job application.

Show Your Enthusiasm

Too many job seekers write cover letters that are mere synopses of their resumes. Recruiters want candidates who are enthusiastic, passionate about their work, and eager to shoulder new responsibilities. In your cover letter, you must indicate your eagerness to learn new skills and adapt yourself to a new work culture. It’s your job to convince them that you have that ‘X’ factor that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.

Highlight the Most Important Facts from Your Resume

You may be a great artist or a volunteer in your community, but unless the employer is specifically asking for this experience, you don’t need to put it in your cover letter. For instance, you may be a great painter, but if you are applying for the position of a graphic designer, recruiters will be put off to see other skills being emphasized in your cover letter. Focus only on those specific skills in your resume that are required for that particular job.

Include Facts about the Company

You employers will be thoroughly impressed if your cover letter indicates your knowledge about the company and its mission. Educate yourself about the company, its recent accomplishments and the nature of their business before you write that cover letter. These days, almost any company can be researched on the Internet, so there is simply no excuse for not doing this.

Be Aggressive With Your Follow-Up Request

After all, you are writing to them for a specific purpose. In the concluding paragraph, you must request an appointment and express your willingness to come in for an interview. Tell the prospective employer that you will make a follow-up call after a few days – and include a specific date, rather than making a vague promise to call. And then actually follow through on your promise.

Writing an effective cover letter is very important to increase your chances of getting that coveted interview call. If you find that you need more guidance than the tips above, consider using the services of a career coach or a professional resume writing service so you can start getting the interviews you deserve.

- Heather Eagar

Recognized as a leading expert in the employment search industry, Heather Eagar is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. If you need a professional resume writer, Heather offers reviews of the top companies in the industry at