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Write The Ideal Cover Letter (How To)

Does your cover letter convey who you are and what you want quickly, or does it confuse the reader?

A cover letter is a document that introduces you and your résumé to potential employers. It is your opportunity to give employers a good look at yourself, your credentials, and your background. In many cases, it is the first thing an employer sees (because it goes in front of your résumé), so expect it to make your opening impression.

Cover letters can do more than simply introduce you. They can give an employer a more in-depth view of who you are and what you will bring to the table.

The ideal cover letter is focused, professional, and well-written. While the employer is reading your cover letter, they are deciding if it makes sense to continue onto your résumé. If you cannot make your cover letter great, then the employer has no reason to believe you will do great work for them either.

The format of an ideal cover letter is as follows:

  1. I am writing to you today because...

    In this section, state why you are writing to the employer. Where did you see the ad for the position, or who recommended you?

  2. I like your company because...

    In this paragraph, compliment the employer on what they have done right and what you admire about them. Sincere flattery goes a long way and shows that you have taken the time to get to know the employer in more detail.

  3. Here are relevant examples of what I have done that match with what you are looking for...

    In this paragraph, discuss your accomplishments or highlights that you want to showcase or have the employer locate quickly. Bullets work well in making your accomplishments easy to read.

  4. Here's why I am a good candidate...

    In this paragraph, describe who you are and what makes you stand out. Include your strengths and what you are passionate about in your career.

  5. Here's my contact information...

    In this paragraph, tell the employer that you are excited and looking forward to the interview. Make note of your contact information and state what next steps will be. If you will wait for their reply, tell them that. If you will be following up, tell them when they can expect to hear from you. Whatever you put down, make sure you do what you say will you do.

Then, it's up to you...

An ideal cover letter can get you the interview. What you do once you get there is in your hands.

So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!

- Deborah Brown-Volkman

Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC, noted career coach, and best-selling author of several career and business books works with Senior Executives, Vice Presidents, and Managers who are looking for new career opportunities or seek to become more productive in their current role. Do You Dread Going To Work On Monday Morning? Visit www.surpassyourdreams.com to receive Deborah's complimentary weekly action tips for making Monday the best day of the week.