Tips For Writing A Strong Cover Letter

Top 10 Cover Letter Writing Tips

Advice for Writing a Top Notch Cover Letter for a Job

When you need to write a cover letter to apply for a job, it's sometimes the small things that can make a big difference. The closer to perfect your letter is, the better your chances of getting the interview.

Review these tips and techniques for writing top notch cover letters to send with your resume, including format and presentation, advice for choosing a type of cover letter, writing custom cover letters, how to send, and examples and templates.

  • 01

    Select the Right Type of Cover Letter

    There are several types of cover letters that can be sent to employers and contacts. Be sure to choose a type of cover letter that reflects how you are applying for the job or the type of job search assistance you are requesting.

    Your cover letter should be designed specifically for the purpose you are writing and customized for each position you seek. Review samples of each type of cover letter, then pick the one that works best for you.

  • 02

    Try to Find a Contact Person

    When it comes to cover letters, taking the time to get personal is really important. Find out as much as you can about the company and the hiring manager.

    Personalize your cover letter and, if you can, address it to the individual responsible for hiring. If need be, research online or make a phone call to find out who the hiring manager is.

  • 03

    Address Your Cover Letter Correctly

    How to address a cover letter can be tricky if you are responding to a blind ad and don't have a contact person's name to include or you don't know the hiring manager's gender. Here's how to address a cover letter.

  • 04

    Review Cover Letter Examples

    Take the time to review cover letter examples before you start writing your own, then make sure that your letter explains how your skills relate to the criteria listed in the job posting.

    Here's a selection of professionally written cover letters for a variety of jobs to give you inspiration for your own job search correspondence.

  • 05

    Format Your Cover Letter Properly

    How you format your cover letter, both from a content (the information you include) and a presentation (what your cover letter looks like) perspective is important.

    Even when applying online or via email, your cover letter needs to be properly formatted, readable, and without any mistakes. 

    Here's how to format a cover letter.

  • 06

    Include Keywords in Your Cover Letter

    It's important to include skill, results and recognition keywords which match the description of the job for which you are applying and attest to your credentials in your cover letter to increase your chances of getting selected for an interview. Here's how.

  • 07

    Write a Custom Cover Letter

    It can be ​time-consuming to write a custom cover letter for each job you apply for, but it's important to take the time and effort to show the company why you are a good match.

    Review these guidelines for matching your qualifications to a job description.

  • 08

    Start From a Cover Letter Template

    A cover letter template can be a good way to get started writing cover letters to send with resumes when you apply for jobs.

    Use a cover letter template as a starting point for creating your own personalized cover letter by adding your own information to the template.

  • Smart tips to help you format and write a cover letter

    Struggling to write a cover letter that will catch an employer's attention? We've got tips to help you show your best self—and a sample you can use to get started.

    There's nothing scary about writing a cover letter.

    You've found the perfect job, hit the "apply" button, and started the process with your engines revved and ready. But wait! Slam the brakes! They want a cover letter. Oh no. 

    Don't let this request derail you. Here's everything you need to know to write a letter that truly sells your skills. Plus, scroll down to see a sample cover letter you can use to craft your own.

    What is a cover letter?

    A cover letter is a one-page document that, along with your resume, is sent with your job application. A cover letter is your chance to tell a potential employer why you’re the perfect person for the position and how your skills and expertise can add value to the company. The letter should be professional but personable, and serve as a sort of introduction.

    Do I need to send a cover letter?

    A lot of job seekers today wonder if a cover letter is still appropriate to send with your resume—and the answer is yes! Even if an employer doesn’t ask for a cover letter, it couldn’t hurt to send one. In fact, it’s can help you get someone's attention in a different way, and it can be a great way to display your enthusiasm for the job and company.

    What are the basic elements of a cover letter?

    1. Greeting: Address your cover letter to the proper person.
    2. Opening: Write a personable, inviting opening paragraph that notes how your skills are a perfect fit to the job and displays your enthusiasm.
    3. Hook: Highlight your past achievements as they relate to the job you're applying for.
    4. Skills: Emphasize additional relevant skills, such as computer languages or certifications.
    5. Close: Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate, and include your contact information.

    Cover letter tips

    1. Parrot the keywords: Just like with your resume, your cover letters should be customized for each job you apply to. Start by reviewing the job description. In it, you will find important keywords that let you know what kind of employee the company is hoping to find. Use these same keywords throughout your cover letter.

    2. Adapt for the company: Each version of your cover letter should talk about how your skills will benefit the particular company that you want to work for. You want to target the company’s needs—not your own. Demonstrate how you could help them achieve their goals. Remember: You're selling yourself in a resume and a cover letter, but the employer has to want to buy.

    3. Show you "get" them: Your cover letter should demonstrate that you have done some research into what the organization's pain points are. Presenting yourself as a solution to a hiring manager’s problem can help your cover letter take the right tone. If you’re applying to an administrative position, be sure to mention your time-management skills; if you’re an IT professional, include your expertise in improving efficiency. Always ask yourself: How can I help this company?

    4. Proofread. Don’t assume spell check will catch every mistake (it won’t). Slowly review your cover letter to make sure everything reads properly. Have someone else read your cover letter for backup.

    Need even more confidence before you start your cover letter? Below are some additional cover letter tips you could reference—or keep scrolling for a cover letter sample:

    Cover letter mistakes you should avoid: From overusing “I” to being too vague, there are a bunch of pitfalls that can trip you up. Don’t let them!

    Cover letter format and advice tips: Learn how to set up your cover letter and what each section should include.

    Cover letter tips for new grads: You might lack real-world work experience, but your cover letter can be chock-full of activities that demonstrate your potential to succeed.

    Cover letter tips for technology professionals: The ease of applying to online jobs has led many IT professionals to skip sending a cover letter, but that’s a mistake. 

    Cover letter tips for finance professionals: If you’re searching for a finance job or want to be prepared just in case, you will need a dynamic cover letter to grab the hiring managers’ attention.

    Tips for better email cover letters: If you're emailing a resume, your cover letter will deliver the first impression. These eight tips will help you craft a better email cover letter.

    Cover letter sample

    Check out the sample cover letter below (or download the template as a Word doc) to get some inspiration to craft your own. And we've also got you covered if you're looking for a cover letter in a specific industry. 

    Once you've finished your cover letter, consider joining Monster—you can upload and store up to five cover letters and resumes, so that you can apply for jobs on our site in a snap!


    [Date]

    Ms. Rhonda West
    Customer Service Manager
    Acme Inc.
    123 Corporate Blvd.
    Sometown, CO 50802

    Re: Customer Service Representative Opening (Ref. ID: CS300-Denver)

    Dear Ms. West:

    I was excited to see your opening for a customer service rep, and I hope to be invited for an interview.

    My background includes serving as a customer service associate within both call-center and retail environments. Most recently, I worked on the customer service desk for Discount-Mart, where my responsibilities included handling customer merchandise returns, issuing refunds/store credits, flagging damaged merchandise for shipment back to vendors and providing back-up cashiering during busy periods.

    Previously, I worked within two high-volume customer-support call centers for a major telecommunications carrier and a satellite television services provider. In these positions, I demonstrated the ability to resolve a variety of issues and complaints (such as billing disputes, service interruptions or cutoffs, repair technician delays/no-shows and equipment malfunctions). I consistently met my call-volume goals, handling an average of 56 to 60 calls per day.

    In addition to this experience, I gained considerable customer service skills during my part-time employment as a waitress and restaurant hostess while in high school.

    I also bring to the table strong computer proficiencies in MS Word, MS Excel and CRM database applications and a year of college (business major). Please see the accompanying resume for details of my experience and education.

    I am confident that I can offer you the customer service, communication and problem-solving skills you are seeking. Feel free to call me at 555-555-5555 (home) or 555-555-5500 (cell) to arrange an interview. Thank you for your time—I look forward to learning more about this opportunity!

    Sincerely,



    Sue Ling

    Enclosure: Resume


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