What to Say in a Cover Letter: 5 Things You Should Include

What to Say in a Cover Letter: 5 Things You Should Include

Learn more

Arrow

Next page

Arrow

1. Don't restate your entire resume

The recruiter already has your resume, so there's no need to rehash your entire work history in your cover letter. This is often a turn-off for employers who are sick of letters that merely summarize their candidates' resumes. Consequently, they see no need to read them.  Augustine recommends, “Use your opening documentation to demonstrate your 

White Scribbled Underline

Next page

Arrow

1. Don't restate your entire resume

understanding of the company's position in the marketplace and its needs, and then highlight your experiences and accomplishments that speak to these requirements.”

White Scribbled Underline

Next page

Arrow

2. Use the hiring manager's name, if possible

People like personalization. Using the hiring manager's name shows that the candidate did his or her research. Hiring managers and recruiters often post their positions in more than one place. Run a Google search for a portion of the job description in quotation marks. Or, if you know the name of the recruiting agency that's running the search,

White Scribbled Underline

Next page

Arrow

2. Use the hiring manager's name, if possible

take a look at its company site. If the group is small enough, it may have each recruiter's bio listed. The worst ways to address a cover letter or an email to a potential employer include: “To whom it may concern,” “Dear Sir or Madam,” “Hello,” “Dear Hiring Manager ” and “Dear Recruiter.” Avoid using these.

White Scribbled Underline

Next page

Arrow

3. Use the “T” format

Job seekers don't have to reinvent the wheel here. The main components when writing a cover letter don't really change. Follow what I like to call the “t-format”: – First Section: Introduce yourself and state why you are interested in the position. Show you've done a background check and are knowledgeable about the company or industry.

White Scribbled Underline

Next page

Arrow

3. Use the “T” format

– Middle Section: Prove why you are fit to do this job. How do your skills and experience meet the requirements of the position? – Last Section: Get enthusiastic! Add a closing paragraph and include a “call to action.” Let them know when you will be following up.

White Scribbled Underline

Next page

Arrow

4. Choose the top three requirements that match your work experience

The hiring company is going to list out a bunch of ideal skills. Don't be intimidated. Make a list of all of the qualifications mentioned in the job posting under a header called “Your Needs.”  Then, make a list of all of your skills in a column called “My Qualifications.” Simply pick the top three skills in the “Your Needs” column that match up 

White Scribbled Underline

Next page

Arrow

4. Choose the top three requirements that match your work experience

with skills in the “My Qualifications” column and write a little blurb for each. Focus on past examples of your work that show how you meet each of the hiring manager's needs.

White Scribbled Underline

Next page

Arrow

5. Don't make your cover letter generic!

Boilerplate is not the way to go. You need to tailor your cover letter to speak specifically to each company's needs. Augustine says, “While your introduction may not be as specific as it would be for a position where the employer was known, this doesn't give you license to use a generic template for the main sections of your cover letter.”

White Scribbled Underline

Next page

Arrow

5. Don't make your cover letter generic!

Read the job description and brainstorm how you have each prerequisite. Then, pair it with a specific contribution, experience, or accomplishment. Relay this information in a paragraph or a set of bullets. This will customize your cover letter and grab the reader's attention. You don't have to say it all when you write a cover letter. If you want to get a job interview, just say it right.

White Scribbled Underline

More

Read

10 New Job Fields for Women in 2022

10 Steps to a Resume That Will Get You Hired

10 Important Career Tips for Women

See More