Cover Letter Writing

Written by Adam Blau
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When applying for a new job, the skill of cover letter writing is worth taking a close look at. Regrettably, there are those people who spend a tremendous amount of time and effort perfecting their resume, only to speed through the process of cover letter writing. This is a significant mistake, as the cover letters are the first (and, if done poorly, the only) things that a hiring manager will see about you.

Be Specific! Cover Letter Writing Shouldn't Be Vague

Unlike a resume, the cover letter must be fine-tuned each time you send it out. A resume can be frequently printed in bulk; after you create and edit a resume, you can generally let it rest for a little while before making significant changes. Cover letters, on the other hand, will change literally every time you send them out.

How will they change, you may ask? For starters, you should always address each letter to the hiring manager personally. Never use general salutations like "To Whom It May Concern." Aside from being impersonal, it demonstrates that you haven't taken the time to research the company for which you are applying. With the advent of the Internet, it is easy to find out the identities of human resource directors; take a few extra minutes to find out some names, and you may be rewarded with a lucrative job.

Chances are, you will be applying to firms that don't all do the same exact thing. When you're writing a cover letter, you should tailor each sheet slightly to the company to which you are sending it. If you mention some specifics about the company's product or staff, you will demonstrate that you are interested in the company. Even better, if you've met or spoken with someone at the company before, it never hurts to drop a name or two. These personal touches aid in the creation of winning cover letter writing.

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