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The Cover Letter

The Cover Letter

When you are looking for a job, you need to have a resume and a cover letter.  Many people put a lot of work into their resume but put together a cover letter that is sloppy and incoherent.  Any job that pays the big bucks will require you to write a good cover letter.  If you are going to write a good cover letter, you need to learn and consider six things, which will help improve its quality and attractiveness.

Length

Keep it short because this is the mistake that most people make when writing their first cover letter.  They write wonderful and flowery prose meant to impress the employer like an actor entertains an audience.  The result is not a cover letter, but a novel 1,000 pages long.  This may work for college entry essays, but not for a cover letter.  An employer’s time is very valuable and he or she does not want to waste it dredging through a bunch of nonsense.  Therefore, you must keep your cover letter short.  Try to keep it one page long, but no longer than two pages.  That means that you must be decisive and concise with your words.  In other words, get to the point.

Mechanics

A poorly written cover letter is the same as showing up to a job interview in your pajamas.  You will not get the job if you do not know how to write.  Therefore, you must learn how to write using proper grammar.  Learn how to write without using “passive voice.”  Do not write things like “I will be able to complete task in a timely manner.”  Instead, write, “I complete tasks in a timely manner.”

Neatness

Third, make sure that your cover letter is neat and tidy.  A messy cover letter is like wearing a wrinkly suit.  It shows that you are sloppy, and employers do not want sloppy employees.  Align every paragraph with each other.   your greeting and closing with your paragraphs.  Alignment is key!

Rhetoric

Choose your words carefully because what you say and how you say it matters! Your cover letter may be short, neat, and your mechanics perfect, but it will not matter if you cannot express yourself effectively.  Employers want to see that you can express yourself, so express yourself in a way that will grab the employer’s attention.

Company Knowledge

Employers want to hire people who will make their company better so do your research and determine how you will help them shine! Show that you know something about the company and mention how your abilities will help the company achieve its vision and mission statements.

Your Abilities

Finally, make sure that you also include a paragraph in your cover letter that explains your abilities.  This is not a regurgitation of what is on your resume because the interview already has it.  Highlight the most important aspects of your resume that pertain to the particular company.  What can you bring to the company?  What skills do you have that will help the company?  Why should the company hire you instead of somebody else?  Use bullet point in this paragraph to help distinguish these aspects from the rest.

Writing a cover letter can be very difficult and stressful.  If you need any help or have any questions, please contact us.

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Phone: 808 839-2200
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