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  • Writer's pictureSahara Bryant

Five Things Your Cover Letter Needs

I'm on a job board scrolling through openings. I look at job titles and stop when I notice one that looks interesting. I click on it and start to skim the company mission, role responsibilities, benefits, salary, it's all looking pretty good. I click apply, fill out my name, email, phone number, address, upload my resume and then I see.........


"Upload Cover Letter"

Ugh! I do have a cover letter, but does it fit this role? Probably not.

Here are five things your cover letter needs before you upload it:

1. The date

Simple, but important. A current date let's the company know that you actually took the time to update your cover letter. You don't want to take a chance on a cover letter dated back 6 months ago. Without a date, your letter seems generic and this hiring team deserves to feel special, even if only for a moment.

2. Opening Paragraph

I gravitate towards using "Dear Hiring Team" or "Hiring Manager." Gone are the days of, "To Whom This May Concern." Delete that immediately. Your absolute best bet would be to address the person by name. On LinkedIn, most job posts have the recruiters name available, but you don't get that benefit on all platforms. So to be on the safe side, address the team to get things warmed up.

Now, dive into your first paragraph with the title you are applying for and name the company. Again, it shows that you are specifically writing to them. I also include a line about the company's mission.

For example:

I am excited to apply for the Marketing Director position at XYZ. I aspired to be a part of a company that is dedicated to supporting small business by creating effective marketing strategies.

Take it directly from the company's mission statement or from the job posting. It illustrates that you took the time to actually read the posts carefully or that you did a little research.

3. A Few Details

Now when I say a few I literally mean no more than four details. You want to include the role you are currently in or a past role that relates to the job you are applying for. Then go into some accomplishments or responsibilities from that job. Remember, you are writing to compel the hiring manager to call you for an interview. The cover letter is an introduction, not your life story.

4. Closing

Ask for the opportunity to be interviewed. Write that you would like the opportunity to discuss your qualifications further. Show that you are eager.

Include your contact information, email address, telephone number.

5. Salutation

Grand opening, Grand Closing. Thank the person for their time and consideration. Write sincerely and type your full name.

Don't over think writing a cover letter, but do give it care and attention.

Proofread it for errors and making corrections.

Once you feel good about it, HIT UPLOAD.


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