Get great cover letter tips from a certified professional resume writer

You want top tips for a great cover letter. We’ll give you one better, a cover letter that sings and serenades to HR managers!

  • 11 important tips for writing a cover letter
  • What you must never include in a cover letter

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Cover letters are essential for job applications

We can tell you know how important cover letter is for your job application. Else, why would you be after the hottest cover letter tips? We know you can't wait to start creating a firework in your cover letter. So, we've complied 11 cover letter tips that will help you complete a cover letter with a home run hit. 

Never repeat your resume

A cover letter provides you a one-to-one platform to speak directly to the HR Manager. A resume is a rigid document with very specific content criteria’s that requires to be met, a cover letter is very fluid in nature that can carry your true technical prowess at the center of employer’s attention. A HR Manager loves when they see the human element shining as bright as the sun. Your manner, your gravitas, your articulation, your passion, your feats, they all sing together in a melodic tone into this one page, we call a cover letter.

So, as you can see, it is a big no to copy big chunk of information from a resume and throw it in there to prepare your ‘2-minute Maggi noodles’ cover letter. On the scale of noodles, make your cover letter to taste like a 5-star pasta marinara with exotic seafood fares bringing an entire ocean to your taste palates.

You want a cover letter that's as unique and interesting to read as you are! Think of this like your own personal Netflix favorite, just can’t get enough of and keeping you on the couch through the night until you’ve binged it clean. You want your cover letter to grab all their interest and pique and play with it. If a hotel is looking for an F&B manager, make sure the cover letter speaks directly with the hiring manager about why YOU would be perfect in that pair of shoes (and not just salad). In fact with you at the helm of their Food and Beverage operations, their review and revenue will be scoring like a soaring kite.

Don’t make it about you

Remember, a cover letter is not the place to sing about yourself and chorus why you want the job. Those days of me-centric writing are long gone. With competition running fierce in today’s job market, you must write with an eagle focus into what this job demands. How you are best suited for this position, not just with your technical mastery but through your ability to guide and shape a diverse team and turn them into one unified competition crusher.

Please don’t share your inspirational life story like it’s your autobiography. However, a story that can reveal your passion for the job, reveal the interest for the industry you’re in, is a big bonus! Anything that is highly relevant can go into a cover letter.

Getting your cover letter length right

When it comes to writing a cover letter, less is definitely more. Recruiters are already super busy people, so it's important to make sure your cover letter is succinct and to the point. Aim for a cover letter that's 300-400 words, or 2/3rd of a page. Anything longer than that, risks sounding like you just don't know what's important and are trying to throw everything at them in the hopes that something will stick. Plus, a shorter cover letter is easier for them to read (and more likely to actually get read). So, take the time to trim your letter down to the essentials and you'll be sure to make a great impression.

A cover letter should be custom written

Just ask yourself how much Coca Cola would sell, if they were providing one flavor for the whole planet. On that note, last we checked, they sell well over 100 flavors of beverages alone worldwide, we are not even going to get into sodas, juices, energy drinks. Then there's the sparkling, spring and still and who knows how many more flavours of water! They all serve plenty of choice because they want to reach out to the vast variety of taste palates out there. Your cover letter should also come in slightly different flavor for different HR Managers.

What this means is, you too my friend are selling yourself to potential employers! And selling yourself in one flavor won’t sell you well! You must rebrand differently with a slightly different flavor to appear more appealing.

A generic copy paste of a cover letter will do you more harm than good. And if you copied it from the internet, it is game over my friend! You can kiss that job application good bye because that one is heading straight into the coffin box.

Expert Tip

Simple three step turnaround

  1. Now of course, nobody is asking you to write an entire page length for every 15 jobs, just rephrase some of the paragraph (so you can target the job with better accuracy) that makes you taller among other competitive candidates.
  2. Address the cover letter with hiring managers name and to the company you’re applying for.
  3. Specially the closing paragraph should be given special consideration, give them a teaser into how your presence in the job can bring big bank balance or turnaround the current climate the company is stuck in, or if its aggressively pursuing growth, how you can be a catalyst in putting that growth on steroid.

Don’t use power puff words

Nothing triggers a terrible turn off like one of these over used brain freezes! Refrain from using words such as these “problem solver”, “great communicator”, “achiever”. It must be result focused bullet points that shows your scale of success for a particular task or project.

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Mind the grammar or spelling mistakes

HR Managers are particular pesky about spelling errors. To be honest I’d be too, it shows your lack of attention in the little things. In business, it is little things that matters most! Little things piling up, putting on pressure, cracks forming, eventually the whole floodgate of crisis opens up. So take special attention in proofreading your cover letter. So you can prune out all cover letter typos.

Expert Tip

Want a pro tip for proofreading?
Start reading from the bottom, it forces our mind to think differently, because we aren’t used to reading from the bottom. And hence, you catch those typos faster than a hamster doing a spinny wheel.

Make it formal and friendly

Don’t make your cover letter sound too friendly. That’s over stepping the line to be honest. Speaking or communicating with HR professionals, especially during the recruitment stage, should reflect utmost professionalism. After you get the job, you’d slowly ease into a more relaxed or semi-formal tones with colleagues.

You certainly don’t want to start your cover letter like this:
Hey Samantha, what’s up!
Thomas here, just chasing you for that Marketing Manager job after the recent advert that came out recently, I saw you were looking for a new guy for your firm.

Instead try this:
Dear Samantha,
It’s with such excitement I write to you regarding the #01897 Marketing Manager Position posted at Indeed. I certainly hope your week has been as exciting as I am for this position.

Send off your cover letter with a digital signature

It looks great and adds a great personal touch when you affix your signature on the pdf. We all have stylus for our laptop, just write your signature on a word file or your Mac Pages that looks clean and crisp. And voila, you can use at the end of your cover letter.

Expert Tip

Tip for a digital signature

If you don’t have a stylus, try not to create one with your finger, you will end up with Frankenstein’s signature. Instead, hire a cheap as chips graphics designer from Fiverr for $10 and he will turn your ‘pen on paper’ signature into a high-resolution PNG signature ready for digital use. And that $10 becomes a lifetime investment.

Don’t reveal too much or veer off topic

You might think that providing the backstory of your professional decisions will give the recruiter a well-rounded view of your thought process, but in reality, it will only serve to bore them. For example, recounting how you chose to leave your job because you ended things with your significant other is not only totally off-topic, but it's also way too much tangent information.

Even if the break-up had something to do with leaving the work, the recruiter doesn't need to or want to hear about it. But beware- sharing too much information like this is a major red flag for recruiters. They'll see you as someone who isn't able to keep their personal life separate from their work, and that's not the kind of employee they're looking for. So, at your cover letter, stick to locking the focus on your professional accomplishments, and leave your personal life out of it.

Off-topic ramblings like this will only serve to annoy the person who is trying to decide whether or not to hire you. So, save the stories of your personal life for after-work happy hour, and stick to the relevant facts when you're in the recruitment phase leading up to the interview chair.

 Follow job application instructions from socks to shirt

We've all been there. We're In a hurry to finish an assignment, and we skim over the directions. Suddenly, we realize that we have no idea where we're supposed to be sending it or in what specific format. The same thing can happen when you're applying for jobs. You might be in such a hurry to submit your job application that you don't bother reading the instructions carefully. However, this is a mistake. If the HR Manager has listed specific instructions about cover letter's content or its format, you'll want to pay particular attention to it.

So, before you begin writing your cover letter, take a few minutes to read the job description carefully. It might not even need you to send a cover letter. As they have categorically stated to not submit a cover letter.

Hiring a professional resume writer

They say that self-praise is no praise. But when it comes to your career, you need to serenade Hiring Managers with a song you have written for her! And what better way to do it than by hiring a professional resume writer? These wordsmiths know how to craft career copy that will make you look like you’re playing it like Beethoven or Beyonce, depending on what culture the company is into! And these writers know what tone or tune to carry!

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Get great cover letter tips from a certified professional resume writer
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Areli Nevan has 15 years of writing experience in career columns. A professional resume writer with vast experience in his portfolios helping candidates create job winning applications.