5 Cover Letter Must Haves

  1. Address a Real Person
    Try to always address a real person like a recruiter or hiring manager. Try not to use Sir/Madame if you can help it.
  2. Don’t forget your Contact Information
    In case your cover letter and resume get separated it’s a good idea to always sign off with your preferred method of contact such as:

    Sincerely,
    (insert signature)
    Joanne Smith
    Joannesmith@email.com
    613-325-5555

  3. Don’t Be Generic
    I get that you don’t want to be treated like a number to recruiters but neither do companies. Each company you apply to is different and they want to know why you are interested in working with them. They don’t want you to send them a generic (something that is not special and individual) cover letter. You should express why this role and this company interests YOU and prove that you have all the qualifications for the job.
  4. Copy/Paste
    Watch out if you’re copying and pasting from other documents. This is a particular warning when you apply for a job and send your cover letter and resume to a recruiter via email. You can accidentally send an email that not only looks messy but it makes you look sloppy and unprofessional. Copy/paste from Word often does not include the formatting unless your email program is set in a specific way (usually an HTML setting).
  5. Your Signature
    Don’t end a cover letter with the word “Signed, Joanne Smith” and then not have a signature. You can easily use a scanner and scan your signature and have it available for future use. Attention to Detail means that you’re thorough in accomplishing a task with concern for all the areas involved, no matter how small. A missing signature looks unprofessional.

You may also be interested in:

Career Essentials: The Cover Letter

Complete Guide to Writing Effective Resume Cover Letters: Step-by-Step Instructions With Companion CD-ROM

Knock ’em Dead Cover Letters: Great letter techniques and samples for every step of your job search (Cover Letters That Knock ’em Dead)

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