F.A.Q. Cover Letters

This is the CV Tips super Cover Letters Frequently asked questions click on the type of problem you have and you will be presented with a list of freqeuntly asked questions on the topic.
  1. Format
    1. Are two-column cover letter formats appropriate for responding to job advertisements?

      Typically the cover letter is written in traditional business format. Trying something different in response to a job advertisement may give the upper hand. A two-column letter format allows for quotes on the left directly from the advertisement and a list of your qualifications in response to the ad on the right. This is a great way to respond to the ad when you match all of the job requirements and even when you might be lacking one or two of them. It shows a prospective employer exactly what you have to offer and demonstrates how highly qualified you are. Even if you are missing a skill the employer may be tempted to overlook one missing skill when they see the list of impressive qualifications that has been outlined.

    2. How many kinds of cover letters are there?

      There are approximately three different kinds of cover letters, and each one corresponds to a different kind of job search. Most job seekers use a combination of cover letters rather than just one of them. These job seekers also tend to be the most successful. Remember that the goal of a cover letter is to serve as an introduction and revel your strongest selling points to an employer.

    3. Does a well-designed cover letter matter?

      One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is having a poorly designed cover letter. A cover letter must be well designed for it to bring success to the job seeker. Cover letters are often the first thing an employer sees and what makes them want to take a look at a resume to see if a job applicant is qualified. A poorly designed letter can hurt a job seeker and cause their resume to be tossed in the trash. It is simple science - a well designed cover letter brings results! Focus on the cover letter as intently as the resume, and it is sure to help your job search. If you seem to be having trouble, enlist the help of a professional resume writer for revision and assistance. It is worth it.

    4. Does the look of a cover letter matter?

      You can choose the content of your cover letter, but there are some basics that should not be left to chance and should be uniform in a cover letter no matter who you are. Those include font size, a clean and readable font, and using careful editing skills so the letter flows smoothly and is error free. Remember that a cover letter is a reflection to the employer of who you are.

    5. What is the use of postscript in a cover letter ?

      Using a postscript in a cover letter is a way to get attention. Adding a 'P.S.' to a letter is a great way to market your unique selling points, especially if handwritten neatly. It leaves an unusual - and memorable - impression on many employers, often getting attention and making them want to know more about you.

    6. Can you use "bullets" in a cover letter?

      Word bullets used in a cover letter are a great way to highlight points from a job ad, break up text within a cover letter for interest, or to focus how you match the employer's requirements. Consider using word bullets in your next letter to create interest and draw attention.

  2. Improve
    1. How to make your cover letter fit for the audience?

      Depending on the job being applied for and the skills one possesses, a cover letter should change slightly with each job application. The cover letter should be tailored to the job and the recipient and make sure it lists skills that the employer is specifically looking for. Cover letters should be customized according to these four job searching methods:

    2. How to give personality to your cover letter?

      A cover letter provides a job applicant a chance to communicate their skills with a possible employer. In addition to relaying skills and personal information, a cover letter can be used to give the employer insight on who you are and what your personality is like. While the tone should not be informal or too formal, a well constructed cover letter should expand on the content of the resume while giving the employer an idea of why a particular candidate is different from their competition in regard to both skill and personality.

    3. What is the selling point of your cover letter?

      Your cover letter should be answering the question asked by the employer: 'Why should I hire this person for the job? What can they do for me?' Consider taking an advertising approach to answering this question and produce your best selling points. Market yourself as an advertiser would one of their best products.

    4. How to edit and improve your cover letter?

      If time permits, a great way to edit a cover letter is to put it aside for a day or two and look at it again later. Looking at the cover letter at a later time with fresh eyes allows you to determine if it still meets the purpose it was created for, if it is concise, and if it is free of errors. The letter should still seem interesting and appeal to the employer's needs as well as promote your best points. If you were the employer, would this letter interest you and make you want to invite you for an interview? If not, then revise it with fresh eyes.

  3. Distribution
    1. When I send a cover letter by mail, should I also send a hard copy?

      If you reply on an Internet ad, there is no need to send a hard copy as well, unless you stated that you will or if it is requested.

    2. What information should be included when I send my cover letter via email?

      It should be in the same format as a normal hand written or typed cover letter. State the purpose in the subject line and place a track on the email to acknowledge receipt of the email. Never include smileys or any emoticons. Write in the same professional manner and proof read it. Don't use fancy fonts and keep the colour of your font in black.

    3. How do I email my cover letter? How do I email my cover letter?
    4. If I don't have the name of a specific person, who should I address my cover letter to?

      If you don't address the cover letter to a specific person, your resume may end up in the trash bin. Try to get a contact person by calling the company and enquiring about the hiring manager. You may also find a contact name on the company's website. If the advert states to reply by email without a contact person, you reply on the email and include 'The Recruiter'.

    5. What email address should I use? Create a personal email address that can be used for all job correspondence. Don't use your employer's address and stay away from funny emails or hotmail accounts. A credible email address will be for example: john@domain.com and not a yahoo or hotmail account. Include your email address at the bottom of all your correspondence.
    6. Can I fax my cover letter?

      Only fax your cover letter if you have arranged so with the hiring manager, but always send or deliver a hard copy as well.

    7. Should I include my CV or resume and other documents when I fax a cover letter?

      Include your CV, but make sure that it is not longer than two pages. Don't include other supporting documents. You need to deliver or post them together with a hard copy of your cover letter and CV.

    8. What format should the fax cover letter be?

      Write it in business style, but make it short. Avoid too much black and use a larger font that is easily readable. You need to draw attention within the first paragraph otherwise it will land up in the dustbin.

    9. How can I draw attention with the fax cover letter?

      Use an all caps heading, for instance, 'EXPERIENCED MARKETING MANAGER TO HELP TAP INTO THE TEENAGER SHOE MARKET'.

    10. Why attention is a grabbing opening vital in cover letter.

      Opening a cover letter with an attention getting statement may make the difference between getting tossed or getting a second look. Next time, try a bang up sentence that is unusual and original instead of 'I am writing in response to your ad

    11. How should I use cover letter to show off communication skills?

      Your cover letter tells about you as a person in words, but also does by its formatting and content. To show that you have excellent communication skills, format the letter properly, consulting resources such as a writing manual or the internet for help in formatting. Also, the cover letter should closely follow the advertisement and answer what it seeks in a job applicant. An employer will wonder about comprehension skills and perhaps toss the application if the response cover letter does not mention their ad, the job title, and correspond with how the applicant is qualified.

    12. Is it necessary to address a cover letter to a specific individual?

      When using cover letters, it is important to find out a name and personally address it. This shows that a job candidate is taking the initiative to find out about the company and is truly interested. Using a general reference is bland and can earn your resume a place in the trashcan. Another serious mistake: addressing it to someone of the wrong gender! Do your homework and find out a name before sending a cover letter.

    13. To whom should I address my cover letter?

      Generalized cover letter openings such as 'To Whom It May Concern' or 'Dear Hiring Manager' show a lazy approach to the job search and are a turnoff to a prospective employer. This tells the employer that you either did not care or did not take the time to find out a name, and would you have the same attitude and approach about your work? While it may not always be easy to find out a direct contact for a company, most often a name can be acquired simply by calling the company and asking for it. Other times, using people you know may help you discover the name you need. The library, phone book, and internet can also be of help sometimes. In tough instances where a name remains elusive, at least put enough effort into writing an opening such as this: 'Dear Hiring Manager for [name of job opening]:' and then begin your letter. It is not the ideal way to begin your letter, but is better than the typical generic opening than most of your counterparts will be using.

    14. Is it necessary to send resume and cover letter together?

      A cover letter and resume should always be sent together. Some employers may not request a cover letter, and some may not even read them, but there is no way to know which ones place importance on cover letters and which ones do not. It is best to cover yourself by sending a finessed letter just to make sure if there is someone there looking for a letter, they have a great one in their hands to read.

    15. Why do you need to include a cover letter with your job application ?

      A cover letter should not be something you think about after you have already sent out the resume. It should be something created and sent with the resume for best effect. It also should not be something scribbled down hurriedly just to have an accompaniment to the resume that was long fussed over. Cover letters are frequently overlooked and should be given as careful consideration as a resume because they are just as important.

  4. Tips
    1. How to spice up the opening of a cover letter ? A boring introduction in a cover letter does not do much - except maybe put the reviewer out of interest and perhaps the whole application into the trash can. What an unfortunate scenario! There's a way to keep a boring cover letter from causing an application to meet a fatal end - spice up the opening to draw interest. An interesting, spicy opening will keep an employer reading. Avoid cliches and catch phrases, as they are just a waste of space and annoying. Create something original to open the letter with. Use the first paragraph to tell the employer why you are writing, that you are qualified, and include details that will make them want to get to know you.
    2. Is your cover letter helping or hurting your job search?

      A cover letter should be a tool towards helping a job seeker snag their next interview and hopefully a job. Not using a cover letter or using a poorly constructed cover letter can be a fatal move in the job search process. Spend appropriate time and construct a sound cover letter to go with a resume or CV. If help is needed, find a good book to assist you or enlist the help of a professional or online tutorial. A bad cover letter could be harming your job search!

    3. Should I include salary requirements in cover letter?

      Cover letters are meant to be an accompaniment to a resume, both an introduction and used as a marketing tool by a job applicant to sell their best points to an employer. A cover letter is not the place to talk about salary, wages, or benefits. Yet some job seekers make a serious mistake and decide to include that kind of information in their cover letter. NO! Doing so can be a big turnoff to employers and is downright inappropriate. There is a time and a place to discuss wages, as well as appropriate documents to formulate those requests. Including such information in a cover letter is a sure way to get yourself erased from the job applicant pool in most businesses.

    4. Can careless cover letter errors mess up a job search?

      Typographical errors and grammar mistakes can be what's keeping you from success. Carefully scrutinize your cover letter and resume with a critical eye, and even consider enlisting the help of an extra person. Often, the source of no calls can be errors in job search documents. Most employers discover an error in a resume or a cover letter and it is an instant turnoff. Then, those documents that you spent hours carefully working on often end up in the trash and all efforts have been wasted. Most employers do not want to hire someone who cannot spell or has poor grammar. One big tip: don't rely on spell-check to save you, as it is not fool-proof. Proofreading is the only way to catch errors!

    5. What is the effect of a poor;y written Cover letter ?

      When a cover letter is poorly written, it can often cause a well written resume to get thrown out before it even gets glanced at. Why? Because most employers often think if the cover letter looks that way, the resume cannot be much different. Again, this only reinforces the concept that a cover letter and a resume are two halves, and that each half much be equally strong to be successful for the job seeker.

      Being specific in your cover letter is also important. Writing short, powerful sentences that speak about job history and work experience can be one of the wisest moves for a job seeker.

    6. How does a cover letter influence hiring managers?

      A well written cover letter can earn a job interview, or sometimes even the perfect job. Unfortunately some job seekers neglect their cover letter, constructing a poor one or not even bothering to write one at all! This can be a fatal job seeking mistake. Spending the extra time to carefully construct a quality cover letter is a must.

    7. How to speak about employer's needs in cover letter?

      Use the cover letter as a way to introduce yourself to an employer, but also make sure that you mention your awareness of the employer's needs. Having an awareness of an employer's needs not only shows your interest level in the job but also that you have done your homework on the position and you are going beyond your own needs. Most employers are turned off by applicants who ignore the advertisement altogether or fail to mention what they are applying for. Often, in that case, they might wonder if the applicant even knows what they are applying for.

      Make sure you mention the job listing and some, if not all, of the qualifications listed in the advertisement. The message this gives the employer is a positive one that can work in your favor. The best way is to list each specific skill or requirement from the ad, and then how your skill level corresponds to it.

    8. How to grab reader's attention with the first sentence?

      Cover letters that start out in the same dry, boring manner as their counterparts may be doomed for the trash can. Starting out a cover letter differently than competitors may not only save it from the trash can, but may also get the much deserved attention from an applicant screener that earns an interview. Typically a cover letter only earns a short glance of a few seconds, so how a letter begins is of vital importance. Make sure the way your letter begins is different from the rest.

    9. How to use cover letter to become a stand-out applicant?

      Sometimes a job advertisement will ask a job applicant to include a cover letter covering specific needs. Why would they do this? Often employers have specific needs that they are needing to be met, but there could be another reason too. Not all applicants are willing to write a special cover letter just to please one employer. By doing so, and taking the time to address their specific needs, this shows the employer your interest level and that you are willing to go the extra mile. Those applicants who are less willing to put forth the extra effort, often lose interest in the employer's eyes.

  5. General
    1. How many kinds of cover letter are there?

      There are many variations of cover letters but they broadly fall into two categories: those accompanying formal applications and those being sent as a speculative or cold-call approach to an employer. The same categories also cover email applications.

    2. Do I always have to write a Cover Letter?

      Unless instructed otherwise, a cover letter should always accompany your CV, resume or application. It is all part of the etiquette of applying for a job. A CV or application without a cover letter will almost certainly be viewed negatively from the moment the envelope is opened.

    3. How long should the cover letter be?

      You should ensure your cover letter does not exceed one page in length and comprise no more than three or four paragraphs.

    4. How much information do I have to include?

      The cover letter is an invitation to read your CV and as such it should be enticing the reader to want to know more about you. The first paragraph should mention the job title and the publication in which the advertisement to which you are replying appeared. In the middle paragraph(s) mention how your achievements match the major job requirements or specifications of the position on offer, but do not go into too much detail; leave that for your CV - there is no point in duplicating your CV in the letter. If you have any awards in relation to your work, mention them here. In the final paragraph you need to say you are looking forward to hearing from them and sign off. Be courteous and polite. If you are returning an application form, do not go into too much detail at all, unless specifically requested to do so. In this respect, the cover letter is just a courteous formality as the application form is designed to provide all the information an employer requires.

    5. Hand or typewritten?

      There is no particular rule on this, but generally, unless a typewritten letter is stipulated in the advertisement, write in longhand. Employers like to see handwriting and some may even analyse it. If writing longhand you will have to pay particular attention to spelling. Use a good quality pen and black ink as blue ink does not photocopy well. If you really do have poor writing or difficulty to read writing, it may be better to type it.

    6. What if I make a mistake?

      Do not cross out or use correction fluid on either handwritten or printed letters, it is lazy and careless and gives a very poor impression of your attention to detail. Re-write the letter from scratch. Corrections stick out immediately and will count against you.

    7. Do I use the letter to explain things like gaps in my employment?

      Unless there is something major to explain such as your return to work after a long lay-off or if you are looking for employment following release from prison, in which case a potential employer would appreciate your honesty, minor inconsistencies need not be mentioned. The letter should concentrate on your accomplishments, not be a list of excuses.

    8. How do I format the letter?

      There is no set format for cover letters. They should though, reflect the style and format of your CV and be on the same paper. If you use indented paragraphs on your CV, do so in the cover letter. Be consistent throughout the letter and pay special attention to national conventions regarding punctuation (see the FAQ about signing off below). A basic rule of thumb on font styles is serif for print and sans-serif for electronic.

    9. When should I write the letter?

      Not as stupid a question as it first seems! If possible give yourself at least 24 hours before you need to send your letter, especially if you have nobody to check it for you. Returning to it after a day will enable you to see it with fresh eyes and errors in grammar or spelling will be easier to spot. You may also wish to alter the content itself.

    10. Should I proof read it myself?

      If you can show your letter to someone else to check, do so. If you are not confident about your spelling then it is imperative you get it checked by someone else. Get a dictionary and do not rely on spell-checking software as it cannot judge context. Their and there, it's and its, should have, would have and not should of, would of are all common mistakes that some word-processing programmes may highlight for context but spell-checking software will ignore because they are correct spellings. If writing longhand, write out a draft first and then transcribe the checked and final version.

    11. What if I email my application?

      An emailed application is like any other. The covering email should be no different in style and presentation than a hard copy letter. Write it in the body of the email and not as an attachment - don't make life hard for your reader.

    12. To whom do I address the letter?

      If an addressee is not stipulated, call the company and ask for a name. If it's a woman, don't forget to ask whether she likes 'Dear Mrs, Miss, Madam, or Ms'. If you can't find out, the fallback is nearly always 'Dear Sir'. Do not panic over the salutation; there are only so many you can use and you will not be penalised unless you have made a glaring error and addressed it to the wrong person. Try and avoid 'Dear recruiter/HR department/manager' and NEVER say 'Hi'.

    13. Do I mention my salary requirements or expectations?

      Only unless specifically asked to. Many employers still want to see how a candidate is suited to a job rather than how the salary on offer would suit them. Some jobs, especially in the financial or sales sectors, are very results driven and as such you may well be expected to provide an estimate of your OTE or commission. This will indicate to the employer that you are both familiar with the market's potential and the level of your ambition.

    14. Do I mention I was sacked from my last job?

      No! Never mention anything with negative connotations at any time, least of all in a cover letter - don't fall at the first hurdle. It is important you remain positive at all times.

    15. Do I mention my referees?

      No, unless specifically asked to do so. You may mention that references or referees - details can be supplied on request though.

    16. Do I use a standard letter for each application?

      No. Tailor each letter individually. Make it look like you've put some effort into your application.

    17. What kind of language should I use?

      This is a formal business letter. You must avoid being over friendly or humorous. Do not use clich's, slang or buzz-words but do employ action verbs such as 'implemented', 'designed' etc.

    18. Should I follow up with a phone call?

      With unsolicited or speculative applications it is perfectly acceptable to follow up your application with a phone call after a week or so. It is also perfectly acceptable to mention in your final paragraph that you will be calling. Advertised jobs will often have a published assessment timetable so only call if you have not heard within the designated time.

    19. Do I mention my marital or family status?

      No, unless you have been specifically asked to. This should have no bearing on the application whatsoever.

    20. Do I mention my age?

      No. In the UK it is now illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age, other European Union member states have to have similar legislation in place by December 2006. Old habits persist though and it is very difficult to prove age discrimination. Don't include anything in your letter that could give the employer a reason to filter you out of the selection process earlier than necessary.

    21. How do I sign off?

      The sign off is dependent upon the kind of salutation you have used. A rule of thumb for this kind of formal letter is as follows:

      Dear Sir/Madam,
      Yours faithfully,

      Your name

      Dear Mr/Mrs Smith,
      Yours sincerely,

      Your name

      If typewritten leave enough room between the sign-off and your name for your signature. Note the commas. If you have used a comma after the salutation, use one after the sign off.

    22. Can I repeat the information that is in my CV?

      Rather not, your cover letter is intended to get the person to read your CV. If you just repeat information, it creates the impression of a lazy person. Show that you are able to convey your skills and interest in the job in a concise and effective way through your cover letter.

    23. What mistakes should I avoid in my cover letter?

      Avoid the following mistakes:

      • Not addressing a specific person
      • Not thanking the employer
      • Focussing on yourself instead of the company
      • Using an informal format
      • Writing an essay instead of a concise letter
      • Having grammar and spelling mistakes in the cover letter
      • Not being consistent
      • Making claims that you cannot support
      • Using one cover letter for different companies
      • Sending a two or three sentences cover letter with no highlighting of your skills and the reason for the letter
      • Not including contact details
      • Being funny in your cover letter
    24. If the ad mentioned salary, should I acknowledge it in my cover letter?

      Yes you can, although you should not accept the salary outright in your cover letter as this closes the door for further negotiations.

    25. Should I first mention the purpose of the cover letter or thank the employer?

      You need to stand out and for this reason you convey your appreciation right at the start. You can combine the purpose and thank you.

    26. How do I use bullet points in a cover letter ?

      The use of word bullets in a cover letter can be beneficial for highlighting certain words or phrases in correspondence to the job you are applying to. Instead of regular bullets, which can be distracting, word bullets allow for distinction but a smooth flow within the body of the cover letter. To use word bullets, pull certain words out of the ad and write correspondingly on how you are qualified for those skills or needs.

    27. Do I need to include a cover letter with a job application ?

      Sometimes a job applicant thinks a cover letter is unnecessary or optional. This is never the case! Human resource managers often screen job applicants by their cover letters and cover letter content as much as they do by the resume itself. In fact, not writing a cover letter can be a fatal mistake that gets your resume tossed without further consideration. Many job hunters think that when applying electronically there is no need for a cover letter. This is false, as applying electronically should be no different than any other form of applying.
      A well written cover letter should go out with any resume that is sent to apply for a job. It should be tailored to match the job advertisement and personally addressed if the HR manager or other person responsible for hiring is known. The first paragraph should be a powerful opener that tells the background, strengths, skills, and accomplishments of a job applicant. A good cover letter also reveals communication skills and ability to interact in the business environment, a selling point.

    28. Why is it important to pay attention to your cover letter?

      In a Wall Street Journal article written by Joann Lublin, it mentioned that so many people write poorly constructed cover letters or ones containing such serious flaws that they are never even given an interview. While some career coaches estimated this to be as much as eighty-five percent of cover letters out there, the article's author talked to a longtime entrepreneur who stated it is more like only one percent or less of cover letters out there are truly acceptable and some applicants skip the letter writing process completely. More than two thirds of letters typically contain errors that are simple and easily caught, such as spelling mistakes. Another faux pas is to address a letter to a person of the wrong gender or to put the wrong person's name in the address line.

    29. Should the cover letter and resume mirror each other?

      The cover letter and resume should be treated as two separate documents. The resume should not be summarized in the cover letter. The resume is meant to highlight education, goals, and specific achievements and skills, while the cover letter should be treated as a tool to market your skills and qualifications to the employer. The cover letter may be used to highlight a resume's content, but that should not be its only purpose.

    30. How to avoid fatal mistakes in cover letters?

      In both cover letters and resumes, there are fatal mistakes that can cost you. Mistakes in a cover letter can sometimes be more tragic as the cover letter is often the first document that an employer reads during the hiring process. Errors in spelling, accidental typos, and problems with grammar or punctuation can earn your application a trip to the trash can. Proofreading your document several times and even having another person look over it after you have done so is an excellent way to catch errors before they ever reach the wrong set of eyes.

    31. Should my cover letter be my autobiography?

      A cover letter is intended to be short and concise. It should never be more than a page. Rambling on and telling your entire life story or the market skills and help an applicant get an interview and job, not to tell their personal story. The letter should focus on answering the employer's question of why they should hire you. In addition to not telling a narrative, use simple language and uncomplicated sentences. Before sending, proof the letter and eliminate any unnecessary words.

    32. How to avoid a wimpy cover letter?

      Wimpy phrases such as 'I feel' reflect negatively on you when an employer reads your cover letter. If you sound so unpersuasive on paper, how assertive could you possibly be in the work environment? Try using bolder, more confident phrases in the place of wimpy language. Using 'I am confident' is a great substitute for wimpy words.

    33. How do I make my cover letter more effective?

      Most job seekers spend so much time focusing on their resume that by the time they get to writing a cover letter, they just want to get it over with and the cover letter gets neglected. This is a huge mistake, as just as much attention needs to be directed to the cover letter as was the resume. It is a well written cover letter that can appeal to an employer and help land that interview - not just the resume itself! The cover letter is a tool to show off skills to an employer and should be used to its fullest extent. There are seven elements to making a cover letter more effective to the job search:

      1. Address the cover letter to a real person. Addressing it to a general person's title rather than taking the time to find out a real contact is a great way to get your whole application tossed.
      2. Open the letter with an attention getting sentence or two that gets the reader's attention. By doing so, they will want to read the rest of the letter to discover what you have to offer.
      3. Less is more: do not make the letter too long or looking too crowded. Use proper formatting and keep it short and simple.
      4. Focus on how you can benefit the company. List specifics instead of generalizations, and if necessary even do a little research about the company before writing your letter. Sounding like you are skilled and then backing it up with research on the company is an excellent way to get attention.
      5. Choose words that show enthusiasm and passion about the job role for which you are applying. Make sure to carry that upbeat attitude into the interview as well.
      6. Request one thing from the employer, such as, 'I would like the opportunity to discuss this job position with you this week.' Saying what you want will often help you get what you desire.
      7. End the letter on an upbeat and confident note, by stating that you look forward to an interview. This often helps get one.

      If a cover letter is regarded as a sales tool and as much energy and work invested as a resume, then most often the results are positive.

    34. How to critique your own Cover Letter?

      Your cover letter is a vital part of the application process and can be what helps you (or prevents you) from getting that interview. Is your cover letter ready to be seen by employers? Use this checklist to make sure that your cover letter is the best it can be before sending it out.

      • Do you understand the importance and role of a cover letter?
      • Do you know the basics of writing a cover letter?
      • Are you sending any cover letters via email or another electronic format? If so, brush up on this area.
      • Is the letter an original document specifically for this employer rather than a mass-produced form letter?
      • Is the letter written in proper business format?
      • Is your contact information clear and concise?
      • Is the letter neat in appearance?
      • Is the letter reader-friendly, including bulleted points if needed?
      • Is the letter no longer than a page?
      • Have you signed your name?
      • Is everything spelled correctly and there are no typos?
      • Does the letter state a purpose?
      • Are there action words in the letter?
      • Is it concise?
      • There should be an absence of cliches and other funny-sounding phrases.
      • The letter should be sharply focused.
      • Does the letter sound confident but not arrogant?
      • Is the letter interesting to read?
      • Does the letter make the reader think of someone they want to interview?
      • Read the letter from the employer's point of view.
      • Is it addressed to a real person, not a general title?
      • In response to a blind ad, is the title gender-neutral?
      • Is the letter free of negatives?
      • Are you specific about the kind of job you are seeking?
      • Do you highlight the requirements the ad listed?
      • Have you mentioned specific skills?
      • Have you told the employer what you have to offer them?
      • Have you requested action from the employer?
      • Have you avoided phrases such as 'willing to learn'?
      • Do you sound desperate?
      • If you recently graduated, are you relying too heavily on academics?
      • Have you avoided rewriting your resume in your cover letter?
      • Have you avoided describing your objectives vaguely?
      • Have you avoided listing hobbies and other personal information that is irrelevant?
      • Have you taken advantage of networking contacts if possible?
      • Have you listed accomplishments?
      • Have you demonstrated what you know about the company?
      • Have you made sure that your cover letter is not too brief, and that you have elaborated fully on skills?
    35. How to make a cover letter count?

      When writing a cover letter, make it count and give employers what they are looking for a complementary document that highlights the resume, shows off your writing ability, tells your skill level and achievements, and tells why you are a suitable person for the job opening. Cover letters do many things, including the art of persuasion and telling an employer what you could possibly offer their company. Cover letters clarify your abilities while telling an employer in depth why you differ from the next application they may pick up and read, and why they need not search further for a more suitable job candidate. In your cover letter, be sure to tell why you are a strong choice for the position, and give examples of your qualifications and experiences to clarify your achievements.

    36. What are the basics of cover letter writing?

      Cover letters are an opening statement�and your first impression�with a possible employer. For a quick guide to creating a cover letter, just follow these few short tips for success. Remember to keep your letter short, the tone appropriate, and remain professional.

      • Length: Try to keep the letter to a single page, and no more than four paragraphs is ideal.
      • Tone: The tone should be professional. Being too casual or too formal gives the wrong image and can be a turnoff. Have someone else proof your letter to make sure the tone is appropriate.
      • Appropriateness: Avoid slang, cliches, and useless information. Wasting space in the cover letter is wasting an opportunity to convey important information about yourself. Being honest, sincere, and focused is best.
    37. Why do the majority of HR managers want a Cover Letter with a job application?

      As reported in Resume Writer's Digest, more than two-thirds of HR managers view a cover letter as a positive advantage for job applicants over competition that chooses to not include a cover letter. There's a catch though: for a cover letter to work in favor of an applicant, it should be well written and personalized to the job that is being applied for. About half of HR managers believe that a properly written cover letter can carry as much weight as a resume. While a good cover letter may not do all of the work in getting an applicant a job, it can go far and an awful one will most certainly disqualify a candidate.

    38. How important are cover letters to HR managers ?

      Do you sometimes skip a cover letter, thinking they are a waste of time and HR managers are not concerned about reading them? If so, you are making a serious mistake in the job search process. A recent study done by CareerBuilder.com revealed that approximately two-thirds of hiring managers prefer a cover letter with a resume, even if the advertisement does not request one. Since there is no way to tell if an HR manager truly prefers a cover letter or not, it is best to always include a cover letter just to be safe. And of the two thirds who prefer a cover letter, another study shows that group split between reading the cover letter at the beginning of an application or after reading a resume, but they always read it. For best results, include a cover letter that is tailored to the job that is being applied for.

    39. How should I end my cover letter?

      Leaving a cover letter open at the end by suggesting that you are waiting to hear from the employer or that you hope for an interview is a bad idea. This leaves the work up to them, and you sitting and waiting for an interview that never comes. Be proactive specifically request an interview, and if you want, even say that you want an interview by a certain length of time. Then, state you will call and follow up on your application as this shows initiative. This shows ambition and often gets the employer in the mindset to call you for that interview. If you have the confidence, it is even acceptable to state in your letter that you will contact the employer by a certain date to arrange for an interview. Remember the flip side of being this gutsy if you say you are going to do it, make sure that you follow through on what you have committed yourself to doing!

    40. How to impress employers with a cover letter?

      Make sure the focus of your cover letter is what you can do for the company, as the company is more interested in how you can benefit them. They really are not interested in how they can benefit you, even though a good job will ultimately be of benefit to you and this is a given.

      People who are inexperienced cover letter writers typically make this mistake and tend to make this mistake the most often, though that does exempt anyone from doing it. Employers want to know what you can do to help them make a profit and what you can contribute to the company overall. Tell them how you can contribute to the company, and the hiring of you will be a benefit to them.

    41. What Do You Know About Cover Letters?

      A good cover letter:

      • Will often land you the interview
      • Should tell the employer what you are seeking
      • Exhibits your writing and communication skills
      • Should be sent with every resume
      • Should use strong, direct language, and set a specific request for an interview
      • Uses keywords and buzzwords from the ad, corresponds with job available
      • Sometimes has bullets in it
      • Should have short, concise paragraphs and be no more than a page
      • Should correspond with the resume but not be a summary of it
    42. How can your cover letter separate your from the competition?

      A cover letter is a tool that can be used to let a prospective employer know what your experiences and talents are. Employers, when advertising a job opening, may get hundreds of resumes in response to their advertisement. Often a resume is only viewed for a few seconds before whoever is reading it decides to retain it or toss it. A cover letter can help the reader decide to keep the resume and get to know the applicant better. Use a cover letter as a tool for success. List your experience, and let it be the experience that the employer is looking for.

    43. What is the importance of a cover letter?

      Cover letters are a great way to make a resume stand out. They are how a job seeker sells themselves in a crowded job market, especially among times of economic downturn. Do not skimp on the cover letter and focus on it with the same fervor that goes into the resume for positive results.

    44. Are cover letters important?

      Cover letters should always be paired with a sound resume. Consider a cover letter as the perfect topper to it, an introduction to the perfect sales package. A cover letter allows a job applicant to tell an employer exactly what they can do for them and about their qualifications before they read more detail in the resume or CV. A cover letter allows for more specific fitting to the job that is being advertised than a resume does and a more personal touch. Many employers will not even accept a resume without a cover letter, so sending one without the other is a foolish job seeking misstep.

    45. To whom do I address the cover letter ?

      Addressing a cover letter to a named person is one of the ways to get it read by an actual person. Using a general greeting, such as 'To Whom It May Concern' or 'Dear Hiring Manager' is an almost certain way to get a resume and cover letter pairing thrown out. If an advertisement does not mention the name of who is doing the hiring, do a little bit of investigation and find out a contact name. This sometimes means having to call the company directly. It is better than having a resume thrown away and meaning a missed opportunity for employment. A general address on a cover letter shows lack of ambition and concern in finding out who is the key player in the hiring process, and can also show a lack of respect.

    46. What is the definition of a cover letter?

      A cover letter is also known as a letter of introduction, an accompaniment to an application, or otherwise but whatever you call it, it is the letter that should always be the accompaniment to a resume. A smart job seeker knows that sending out a resume without a cover letter is as good as sending out no resume at all. A cover letter can often be what interests an employer to call for an interview and should be part of any job search strategy.

    47. Is contact information in a cover letter a must?

      Many people read about all of the importance a cover letter carries and painstakingly write one with as much care and concern as they did their resume. The hiring manager reads it, is impressed, and would love to call the person for an interview but there is no contact information to be found! This is a common error many people make in their letter writing, thinking that the resume contact information is sufficient. Include contact information on both documents and make sure it matches. Also, make sure the information is clearly legible and easily read.

    48. What is the role of a cover letter?

      A cover letter is a necessary job-seeking tool, something often omitted or neglected by job seekers. It is important to remember what a cover letter does and its relevant role in the job seeking process�it is an introduction, a marketing statement, and should speak freely about your qualifications. It is not meant to rehash the contents of a resume, deviate from the job search altogether, or discuss salary needs. A cover letter should stand independently of the resume and serve as a middle ground towards earning an employer's interest in a job candidate and hopefully win an interview for that candidate in the process.

      Often a resume is full of information, but it is such a larger document it might be difficult for an employer to focus on everything it contains at once. The resume provides detail while a cover letter provides focus. Other uses for a cover letter include:

      • Mentioning the ad's requirements and how you match those qualifications.
      • Describing any schedule or salary requirements, if the ad asks for them.
      • Providing contact information or asking for an interview.
      • Answering any questions the company may have listed in their advertisement.
      • Mentioning work experience and education.
      • Explaining gaps in employment or any other issues that could be a problem.

      Also, it can be beneficial to stay away from cover letter templates and clich phrases. Having a cover letter that sounds like everyone else's can defeat the purpose.

    49. What are the different types of cover letters that exist ?
    50. What are the dangers of an egocentric view in a cover letter ?

      Using an egocentric view in a cover letter can be a huge mistake. While a cover letter is supposed to focus on a person's individual strengths and what they can do for an organization, it is important to not seed the letter with too many 'I,' 'me,' or 'my' sentiments. Using 'you' would be a better option, and avoid the first person pronoun use whenever possible while still keeping the flow of the letter natural and the purpose as real as possible. Conversation where a person talks only about themselves and never anything else can be boring, and a cover letter is no exception! Focus on what your skills are and how this can translate into a positive advantage for the company if you were hired there,as it also shows interest in the company and an awareness of the job opening. There are many things that can be done in a cover letter, but over use of the pronoun 'I' should not be one of them. Varying sentences between yourself and the company can be the perfect balance can create interest while still relaying important information to the hiring manager. Interest should, at all times, remain on the company and what you can do for them.

    51. Do cover letters matter in e-submissions?

      Employers who use electronic job postings and accept e-resumes often report that the advent of technology has actually made it too easy for some people - including those not even close to being qualified for a position - to try to apply for some positions. What can often separate the qualified applicants from the lesser qualified include a bulked up cover letter with lots of gruff to distinguish themselves. When employers begin shifting through all of their responses and come across a well-written cover letter, it often distinguishes them from the competition and can earn them an interview. Those other applicants? They often get tossed.

    52. Why should I use two-column formatted cover letter?

      Using a two-column formatted cover letter is yet another one of those ways to be different and present information to an employer that will catch their attention. Using a two-column format allows for a job seeker to mention the ad's requirements and then respond to how they meet those requirements in a plain, easy-to-read way that often meets with success for the job seeker.

  6. Types of
    1. What is a job application cover letter?

      The job application cover letter is usually written in response to a specific job advertisement. The advertisement could have appeared in a newspaper, magazine, on a job board or the Internet. In this type of cover letter you should provide a clear indication of how your skills, experience and qualifications match the job description and requirements as stated in the advertisement.

    2. Is the letter of inquiry and a marketing letter the same?

      Yes, both are used when you apply for a job that wasn't advertised.

    3. In the letter of inquiry, what should the main focus be?

      Convey how you will be able to contribute to the company and mention particular strengths, experience and qualifications that are relevant to the type of job that you enquire about. You need to indicate the purpose of writing within the first paragraph. If a high ranking person referred you mention it, especially if the job was advertised internally. Emphasize particular ideas that may catch the reader's attention.

      Where possible, try to get an interview or meeting to discuss your ideas or possible contribution to the company. This type of letter is well suited for showing your problem solving skills. If you address a specific problem for instance, expanding the company's market or introducing a new product, you can use it to get a meeting.

      Example:
      I look forward to discussing this idea and how I can contribute to the success of your marketing strategy.

    4. How do I close the letter of inquiry?

      Since you are applying for a position that is not necessarily open, you need to follow up. Close with a statement that you will call. The employer has no obligation to call you. Be specific about the date that you will call and do so.

    5. What is a referral cover letter?

      It is a letter you use when you have been referred by someone in the company or an important contact.

    6. When should I mention the referrer in the cover letter?

      Include the name of the person as close to the beginning as possible.

    7. What is a thank you letter and when should I use it?

      The thank you letter is used in the follow-up after a job interview, but before the hiring decision is made. It can be used after every meeting with the potential employer and should confirm your interest in the job. It shows that you are courteous and makes you stand out. Use this type of cover letter to mention any information you wish to ad after the interview and to clear up any issues. Make sure you address it to interviewer. If you were interviewed by more than one person, you should send thank you letters to the other persons as well.

    8. What is the structure of the thank you letter?

      Thank the employer or interviewer for his time in the first section. Show your interest in the second paragraph and highlight your skills and strengths. Indicate why you believe you are the right person for the job. Also include any additional information that you may have left out during the interview. Provide your contact details in the last section.

    9. What is the purpose of a letter of acceptance?

      It is used when you accept a job offer.

    10. What information should be included in the letter of acceptance?

      Address it to the hiring manager. Convey your appreciation for the offer and state that you accept the specific job position. If you have to work a notice period before you can start, you need to inform the employer. Include your contact details at the end.

    11. What is the purpose of the letter of declination?

      This type of letter is used when you decline an offer or are no longer interested in the specific position.

    12. What information should be included in the letter of declination?

      Show your appreciation for the offer and state that you decline the offer. Don't apologise and keep your options open. State a reason for declining for example: you received another offer or the salary offered is below your expectations. Rather than outright decline with no possibility of future employment at company, you should indicate that you may in future apply for a position at the company.

    13. How can I use the cover letter to my advantage when I want to make a career change?

      Emphasize your related experience and transferable skills to the new career. Focus on how you can contribute to the success of the company. The key is to place the spotlight on the company and not yourself. Mention that you are willing to work for a free period or complete an assessment test to prove your suitability for the new career.

    14. Should I show that I have done research about the company in my cover letter?

      Yes at all times. It indicates that you are serious and interested in the specific company.

    15. What are the strategies for writing a follow-up letter?

      When writing a follow up letter after an interview, it is important to include the following:

      • Address new information about the company that you have learned since the interview or last contact, such as an expansion or other major development. This shows you are still interested.
      • Small friendly gestures keep lines of communication open and sometimes win a second interview. Simply thanking them for the first interview is acceptable, just keep it simple.
      • If you forgot to mention transferable skills or felt less than great about your interview, you can mention your current skills and how they tie into the job opening they are trying to fill.
      • Try to not overlook any opportunity to network or promote yourself within the job search, as often it is doing the unusual or extraordinary that the competition is not doing that can earn you that job.
    16. How to write a post-interview follow-up letter?

      Few jobseekers actually think to send out a thank you note after an interview. This should be done several reasons. It can seal a good interview, sway a mediocre one in your favor, or answer unresolved questions an employer may have about you. Try to think about things from the view of the employer and how they are going to feel when they get a personalized thank you letter after an interview, something that typically does not happen. A few things to include in a stellar thank you letter:

      • Thank the interviewer for his or her time. Even if the interview didn't go as well as you had hoped, thank them for it.
      • Touch upon a topic you had spoken and done well on. It helps you relate to the interviewer, the company, and helps them remember you as well. Hopefully in a positive way that sets you apart from your competition!
      • It is not considered tacky to restate that you think you would be an excellent candidate for the job. So go ahead and tell them you think you would be their best choice!
    17. Why is it important to send a post interview letter?

      Some people might think that a thank you letter sent after an interview seems like a last ditch effort to get a job and just do not bother. Really, a thank you letter can make a difference and be the tool that helps get one hired. Sending a thank you letter can show ambition and interest, and sway an employer in your favor. Content in a thank you note should be new and original rather than a simple regurgitation of past communications with the company.

  7. Content
    1. Why should I use headlines in cover letters?

      Cover letters that start out boring and form-like often get tossed. For added attention from employers, consider different strategies in your cover letter. One that can work well to draw attention is to use headlines in a cover letter, much like newspaper headlines. Some examples include:

      I would love to be interviewed for [job opening] at [company name].

      The reason why I think I am the right candidate for [job opening] at [company opening] is.

      There are other possibilities too, and used appropriately this can be a great attention getting strategy!