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What To Put On A Resume Cover Letter

Avoid Clichs In Your Writing

How To Write a Cover Letter: Top 3 Tips, Format & Examples | Indeed Career Tips

Are you a self-motivated go-getter who thinks outside the box and loves synergy? Do you think of yourself as dynamic and a problem solver?

These are common clichés that will, at best, elicit eye-rolls from a hiring manager . Instead of these overused phrases, describe your work experience in concrete terms, and focus on your actual achievements.

Case Study #: Demonstrate An Understanding Of What The Company Needs

Michele Sommers, the vice president of HR for the Boys & Girls Village, a nonprofit in Connecticut, recently posted a job for a recruiting and training specialist. I was looking for someone with a strong recruiting background who could do everything from sourcing candidates to onboarding new hires, she says. She also wanted the person to hit the ground running. Were a small team and I cant afford to train someone, she says.

More than 100 candidates applied for the job. The organizations online application system doesnt allow for cover letter attachments but one of the applicants, Heidi , sent a follow-up email after submitting her résumé. And its a good thing she did because she wouldve been weeded out otherwise, Michele says.

Heidis résumé made her look like a job hopper very short stints at each previous employer. Michele assumed she was a poor performer who kept getting fired. She was also the only candidate who didnt have a four-year college degree.

Read more about

But Heidis email caught Micheles eye. First off, it was professional. Heidi stated clearly that she was writing to double-check that her application had been received. She went on to explain how she had gotten Micheles name and information and her personal connection to Boys & Girls Village .

Review Resume Writing Techniques

A resume includes information on your education, work history, and skills. Get started writing your resume by creating a list of your accomplishments in each job that you have held.

From there, you can decide which details are most important to highlight and work on phrasing information in a way that will get the attention of both hiring managers and searchable databases. These resume writing techniques will help you write an interview-winning resume.

There are power words you can use to enhance your resume, and there are others that won’t make a good impression. Write your resume so it focuses on the attributes that best qualify you for the job.

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Using The Same Cover Letter For Every Application

Even if you use a template to get the correct format, the content of your cover letter needs to be original and relevant to the person reading it. Writing a great cover letter requires you to tailor the letter’s content to the specific needs and requirements of the position and company you are interested in. Your cover letter should require adjustments every time you want to submit it to a new position.

What to do: Begin your letter by addressing the hiring manager by name. Make sure your cover letter states the specific title of the position you are applying for. Discuss how your skills and talents are an asset to the company and how your values align with the company’s culture, mission and vision.

Use Relevant Details Instead Of Buzzwords


Buzzwords and clichés like hard-working,go-getter, and think outside the box are overly used, provide limited information, and dont make your cover letter stand out.

Instead, we recommend writing a cover letter that provides details and varied phrases. Try doing the following:

  • name specific projects and contributions from your previous roles
  • use hard numbers to demonstrate years of experience, percentages, and relevant data
  • list a variety of resume adjectives and verbs throughout your cover letter

Expanding upon your cover letter with concrete proof of your accomplishments and skill set will impress employers compared to simply making a generic statement.

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It Showcases Your Interest In The Position And/or Company

Many candidates blindly shoot off job applications, believing in quantity over quality. To be as efficient as possible, theyll either send a generic cover letter or fail to send one altogether. A cover letter with specific details about why you would be a great fit for the company youre applying to shows youve done your research and are interested in working for that company specifically. Employers will take notice of candidates who took their time to learn about the company and want to be there, as opposed to just wanting a job.

Information For Your Resume

No matter what type of resume you choose, you will need to gather specific information in order to write your resume.

You will need:

  • Contact Information: The first section of your resume should include information on how the employer can contact you
  • Objective: Job title youre applying for and reason to hire you.
  • Career Highlights: List key achievements, skills, strengths and experiences that are relevant to the position for which you are applying.
  • Work Experience and Skills: This section of your resume includes your work history. Include the businesses you worked for, the dates of employment, the positions you held, a bulleted list of major responsibilities, accomplishments or achievements and a list of your skills.


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What Should I Write In My Cover Letter

The most important thing to keep in mind when youâre writing a cover letter is that it should answer the employerâs fundamental question, âWhy should I hire you?â

Your cover letter should be several paragraphs long, but no larger than one page in length.

The introductory paragraph explains why you are writing to the employer, as well as how you heard about the job opening.

The main body of text can be between one to three paragraphs. This text elaborates on the most relevant skills and experiences in your resume that would make you the best fit for the specific job opening youâre applying for.

For the main body of text, write about the most important qualifications that make you a standout candidate for the position. Frame this text to explain how youâd add to the employerâs company in a positive way.

In the final paragraph, thank the employer for considering your application, restate your interest in the position, and state your availability for an interview.

Tailor Your Skills And Experiences To The Job Posting

How to Write a Great Resume and Cover Letter

Because an ATS searches for keywords that the employer listed on the job posting, we advise tailoring your cover letter to the keywords you see in the job ad.

Writing a targeted cover letter that uses appropriate skill keywords for cover letters is the best way to impress hiring managers. Your cover letter should highlight your skills, achievements, and familiarity with the industry, role, and employer.

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Start With Your Header

As with any standard business letter header, you should include a few pieces of personal and role specific information at the top of your cover letter. This section should include your contact information, date of application and recipients contact information. If youd like, you can also center your name and address at the top of the page, mirroring the way it looks on your resume.

Cover letter header template:

123 Vineyard DriveLas Vegas, NV

Including a professional and detailed heading will make it easier for the hiring manager or recruiter to follow up with you regarding the position.

Related:Q& A: Should You Put Your Address on Your Resume?

Remaining Stuck In The Past

Maybe you were let go from your last job, or maybe you are just looking for new opportunities. Regardless of the reason for your job search, dont spend the limited space of your cover letter focusing on your past.

The worst thing a potential employee can do is to explain why they left their current or former position, said Kim Kaupe, co-founder of Bright Ideas Only. Its like starting out a first date by talking about your ex! I dont want to hear about your past I want to hear about your now and future, and how you are going to become an asset to my company.

Steering clear of the past is especially important if you had a contentious relationship with an employer. Saying that youre looking for a new opportunity because your previous employer was unfair or you had an incompetent boss will only make you look bad, said Tracy Russell, talent acquisition coordinator at Intuit. Oftentimes, if this type of negative information is in the cover letter, recruiters wont even look at the resume.

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Failing To Include A Strong Call

The purpose of your cover letter is to sell your value as a candidate to the hiring manager. The details about your strengths and qualifications are your sales pitch, so your closing should include a request for the hiring manager to take action.

What to do: Write a closing statement that asks or motivates the hiring manager to take a specific action. For example, the statement “I look forward to meeting you for an interview and working together to create a new training program” tells the hiring manager you expect them to contact you for an interview and that you are ready to help the company achieve its goals.

Related: How to Write a Call to Action

Think Not What The Company Can Do For You

Cover Page For Resume Examples

Another common cover letter mistake? Talking about how great the position would be for you and your resume. Frankly, hiring managers are aware of thatwhat they really want to know is what youre going to bring to the position and company. Try to identify the companys pain pointsthe problem or problems that they need the person they hire to solve. Then emphasize the skills and experience you have that make you the right person to solve them.

On that note

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Choose The Top Three Requirements That Match Your Work Experience

The hiring company is going to list out a bunch of ideal skills. Don’t be intimidated. Make a list of all of the qualifications mentioned in the job posting under a header called Your Needs. Then, make a list of all of your skills in a column called My Qualifications. Simply pick the top three skills in the Your Needs column that match up with skills in the My Qualifications column and write a little blurb for each.

Focus on past examples of your work that show how you meet each of the hiring manager’s needs.

Creative Cover Letter Example

A creative cover letter makes your job application stand out by adding a bit of personality and flair.

In our creative cover letter example, the candidate is applying for a senior-level social media manager position. By the second paragraph, she has the readers attention. Then, she establishes her qualifications:

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Highlighting Any Lack Of Skills

Its easy to feel vulnerable when applying for a job, especially if you know that you have limited experience with some of the skills the position requires. However, starting off a cover letter by underselling yourself or drawing attention to the skills or knowledge you are lacking is never the way to go.

I have seen one too many cover letters with the following phrase: Although I do not yet have ,’ said author and career coach Lavie Margolin. If you do not have something, why are you emphasizing it?

Instead, Margolin advised job seekers to focus on existing skills, experiences and talents that will be of interest to the potential employer.

If you are looking for a job, then you are in the sales business. What you write in your cover letter should most effectively sell the skills, experience, and abilities that you do have, as opposed to emphasizing those things that are lacking. Emphasizing a weakness on your cover letter may be costing you the job.

Proof Youve Researched The Company

How to Write a Cover Letter

As well as researching a companys culture, investigate its performance, history, and ambitions. If you prove youve researched these details in your cover letter, youre more likely to catch the hiring managers attention.

A good place to start your research is on a companys website. Use its website to find out about product lines and recent news. For example, you might discover it just launched a product similar to one you used to work on.

Then mention some of these highlights in your cover letter.

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What To Include In A Cover Letter For A Job

When writing a cover letter, specific information needs to be included: a contact section, a salutation, an introduction to the hiring manager, information on why you are qualified for the job, a closing, and your signature. The way the information is listed and the format depend on how you are sending your letter.

The goal of your cover letter is to make a case for getting selected for a job interview, so it’s important to include all required information along with a compelling argument for why you would be a strong candidate for the position.

It can be time-consuming to write a custom cover letter for each job you apply for, but it’s important to take the time and effort to show the company why you are a good match.

The more your experience and your skills match the job description, the higher your chances of getting picked for an interview.

Be sure to include information in your letter about how you possess the particular skills and requirements that the employer is seeking.

Don’t simply repeat what’s in your resume. Your resume lists your skills, but your cover letter should highlight how you have put those skills to use.

Before you start writing, review cover letter examples and make sure that your letter explains how your skills relate to the criteria listed in the job posting. Looking at examples of effective cover letters will give you a starting point for creating your own letter.

Cover Letter Vs Resume: Do You Need To Know The Difference

Knowing what makes a cover letter and resume different will prevent you from making a mistake and maximize your chances of getting hired. There are some things that donât belong in a resume that should go on your cover letter instead.

Even though both forms of applications are designed to sell yourself, they both take a different approach.

Weâve also included examples of a resume and cover, and broken each of these down.

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The Basics Of A Good Cv

Curriculum Vitae, derived from Latin and meaning course of life, is often referred to simply as a CV or vita. Like a resume, it is a summary of your skills, experience, and education, however, it contains more detail and is often longer than two pages. CVs are often the required documents to apply for graduate school, and scientific research and academic positions. There are no specific guidelines for how you should organize your experiences or the information you choose to include. In fact, many students today are exercising their creativity and developing their own CV styles to differentiate themselves from other candidates.

A few extra points to consider:

  • The basics of resume writing still apply to your CV
  • Examine CVs from individuals just above your stage of professional development
  • Other countries may prefer certain formats and may require additional information

A Formal Cover Letter Greeting

Resume Cover Letter Writing to Ace Your Job Search

You should also greet the reader of your cover letter with a polite salutation. Dear Mr./Ms./Mx. does the trick:

Dear Ms. Hernandez,

Using an actual name is better than writing Dear Hiring Manager or To Whom It May Concern because it shows youve done some research while preparing your application.

Find the hiring managers name on the company website or on LinkedIn. If all else fails, call the company and ask for the hiring managers name, and explain that its for addressing your application if asked.

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Demonstrate Your Ability To Work Remotely

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more businesses have moved their workforce online.

If you have experience working remotely, your cover letter is a great place to show employers you can deliver results whether in-person or fully online. Simply mention something you accomplished at work despite having to move fully remote in your cover letter.

For instance,

One of my proudest professional achievements came after my company switched to full-remote work in March 2020. Within a month of working fully remote, I helped get my team set up on the interactive Gather Town platform, which notably increased employee engagement, happiness, and productivity according to a mid-year HR poll.

Why Its Important To Include Skills In Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter is the first place where you get to show your future employer why you are the most qualified applicant for the position. While your resume can list the variety of skills you possess, it is your cover letter that you can use to tell stories and bring anecdotal evidence to your skills and proficiency. Highlighting your transferable skills in your cover letter with past job experiences and situations can show your personality, and explaining how you managed various situations can show the employer how you might use those skills at their company.

Here are 10 transferable skills you can include in your cover letter, with examples:

  • Communication

  • Work ethic

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    Example : Administrative Assistant

    Job Description

    In this role, you will be supporting managers and other senior-level personnel by managing their calendars, arranging travel, filing expense reports, and performing other administrative tasks.

    Strong interpersonal skills, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills will be critical to success.


    • 5+ years of experience providing high-level admin support to diverse teams in a fast-paced environment

    • High school diploma or equivalent work experience

    • Excellent Microsoft Office Skills with an emphasis on Outlook and Excel

    • Self-motivated and highly organized

    • Team players who work well with minimal supervision

    Cover Letter

    Dear Hiring Manager,

    I am writing to express my interest in the opening for an administrative assistant at {name of company].

    I am also attracted to this role because of the growth opportunities that provides. The research that Ive done on your company culture has shown me that there are ample opportunities for self-motivated individuals like me. A high level of organization and attention to detail are second nature to me, and Im eager to apply these skills in new and challenging environments.

    I look forward to sharing more details of my experience and motivations with you. Thank you for your consideration.



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