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5 Must Know Tips for Crafting Your Cover Letter

While browsing for jobs online, you discover the perfect open position. The role sounds thrilling--it’s a great opportunity at a company with an excellent reputation. You can already see yourself working there. Sold on it, you scroll down to learn how you can apply. “Submit your cover letter and CV/resume,” the application says. Now comes the moment of truth: How do you convince this employer that you are the right person for the job? You’ve got one shot--the cover letter.

To write an exceptional cover letter that will help you land your dream job, keep these 5 tips in mind.

1. Always Customize Your Cover Letter

Awesome cover letters are like scenes in improvisational comedy. While each one builds on the skills and experiences of the past, the most enjoyable scenes are fresh and unique each time. The same goes for cover letters. The more unique and customized your writing is, the more intriguing it will be for the company to read.

Do It Now: To customize your writing, take note of the words the application uses to describe the role. Incorporate the same diction and voice to make your words resonate.

2. Research the Company First

Take a look at the company’s website and social media profiles. What are they talking about? What is the company’s vision and mission? How are they different from competitors? Conducting background research before you start writing will help you outline some talking points to address in your cover letter.

Do It Now: Get plugged in by following the company’s social media profiles and subscribing to their newsletter (if they have one).

3. What Will You Bring to the Team?

A cover letter is a place for you to set yourself apart--but be careful. You want to be tactful about how you speak about your strengths. Brag less about you, and talk more about what you can do for them.

Do It Now: Start by thinking about the things that make you a strong employee. How will these attributes positively impact the team?

4. Keep Your Verb Game Strong

A cover letter allows you to showcase a bit of your intelligence, grace and personality. Avoid using the passive voice, i.e. writing is, was, were, have, etc. Keep your verb game strong and use the active voice to strengthen your writing. For example, you could change “I was responsible for...” to “I acheived/generated/forecasted….”

Do It Now: Pull up an old cover letter and replace any passive voice sentences with strong active verbs.

5. Be Authentic

Your cover letter is a place for you to stand out. Generic sentences filled with cliches and jargon are not memorable. Ditch the formal, insincere phrases. Your writing represents you--let it shine!

Do It Now: Isolate any generic sentences and rewrite them in your voice.

If you want to write a killer cover letter, test out these tips and let us know how it goes. Best of luck on your job search!

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