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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

10 Ways To Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out (2)

Tip# 4:

If you're emailing your letter, make sure your document will open properly as an attachment and that your computer system is virus-free.

Tip #5:

Your return address should appear in the top right hand corner, without your name. As a general rule, you should avoid abbreviations in the addresses of your cover letters, although abbreviating the state is common in all business correspondence. The date should appear two lines beneath your return address on the right hand side of the page. Write out the date; do not use the abbreviated format. Example: February11, 2008.

Tip #6

Always try to find the name and proper title of the addressee before you send out a cover letter. Two lines beneath the date on the left margin of the letter, list the full name of the addressee preceded by Mr. or Ms. (Do not use Miss or Mrs., even if you happen to know the marital status of the addressee). On the next line, list the individual's formal title; on the subsequent line, list the name of the company. This is followed by the company's address, which generally takes two lines. The salutation should be typed two lines beneath the company's address. It should begin with "Dear Mr." or "Dear Ms. You should never use "To whom it may concern"


Request an interview or follow up call in your closing paragraph. This gives the impression that you are eager and ready. Truth be told sometimes you have to follow up yourself and call the employer to check the status. However be patient. ..At least give them a week to follow up.

Tip #8

Use a professional ending such as "Respectfully yours", or "Sincerely". Don't forget to sign your name; preferably black ink. Nothing looks worse than a letter with a big white space where the signature is supposed to be. Emailed cover letters are exempt to this.


Do not use the same cover letter for every job that you are applying for. Tailor your cover letter to that particular company.

Tip #10:

Most important: PROOFREAD! PROOFREAD! PROOFREAD! Use spell check and if available have someone else look over it. Nothing is better than two pair of eyes. Misspelled words will definitely send your resume to the bottom of the pile and possibly overlooked!

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Written by Tressa Manns
I am a freelance writer and working the 9-5 as a Human Resources Supervisor. My goal is to utilize all my skills in acting,writing,promoting and marketing. -
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  1. Wonderful article! It's amazing how much work must go into the job search process. I appreciate the time you took to make this available. Chari

  2. The article is full of great mechanics, but what about content.

    I would submit that a letter with a great selling (yourself) proposition would do more than a simply mechanically correct one.

    As a hiring manager I would be far more concerned about what someone could produce than the correctness of their letter's mechanics are.

    I would like to see what your content suggestions are.

  3. Please step up your game to what's happening in the job arena today. There isn't an address to be had for most of the job opportunities that are out there, so how are your going to send a paper resume? Send your digits and don't call us, we'll call you is what we are all up against. Address that issue please. How do you tailor your cover letter for a database entry? How do you follow up when you sent your resume to an e-mail address that feels more like a black hole?

  4. these are GREAT TIPS...for 1989! these days, the best CL is a concise yet persuasive email that shares just enough info to get the hiring mgr intrigued enough to want to know more. that's the game we're playing--cut through all the formality & BS, and just let them know what you can do.

  5. Sorry, but this article isn't as useful as it could be. I don't know when you last applied for a job but it has been years since I sent someone a paper resume and cover letter. I work in the IT business and the attitude in this industry is send it online or don't bother. I suspect other industries are the same. Perhaps you should consider adding some cover letter content tips would be more appropriate. You start out talking about how to do a killer cover letter and end up talking about how to format it. You don't stick to your subject. And, yes, I am a professional writer.

  6. I shudder at the posting by Anonymous dated November 4, 2010. I've never known a professional writer that would write a sentence like "Perhaps you should consider adding some cover letter content tips would be more appropriate." In addition, there are three missing commas, one of which is essential (in the second sentence.) The first comma in the final sentence is unnecessary. Concerning paper, I have found one big employer in my state that still requires it: the State of Connecticut. Perhaps other states want this, too. It's true that almost all other employers want online submissions. I do agree with the need for help with the CONTENT of cover letters.

  7. I don't agree with some of the points in this article. Rarely is a cover letter sent via the postal service anymore. When you must send employment information this way, your document headings should match, including placing your name prominently at the top of the documents. The best advice in this article is to avoid looking like you are sending the same cover letter to each job. Be sure that you address what the employer states they are seeking and always keep the information relevant.

  8. All solid points, but way too much writing involved. No one is going to read all of this - you need to add a link to a video. A savvy candidate will create a 2-3 minute video, where they answer questions specific to the clients needs. There's no doubt the link will be viewed by everyone that receives it. Forward thinking candidates will have the upper hand. Use video - it works. #TalentRooster


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