A coverletter is an introduction to your resume. It should typically be 1 page (but can stretch to 2 pages if you are an experienced professional) and expands on your career highlights, a specific project or experience and showcase your real world skills and/or education. Coverletters can be a great way to really showoff a bit more of you–like a short story/introduction before the hiring manager dives into the meat of the resume. Here are 5 tips to writing a better coverletter.

1. Adding keywords is Important

Just like in your resume, be sure to add keywords from your profession to your coverletter. They must be integrated seamlessly! You can typically find keywords in job descriptions, corporate websites, company social media among other places.

2. Highlight experience, skills or education with bullet points

Using bullet points in your coverletter isn’t a must, but it is a great way to get the hiring manager’s attention. By highlighting a few key skills with bullet points you are zeroing in on some important information quickly and urgently. They can quickly catch the eye of the reader and get them turning the page to your resume in order to see your expanded skillsets and experience.

3. Demonstrate why the hiring manager should hire you

Even if you write a second page to your coverletter–it should be tightly written and always focus on why the company should hire you! Again, the resume is a marketing tool to promote your skills and experience to potential companies; the coverletter is a tool to draw the hiring manager into reading the resume. Both should be strong beacons showcasing why a hiring manager needs to hire you!

4. Think of yourself as a story teller

Crafting a coverletter can be a tough order sometimes. To make it easier, think of the coverletter like a story–craft it like you are a story teller telling the reader a story about your professional career. Think about how the best stories begin and how they grab the reader! Remember: you don’t have a lot of space to hook the reader so make the ‘story’ memorable.

5. Personalize the letter if you can

Writing in the hiring manager’s name/company name is important because it is personalizing the coverletter. It might also make the difference because a lot of coverletters they may be getting are generic. Going one step further: by showing how your skills and experience can specifically help the said company–you are increasing your chances of being hired–you are essentially telling them directly with evidence how you can help them succeed. That can be a major reason why you might be getting the call for interview over other candidates.

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