Essentials for a Good Cover Letter

Thursday, May 15 at 10:50 AM
Category: Arvest News

After months of searching, you've finally found it — the dream job for which you've been waiting. You've read the ad over and over again and feel like the job was created just for you. Now all you have to do is complete the application and find a way to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other candidates who may be applying.

There is something you can do to put yourself at an immediate advantage over other candidates — write a killer cover letter. Many people spend so much time perfecting their resumes that they often overlook one key fact — a cover letter which is the first impression an employer will have of you. A well-thought-out, well-written cover letter could give you a big advantage right from the start.

Before you fire up your computer to write your cover letter, consider these key points offered by monster.com.*

  • There is no "I" in job. One of the most common mistakes people make in their cover letters is overusing the word "I." Your cover letter should not be all about you and all your accomplishments but more about how your skills and experience can help the company.
  • Write a strong opening. Employers receive hundreds of cover letters. One way to make yours stand out is to start with a strong opening.
  • Personalize the letter. Though many people use the same cover letter to apply for multiple jobs with multiple companies, you may want to do a little research to include something about the company.
  • Spell check. A sure way to get your letter tossed out is to submit a letter with typos or poor grammar. If you don't take the time to proofread, you're telling prospective employers you're not detail oriented.
  • Keep it simple — to one page. Your cover letter is designed to give an employer an overview of your career, skills, and experience. Be careful not to go into too much detail. Your resume can provide specifics while your cover letter should intrigue hiring managers enough to read your resume. Never repeat your resume word for word.
  • Have a clear call to action. Be sure to let employers know the best way to get in touch with you and to tell them that you will follow up with them in a specific timeframe. Following up shows that you want the job. However, if you say you're going to follow up, you must.
  • It is what it is. It's a cover letter, and should be written as a formal letter with a salutation and a signature.
  • Give thanks. It may sound simple, but sending a cover letter without a thank you, may put you at a disadvantage. Be sure to close by thanking the employer for the opportunity and consideration.

For more tips on cover letters and key mistakes to avoid, visit monster.com.*

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

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