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Writing an Effective Cover Letter


by Surranna Sandy, CEIP, CPRW, President of

Writing an Effective Cover LetterJob seekers continually under estimate the importance of including a cover letter with their resume when applying to jobs.  The cover letter is a critical component of your job search materials, as it serves as an effective advertisement for your resume. In writing your cover letter you can be creative and direct in showing a potential employer, how your unique skills abilities meets their requirements without the limitations of the resume. The following are five key reasons why you should include a cover letter with your resume.

1. Every résumé you send, fax, or e-mail needs its own cover letter. You should include a cover letter with every job application. This letter should clearly state the job you are applying to and corresponding skills you can offer to that employer. A resume that is sent without a cover letter is like a FedEx package sent without a recipient – who or what is this for?

2. Every cover letter should fit on one page. Your cover letter should be no longer than one page. Anything over that is too verbose and likely not be read.

3. Send your cover letter to a specific person rather than to an office whenever possible. Draw upon your research skills to identify the key contact for the job you are targeting.  To avoid your application going into the black hole of “hr”, find the person responsible for hiring for the job you are targeting by calling the company or visiting their website. Ensure you get the correct job title and spelling of their name before sending in your cover letter.

4. When writing your cover letter, tell which job you are applying for in the first few sentences. You should not wait until the end of the cover letter to tell the reader what job you are applying too. Ensure that the first line in the cover letter clearly states the job title and/or job number if provided. An example “I am pleased to submit my candidacy for the position of Executive Officer with ABC Company. “

5. Briefly explain your qualifications without simply repeating your resume. You only have one page, so get straight to the point and let that read know what you offer to the position. Do not copy and paste details from your resume into your cover letter. Rather, show how your achievements or core strengths listed in your resume will enable you to meet or exceed the goals of the organization.

 A well-written cover letter should serve as an advertisement for your resume. Your cover letter should highlight the very best aspects of your resume, without simply repeating the resume information verbatim. A great cover letter should demonstrate enthusiasm, energy, great personal attributes and capabilities that immediate grabs that potential employer’s attention.

Surranna Sandy is the President of Ms Sandy is an expert in resume writing, interview preparation, career coaching, employment trends, hiring practices and workplace issues. Ms. Sandy partners with both Fortune 100 companies and individuals to deliver targeted programs focusing on resume writing, job search strategies, networking, interviewing, and salary negotiation skills. Contact Ms. Sandy via email at [email protected] or by phone at (416) 361-1290/1-866-361-1290.

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