Writing a Compelling Cover Letter

The following isn’t our usual fare, but it’s more than appropriate.

Elyse Hauser is talking tips and tricks for those of us hard at it trying to get ourselves and our work out to the public. Or to those who can get it to the public. Or those who can give us some money so we can keep on keeping on while we fight the battle of self-expression.

by Elyse Hauser

Even in the age of digital job applications, cover letters are still relevant. Here’s how to write a great one!

Writing a resume is hard enough (although, our series of resume guides will help), but a potential employer also expects you to send her a cover letter explaining why you’re right for the job. How can you write a compelling letter for every job you apply for?

The key is not to approach each letter like a brand-new document. Although cover letters require more customization than resumes, there are still some formulas you can use to make the task easier.

Whether you’re writing your first or 50th cover letter, we can help. Here’s everything you need to know to write great cover letters and get more job interviews!

Formatting Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter should follow the standard letter format and include some essential basics. The good news is once you’ve made one cover letter, you have a template you can use for the rest.

The proper business letter format features your contact information at the top of the page. Include your name, address, phone number, and email address.

Below that, skip a line and type today’s date (“January 1, 2020,” not “1/1/20”). Skip another line and type the employer’s contact information. Start with the name and title of the hiring manager (if you have it), followed by the company’s name and address.

Skip another line and add the salutation (“Dear Mr./Ms. [Name],” or use their full name if you don’t know their gender). If you don’t know who you’re writing the letter to, you can use something generic like, “Dear hiring manager.” Avoid, “To whom it may concern,” as it sounds dated. It’s always best to use a name, if possible—and the internet usually makes it easy to find out who you’re sending your letter to….

Read it all at lifesavvy.com