Cover letter tips: selling what matters today

by K B , updated on July 7, 2011

The worst part of any job search is being unemployed. The second worst part is writing a cover letter. Writing about ourselves is an uncomfortable process. We don’t talk ourselves up in ordinary conversation, so having to write about how great we are can be a challenge.

Though cover letters can be difficult to craft, they are an important part of any job application. You have to gauge your audience, determine your selling points, and use appropriate language. Follow these tips for writing a cover letter that will be successful today.

Do Your Research

To “sell yourself,” you have to know who that potential employer is and what they do. Do your research. With the internet at everyone’s fingertips, there is no reason a job hopeful should be uneducated about the job or company they are applying to. Figure out what the position you are applying for is exactly and inform yourself about the company. Demonstrate that you know who you are addressing and that you are truly interested in the goals, mission, and objective of that company within your cover letter. Try to display that you have done your research in your cover letter. This will establish that you are truly interested in the values of the company. This will display to the employer that you are proactive, motivated, and capable of self-initiative – three very important qualities in a successful employee.

Be Concise

A cover letter is very much like an advertisement. Any successful commercial gets its pitch out there in less than thirty seconds. Keep this in mind when you are crafting your cover letter. Be brief and to the point. There is no need for fluff. You want to explain to the employer who you are and why you are the person for the job quickly. In many ways, our tech dominated lives have helped us to craft things in a way that is clear and to the point. With text messaging and Twitter, we have grown accustomed to expressing ourselves in limited spaces. Use this knowledge to your advantage. I’m not saying that your cover letter should sound like a long list of Tweets from your Friday night. However, use your ability to write short and concise thoughts in your cover letter.

Sell What Matters

When writing a cover letter many people try to list every job advantage they have to offer. While it is important to inform your potential employer what your abilities are, you should let much of this happen within your resume. In your cover letter, only discuss the qualities you have that really set you apart from your competition.

While many cover letter articles may suggest you leave this information out, I highly recommend advertising your technological experience within your cover letter. More and more, employers in every area of the professional world are seeking job candidates that can keep up with new technologies and are competent with computers and social media. Use this to your advantage. Take the time to pitch your social media, internet, and computer skills in your cover letter, so that you communicate that you are active in modern technologies. This will demonstrate not only that you are capable of learning new things, but also that you are confident and aware of current social interests.

While cover letter writing can be challenging, it does not have to be impossible. Take the time to craft an effective and precise cover letter that will display all of your best qualities relating to that specific position. Your cover letter is your first introduction to your potential employer. And, though it is a horridly tired phrase, first impressions are important. Use the technology available today to sell yourself on the job market and within your cover letter.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online degrees. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

@TimGiehll September 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

Cover letter tips: selling what matters today #interview #jobsearch

Diane Barlow December 7, 2013 at 1:16 am

Some bullet points may be helpful as well to improve readability. Recruiters do not have time to read through all the CV from every applicant. This will help direct the recruiter to where you list your key relevant skills/experience.

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