Cover Letters: 5 Tips To Get Them Read

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

Cover letters can be harder to write than a resume.  Some hiring managers want them, some online sites won’t take them.  Just like resumes, everyone has their own likes and dislikes about them.

If hiring managers scan a resume for 6 seconds, how long do they look at a cover letter?

Here are some tips when writing your cover letter:

  1.  It’s about what the company wants, not what you want to highlight.  Read the ad or description and highlight the skills the company wants.
  2. Keep it short, concise and to the point.  You want to introduce yourself and state your experience in the first paragraph.
  3. Tell them why they should meet you.  Use bullet points to highlight your qualifications.
  4. Be organized and specific.  You don’t know who is reading the cover letter or how long they will spend on it.  Make it easy to read/scan and specific to the job.
  5. Use the keywords.  The keywords in the ad should be used in your cover letter.  Just as an applicant tracking system scans for keywords so does the human eye.

If you are using one cover letter for every job, you might as well not use one at all.  If a hiring manager takes the time to read a cover letter, they want to know why you want this job and that you have the specific skills.

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