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Important Tips for Writing a Cover Letter

Writing a quality cover letter is one of the most important steps in the job search process. The cover letter is the first glimpse a potential employer has of your personality, your professionalism and your overall education. Cover letters must first and foremost be attention grabbing — yours has to stand out among a pile of hundreds of similar cover letters. It is crucial that cover letters are informative without being too wordy, and are grammatically correct and written in a professional business style. Remember that each job you apply to should have its own unique cover letter. Try to avoid creating one generic cover letter to send to each job you find — it is obvious to employers when this has been done, and will look like you don't necessarily care about getting this particular possition. Remember to personally address each cover letter to the person specified on the application, as opposed to using the generic phrase "To Whom It May Concern."

Below is a sample of a cover letter that will not only grab the attention of the future employer, but also will let the future employer see a bit into your personality, career history and future goals and ambitions. Cover letters are quite literally the employer's first impression of you, and allow you a bit more creativity than your resume. Cover letters should typically begin with an anecdotal introduction, a basic background of your work history and where you see yourself in the future. End the cover letter with a professional closing that is confident without exuding arrogance.

SAMPLE

John Smith,

I had not eaten in nearly 24 hours, and my diet of coffee and gum was hardly sufficing anymore. I was exhausted, on the brink of losing my sanity, but I knew the job had to be done. I had been working day and night for three days with the top executives in the industry, attempting to close out on the biggest deal in the company's history. I knew what I had to do — and I had to get it right. While it may have been one of the most physically exhausting moments in my life, it was easily one of the highlights of my career as I closed the largest sale in my small automotive parts company's history.

For me, working in the automotive industry isn't just a job or even a career — it's a way of life. I have spent each year of my career focused on bettering the industry by coming up with unique and innovate ways to market automotive products to both suppliers and manufacturers. Each company I have been with has benefited from my role in their organization, as I have increased sales and productivity among my colleagues. I feel that I have reached the time in my career where I need to take the next step.

I feel that I would be the best candidate for the position at your company, as I am constantly working toward personal growth and professional growth. I think that a managerial position is the best place for me as an individual to utilize my skills, and the best way for your company to utilize its resources. I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you further, and hope to hear from you soon.

Best,

Sally Johnson

As you can see, it is important to let a bit of your personality shine through in your cover letter while also highlighting some of your top professional accomplishments. Cover letters should be clear, concise and to the point, but also specific to the position you are applying for. By ensuring that each cover letter is written specifically for the job you are applying for, you will be sure to impress any potential employer and have a much higher chance of landing that important interview.