Want to upgrade your overall job application?
We’ve listed 12 good cover letter tips that we advise for all job seekers and applicants to infuse for a better chance of getting invited for an interview.
Everything in your application matters and has an impact, including your cover letter.
At the end of this guide, I’ll also be sharing how you can optimize your application with Rezi and create a winning cover letter in less than 5 minutes. If that sounds interesting to you, be sure to stay until the end!
Cover Letter Formatting Tips
The format of your cover letter is arguably just as important as what you write. If you send over your application with the incorrect format settings, it won’t turn out the same way you might have wanted it to. When you’re sending your resume or cover letter to your employers electronically, this should be sent as a PDF file.
Aside from the fundamental formatting options, we’ve listed three key tips below:
1. One Page Cover Letter
Cover letters shouldn’t exceed the one page limit, otherwise it’s too long.
Respect your hiring manager’s time by keeping everything concise and straight to the point. Every standard cover letter should be made up of an opening paragraph, the main body (2-3 paragraphs), and a closing paragraph followed by the professional signoff.
Anything that’s not important or relevant, you’re better off having it omitted from your cover letter. Having more length and a higher word count isn’t always the best choice.
2. Make It Consistent With Your Resume
Your cover letter should complement and connect with your resume. Most of the time, you’re expanding on what you’ve already mentioned on your resume by going into more detail using your cover letter. The content and description of what you write should flow nicely by keeping everything consistent.
This doesn’t only apply with what you write, but also through its visual appearance. For example, using the same font type and size. Don’t cut one of them off from the other to the point each application seems completely separate and individual.
3. Make it Readable
Your prospective employers have thousands of job applications to go through. Make it easier for them by building an easily readable cover letter through a clean, sensible format. The best applications are presentable, minimal and sleek. That also means you shouldn’t use anything that’s inappropriate, e.g. playful stencil fonts that’s difficult to read.
“I had applied to a handful of jobs before using Rezi, but once I signed up and revamped what I had, I got call backs from almost all my applications.”
Cover Letter Writing Tips
We’ve listed 6 cover letter writing tips below that you should implement to improve your chances of getting the job. You will also find examples and cover letter templates included!
4. Personalize Every Cover Letter You Send
Every cover letter you send should be tailored for each specific job position and company you’re applying for. What that means is, you shouldn’t take a broad approach and treat it as if you’re speaking towards a group of people.
It’s supposed to be original and unique to help you stand out...
The better approach would be to focus on one company at a time and to give each one your full attention, effort, and personalization.
In terms of job searching and finding your career, quality is a lot more important than quantity. In fact, 2 career coaches at Indeed have even mentioned that you’re more likely to hear back from employers when you take this approach.
5. Address The Hiring Manager By Name
It’s a common mistake to make on your cover letter. Your hiring manager isn’t a stranger on the street, so you should be addressing them by their name. If you only know their last name, it works to greet them by:
- Dear Mr Jacquet...
- Dear Mrs Jacquet...
If you don’t know their name at all, you can appropriately address them by using their formal titles or job position:
- Dear Sir…
- Dear Madam…
- Dear Hiring Manager…
- Dear Hiring Team...
Whatever you do, just don’t address them by stating “to whom it may concern”. It shows you haven’t done the background research to find their names, which suggests a lack of effort and interest. In other words, it can create the impression that you are lazy.
If you haven’t followed the previous step and it’s not been personalized, they’ll sense that you’re probably sending the same application to hundreds of other companies too.
6. Show That You’re a Strong Cultural Fit
When the job posting is competitive and applicants are likely to have similar qualifications, work experience and skills, it becomes difficult to tell each one apart. To help make a decision, employers may turn to see who’s the better cultural fit.
Trace back to the job posting or company website. You might find a quality or company value that you can embed onto your cover letter to help stand out.
The hiring manager wants to hire someone who’s more likely to do the job better. Show you’re more than just a worker. Be the person who’s passionate about the company vision and long-term goals, and not just in it for the salary.
7. Infuse Personality & Radiate Enthusiasm
Show that you’re genuinely interested by radiating enthusiasm. Adding personality is like adding flavour to your job application. It becomes more engaging and tasteful, which is something that can leave a strong impression.
You can go about doing this by including:
- Personal traits, background and interests
- Original examples and small anecdotes
- A tone of voice
Just don’t go overboard by keeping it professional and relevant to what they are looking for.
8. Use Action Verbs and Buzzwords
It’s a strategy that can be applied to both your cover letter and resume. When you include action verbs and buzzwords, it can easily take your application to the next level. This makes it a lot more engaging by accentuating your strengths and making your statements look a lot more significant. These can also help you avoid having a generic job application overall.
9. Include Future Pacing Before You Sign Off
In this context, future pacing refers to the desired outcome for what comes next after this stage of the hiring process. With some of our cover letter examples, you’ll notice that before signing off, the candidate will have left a call to action to indicate how they would like to proceed.
Let’s take a look at some examples of this:
In this electrical engineer cover letter, they stated just before at the end “I would welcome the opportunity to interview for the position”. This is a great way to move the application process forward and to show your confidence.
Here’s another good example:
This one’s a lot more common. They’ve simply said “I look forward to hearing from you”.
Whatever call to action you make, the main purpose behind it is to move forward in the hiring process and get to the next step. Other good call to actions can include scheduling for the next interview or a follow up date.
Further Cover Letter Advice
Almost there! We’ve included 3 further pieces of advice for your overall cover letter that you shouldn’t forget.
10. Proofread Your Cover Letter Twice
Never send off your cover letter without proofreading, editing and having it fully customized for the company. There should be no grammar or spelling mistakes either. Otherwise, it will remove the credibility of your application and can even lead to rejection.
11. Use a Variety of Sentence Openers
Don’t keep saying the same thing over and over again on your cover letter...
It’s not a repeat of your resume. Constant repetition and a lack of variety in your wording and sentences can make your application more boring, difficult to read, and a lot less engaging. When something sounds extremely similar, try rephrasing it to highlight another aspect. If that doesn’t work or if the statement isn’t as important as it seems, consider omitting it.
Also, when you’re using a cover letter template or taking inspiration from another example, be sure to edit it accordingly so it’s your own, personal application tailored for the company.
12. Match The Job Description
Cover letters are supposed to be tailored towards one specific company and job position you’re applying for (unless you’re writing a letter of interest or prospecting cover letter). For all stages of the hiring process, the applicant tracking systems are typically the first hurdle.
Luckily, Rezi has made it extremely easy to tailor your cover letter so you don’t have to stress over whether or not it matches.
All it takes is a few clicks to ATS-optimize and generate a winning application...
How Rezi Can Help
With anything you do, you should always give it your best effort and make sure you do it right.
As Napoleon Hill once said, “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way”
The main point being, every small aspect of your cover letter will have an impact towards the bigger picture and your overall job application.
I did mention at the beginning how Rezi can help you optimize your application and create a custom cover letter in less than 5 minutes.
You simply copy and paste the job posting description into the Rezi app and press the “AI Writer Ready” button.
Watch the video below to see it in action:
Easy enough, right?
You’ll also receive feedback on what keywords you should include to match the job description requirements and pass the resume scanners!
This article's author, Astley, is an avid content marketer who specializes as an SaaS copywriter. Learn more at Minimalist Copy