Does Your Cover Letter Pop?

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At this point it’s pretty clear how important a cover letter is on your resume. It’s been drilled into you over and over again, like a mantra. Always have a cover letter. Now, with that bit of advice well ingrained into your brain, consider ways to make your cover letter pop. Think about it. If everyone is writing a cover letter, how do you get yours to jump off the page and grab the attention of potential employers?

The thing about cover letters is that it works against you to be flashy. Getting pink and scented paper isn’t going to do you any favors. Not only is it expensive but employers will actually take you less seriously if you opt for some radical cover letter design. Leave the origami and personalized stationary for more personal projects.

So, if being flashy works against you, how are you supposed to make your cover letter standout from the rest of the herd? You do it by properly formatting your cover letter and  including content that makes you standout. The best way to have your cover letter get read is to make it the best possible cover letter you can. Make it formatted to a T.

Proper formatting for a cover letter is pretty broad. Suffice to say, include your contact information, the usual name, address, telephone number and email as a header. Follow this up with an introductory paragraph that explains how you found this position and what interests you about working for this employer. Essentially you talk up the company your applying to, making them look good. Stroking their ego, if you will.

Second paragraph is where you come in. Talk about why you are suited for this position and explain what you have done in the past that has prepared you for this responsibility. Heaps and heaps have been written on what exactly to include in this section so do a bit of homework on this section. Regardless, keep it short and sweet. Don’t get too cute and don’t seem cocky or arrogant doing so. You want to appear qualified but humble.

Finally, close your cover letter with a round of thanks and say how you appreciate the time of the person reading your cover letter. Basically wrap it all up, sign off and include your contact information one more time.

Make sure your cover letter is crisp, well printed and on clean white paper. Keep your font neat and well spaced and don’t get too flowery with your language. Simple and direct is the way to be. All of this seems to make a boring cover letter. Where is the pizzazz? There doesn’t need to be any. Cheap tricks and thrills will not get you a job. You get your cover letter to pop by making it a template worthy document. Impress a potential employer by showing attention to detail that most other people skip out on.

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