11 Cover Letter Writing Tips

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You've got your resume and references ready to send off to your dream internship or job when you realize that you need a cover letter. What the what? No worries. Here are 11 tips to help you ace your cover letter and land the position.

  1. Your cover letter should be one page or less with plenty of white space. 
  2. The letter should be no more than three paragraphs with 3-4 sentences each. 
  3. Always customize your cover letter for the position you are applying to. Sending the same letter to each position will not only make you sound generic, but it will also leave room for costly mistakes like having the wrong company name.
  4. Always address the letter to the hiring manager. If the name isn't listed on the posting then channel your inner detective and research it. Still no luck? Then simply write, "Dear Hiring Manager."
  5. A cover letter should complement your resume, not repeat it. Expand on and highlight experiences listed on your resume that show you are qualified for the position. 
  6. Look at what the job posting lists for skills and make sure you match what they are looking for in your cover letter. 
  7. Your cover letter should be a balance of why you want to work for the company and why you're the perfect candidate. 
  8. Everyone loves to be flattered! Show you're familiar with the company by stating what you appreciate and like about the work they do. Who doesn't want brownie points?
  9. Don't sound generic. The hiring manager reads tons of cover letters a day. Writing "I am interested in this job because..." or "I would be a great asset to the company because..." doesn't stand out. 
  10. Spell check and proofread. 'Nuff said. 
  11. Don't write that you are a wiz in Photoshop when all you've ever done is crop a photo. And don't say you're fluent in Spanish when the only word you know is "hola." Be honest. 

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- Teresa Roca is a NYC writer who is obsessed with celebrities, sports and movies. Her favorite cause is bullying and violence.