Cover Letter Best Practices

A cover letter is an important piece of your resume; it can determine if you get an interview or not. Prospective employees have been weeded out based on their cover letter as it is the first thing the employer reads. Some companies do not request one and some do. If they don’t, it is entirely optional if you wish to include one. Should it be required or not, if you choose to send one it must be well written.

Best practices regarding cover letters is to follow a standardized format that includes an opening paragraph expressing your interest and qualifications for the role. Subsequent paragraphs should provide a specific example of a success you have had for each of the qualifications listed in the opening statement. The closing paragraph should outline the best way to contact you for an interview. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid the following words or phrases: literally, always, whom it may concern, even though, really, feel, and honesty.

These words do not make you sound accomplished or qualified for a potential job, but instead, can misrepresent you and your intentions. Your cover letter should be an explanation of your true skills and it all starts with how it is written. 

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