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How to Write a Good Cover Letter and Land Your Dream Job

Woman showing cover letter to her employer

One of the best ways to get ahead in today’s competitive job market is with a good cover letter. Keep your cover letter short and sweet and give the hiring manager a glimpse into the great candidate you are. This guide will teach you how to write a good cover letter that will help you land your dream job.

Address it to the proper person

It’s always best to start any letter with a proper greeting and cover letters are no different. Forget the archaic phrase “To Whom It May Concern” and replace it with directly addressing the reader of your cover letter. This may require some research on your part, but it’ll pay off in the long run. If you know the name of the hiring manager, address them as Mr./Ms. and their last name, or simply refer to them with their full name without a title if you’re unsure. If there are no names listed on the company’s website, address your letter as “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Go beyond your resume

While your resume is a great way to show your many accomplishments and skills, there’s no need to restate all these points in your cover letter. Instead, write a cover letter that gives the hiring manager a more in-depth view of who you are. Explain why you’re interested in their company and give specific examples of how you would excel at their organization. Your cover letter is the perfect time to show why you want to work for this company and why they should hire you.

Use the job description to your advantage

When you write a cover letter, there’s no better resource than the job description. Most job descriptions outline the general duties, expectations, and skills necessary to succeed in a position. Choose a few of these skills and expand on your experiences to exhibit your competency in these areas. If a job description asks that applicants possess good decision-making skills, for example, mention a specific instance in which you were faced with a difficult decision and how you handled the situation.

Customize your cover letter for every position

Every company, and every position within a company, is different, so your cover letter should also be different for each job. Go beyond simply changing the name of the hiring manager or the title of the position. Instead, take some time to cater every cover letter to the position’s job description. These little tweaks will show hiring managers that you’re detail oriented and willing to take the extra steps to create an exceptional product.

End with a call to action

Finish your cover letter strong. You want hiring managers to know that you’re excited about the possibility of working together and you hope to hear back from them soon. Make sure to include a phone number or email they can reach you at and let the hiring manager know that you’re more than willing to answer any further questions they may have. This subtle statement keeps the path of communication open between you and the hiring manager, and it also lets them know you’re eager to speak with them again.