Job hunting can be an intimidating process. Writing a cover letter and resume, looking for open positions, networking and selling yourself can all be an overwhelming experience. One of the most confusing aspects, though, is often writing a cover letter. There’s a great deal of conflicting advice about what to include, and you may be unsure about how to address prospective employers. A cover letter is an essential part of your job search arsenal. Follow these tips on how to write a cover letter, and you’ll find it really doesn’t have to be that overwhelming.

Research the Company

When you’re writing a cover letter you should ensure that it’s individualized for each employer and position. In order to decide the kind of approach to use for each letter, take time to research the company. View the website, follow the organization and its key players on social media and do some sleuthing in Google. This information will help guide the tone of your cover letter.

Start Strong

Start your letter out in a direct and strong manner. Avoid the tired approach of simply introducing yourself and saying that you’d like to apply for the job. That shows nothing of what you have to offer. Instead, share information of the kind of professional you are and what qualities you can bring to the organization. Avoid humor, though, as that can be taken the wrong way. Finally, be sure to address your letter to a specific person. The Director of Human Resources or other hiring manager should be listed on the company website.

Show Your Worth

After your initial introduction and providing an overview of your skills, take the research you’ve done and show how you can specifically contribute to the position for which you’re applying. Share examples of past accomplishments that may translate into this company’s goals or provide information that demonstrates your expertise in the industry.

Be Enthusiastic

One of the most important things to know when considering how to write a cover letter is to always be positive and enthusiastic. Recruiters receive tons of cover letters. They recognize true excitement when they see it. Share why you want this job or what genuinely impresses you about the company.

Make It Brief

Because hiring professionals do see so many applicant letters, it’s important to keep your cover letter short. Break it up into small paragraphs that are easy to scan. Include the necessary information in a direct, active and concise manner. If you are concerned about your writing abilities, enlist help or find examples online to inspire you.

A well-written cover letter can truly get your foot in the door. Follow these tips on writing a cover letter that’s strong and unique, and you’ll sure to receive interview requests for the positions you desire.

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