MH-Writing Cover Letters

Merritt Hub Recruitment

How to Write an Exceptional Cover Letter

An exceptional cover letter is a great way to make an excellent first impression as you introduce yourself to a company or prospective employer. Don’t treat your cover letter as an afterthought! 

Whether you are using a paper copy or including your cover letter in an electronic application or email message, it’s a savvy way to put your best foot forward! 

Here are some fantastic ideas for writing a cover letter that will convince hiring managers and HR professionals to give you an interview.

Don’t repeat your resume

Writing a cover letter can be challenging. Don’t just restate the essential details of your resume. Use your cover letter to promote yourself and show your excitement for the opportunity of a new role. Your cover letter should be complementary to your resume but organized so that it’s distinct. 

  • Accentuate experience and specific skills that make you the perfect candidate.
  • Point out relevant skills and personal traits your resume might not include. 
  • Explain why you would like to have the job and how it advances your personal career goals.
  • Show you’ve researched the company, its vision, and its mission.

Adapt your cover letter to the job your applying 

A one-size-fits-all approach to your cover letter will miss the mark. A cover letter specific to the position you are applying for will make a very positive impression. Tie in elements of the job that match your experience and skills. Highlight areas that you are especially good at that will show how qualified you are for the job. Showing you are familiar with the industry can further the effectiveness of your cover letter. 

Personalize your cover letter and tell a story

A cover letter can be dry and fact-based, but written correctly can tell a potential employer a bit more about yourself. Include information about yourself that is unique to you that you can bring to the organization to advance its people and processes. A brief anecdote about the type of position you are applying for or a quote from a leader in the industry can give personality to your cover letter. Showing a potential employer that you are a cultural fit is as vital as how qualified you are for the job.

Be proud of what you can deliver

Companies want confident employees, not just a warm body to fill a seat. People tend to perform better when they love their work. Analyze the job description and show that you have what it takes to get the job done. Elaborate on strengths that match the qualifying criteria of the job description. 

Be brief

Being brief could be one of the hardest parts of an exceptional cover letter. Stick to one page. Often managers are bombarded with applications, so sticking to the point will be appreciated. A good guideline is 300 to 350 words in about four paragraphs. Don’t risk wearing down a potential employer with too much information. Short IS sweet! 

Address your cover letter to a person

It may not seem like much, but addressing your cover letter to a real person will be appreciated. If you can’t find the name of the person hiring for the position in the job posting, call the company. One phone call for a name and title of the person hiring for the job is a quick task that will have great results. Your effort will get noticed. 

Say Thank You

It seems simple enough, right? It’s often overlooked and can, in that case, leave a poor impression. This polite gesture shows gratitude for the valuable time it will take a hiring manager to read your cover letter. A gracious thank you could be the difference between moving to the next step of the hiring process or your resume ending up in the shred bin. 

Proofread, proofread, proofread!

We cannot stress this enough. You have taken the time to get your exceptional cover letter perfect, so don’t skip this step. Use an electronic grammar and spelling check or ask a friend to proofread your cover letter. Spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors can be glaring when you are one of many vying for the same position, and you do not want to appear careless. 

Your exceptional cover letter plays a vital role in finding that next perfect job. Use your cover letter to show you can perform well, are likable, and would be an excellent fit for the company.