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The Art of the Cover Letter

The place is packed with eligible suitors. You know that you’ve got qualities and experience that makes you a perfect match, if only they’d get to know you a little better- but first you’ve got mere precious seconds to make a memorable first impression. So what’s your opening line?

A good cover letter is equivalent to the perfect opening line at a party. One that gives your intended audience a good feeling about you right from the moment they meet you. Every letter should be uniquely written for the job you are applying for – it shouldn’t be the same old tired line you used on the girl/guy in the other room. Your cover letter should indicate you have read and understood what the posting is about, and what the company does. It should draw a clear line between your qualifications and the requirements of the position. In other words, you need to make it easy to understand how your skills and experience are relevant to the position you are applying for.

Connections that seem obvious to you may not be to the person reading your résumé. Don’t try to sell them on how cool their company is. It’s ok to be enthusiastic but don’t try to impress them with your enthusiasm, it can easily come off as insincere.Keep your cover letter concise; a paragraph or two is sufficient. Try to reflect the tone set in the job description or the company’s website. Anything you can do to show you would fit in to the company culture helps, and the cover letter is your best chance to do that.

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