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What Makes A Good Cover Letter

Nov 13, 2007
A good cover letter is a finely-tuned, multi-tasking masterpiece. It plays many different roles at once. Some basic, standard rules apply to any good cover letter. The prep time you take in writing your cover letter is as important as an actor practicing their lines. Think of your cover letter as your first audition for a great role. A memorable performance is sure to get your name picked for a call back. A quality, original cover letter shows the reader that the climax is yet to come. Enter the job theater with a strong sense of what kind of role you want to play. Then let your cover letter drive you all the way to center stage.

Good cover letters have stage presence. When the letter is opened the reader's immediate response should be positive and excited. It should not take any more than a glance at the page to trigger an interest in finding out more...more ...more. Bold headlines that are direct and targeted to a specific person get your point across with ease. ALL CAPS IS ACCEPTABLE for titling purposes - as is bold-type and italicizing. A creative eye-catching statement makes for a rapt audience. Take care not to overuse text formatting, though. Too much will make your cover letter sloppy and childish. Be consistent throughout the letter, using familiar fonts that are easy to read. Good choices include Arial, Times New Roman and Verdana. Size twelve fonts are the general rule of thumb for almost all types of cover letter. Size ten is acceptable but can be difficult to read and makes for busy looking text if the letter is long. Be brief you do not want your cover letter to be any longer than it has to be.

Good cover letters have a great opening act. Follow up that show stopper headline with a strong supporting cast of facts and you can bet the hiring manager will take remember your name. Opening sentences should tell the reader something about you and indicate how you heard about the position. If a valued employee of the company told you about the job, make mention of it now. Name-dropping establishes your ability to network and gives the hiring manager a convenient contact for reference purposes. Make connections between the job description and your work history or credentials. Carefully chosen verbs clarify your cover letter content making it action-packed and interesting.

Good cover letters put you in the spotlight. Claim your fifteen minutes of fame when you tell the hiring manager about yourself. Accent any volunteer work or community service that you participate in and support. This indicates that you like to have a job with purpose and that you are motivated to make a positive difference in your town or neighborhood. Share your passion for activism or advocacy. Actions speak louder than words, so provide a few examples, especially if those examples relate directly to the available position in anyway. Giving the reader a short preview of your resume is certain to keep them sitting on the edge of their seat.

Good cover letters are written for the audience. Long, boring monologues will only inspire an overworked hiring manager to leave your cover letter and your resume on the cutting room floor. A letter riddled with bad grammar, mistyped information and poorly worded content is just liable to get you edited out of the picture without so much as a walk-on part. Think reader-friendly when you construct your layout and put it all together. Your cover letter is your intro, your biography, your list of credits and your audition all rolled into one award-worthy performance.

A good cover letter may not get you a star on your office door and your own private dressing room but it will get your foot in the door nonetheless. Your seat on the casting couch is assured if you craft it with care and consideration for the reader. Script your cover letter to showcase your achievements, experience and education. A good cover letter is one that features you in the very best light possible. Depict yourself as a rising star and your chances for the lead role you desire will be waiting in the wings. If it is good enough, it might net a standing ovation.
About the Author
Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For more information on how to write a good cover letter checkout his recommended websites.
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