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Writing Flawless Cover Letters

Sometimes Your Cover Letter's Just Gotta Say WTF

If you haven't already, you'll reach a point in your job search where you think your head will explode if you have to face one more cycle of applying, interviewing, and getting rejected. That's when you need to remind yourself of the immortal line from the movie Risky Business: Sometimes you just gotta say what the f---!  More »

Opening Lines: Let Your Cover Letter Drive Your Resume

Have you ever thought about the effectiveness of the front page of a newspaper or the cover of a magazine? Or how about Jay Leno's show-opening monologue, or the first sentence from the President's State of the Union speech? An effective cover letter serves a similar purpose.  More »

Why You Should Never Copy a Sample Cover Letter

If you've never written a cover letter, or struggled when you've tried to write one, I wouldn't be surprised if you've searched for cover letter samples to copy and use as your own. This is a common approach, but NEWS FLASH: You're not the only one who thought it'd be a good idea. In other words, you risk handing in a cover letter the employer has seen before. I'm not saying you should never borrow from someone else's cover letter; I'm saying you shouldn't copy a sample letter verbatim.  More »

Take it from HR: One Typo Can Kill Your Chances

You can't know whether the person you're emailing will or won't dump you because of a typo on your resume or cover letter. But you can be sure that most job openings are going to attract a lot of applicants, and the folks on the receiving end are going to need some way to make the pool smaller. That's why you have to make sure your resume and cover letter are perfect every time.  More »

Make the Cover Letter Your Secret Weapon

How do I stand out among all those other candidates for the job? It's a question I hear a lot lately. With an average of six candidates for every job opening in the United States, it's hard to know how to get employers to notice you. Everyone is looking for that special trick or magic codeword.  More »

Quick Cover Letter Tip: Add LinkedIn Recommendations

Glowing recommendations in your LinkedIn profile can be a huge help in proving your value as an employee, but they're pretty much useless if employers don't take the time to look you up. So why not call attention to them by adding one to your cover letter? It's a great way to make your case for the job. Here's how.  More »

What to Say in Your Cover Letter

No matter how much advice is out there, a lot of job seekers still seem baffled by the concept of using cover letters. They wonder if they really need a cover letter (yes); if it should just repeat what's in the resume (no); if it has to be customized for every job (yes), and how long it should be (1 page max). But the burning question, the one that really seems to gets people's knickers in a twist, is: What should I say in my cover letter?  More »

When and How to Name-Drop in Your Cover Letter

All the career pros say it's not what you know, but who you know. There's no real scientific proof of that concept, but experience tells us they're right. So if you know someone who works for a company you're applying to, don't be afraid to mention their name in your cover letter. Here are some guidelines to being an effective name-dropper.  More »

3 Ways to Address Salary in Your Cover Letter

Salary is such a delicate part of every job search. You want the job but you don't want to work for free, and you don't want to take a pay cut if you don't have to. So if you find a job ad that requests salary requirements, how do you address it in your cover letter? Here are three options.  More »

Coming Soon to a Cover Letter Near You!

When you go to the movies, you always see previews of the coming attractions. The goal, of course, is to make each member of the audience whisper to their companion, Ooh, that looks good. I can't wait to see the movie! In career terms, your cover letter is the preview and your resume is the movie.  More »
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