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Best Cover Letters 2014

Cover Letters That Will Help Land an Interview

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Best Cover Letters 2014

Use your cover letter to show the employer how you are qualified for the job.

Image Copyright Getty Images / Cavan Images

Cover letters are required by most employers, and a well-written, compelling cover letter can show the hiring manager that you are a must-interview candidate.  Concise and connected works best when writing cover letters this year.

You don’t need fancy graphics. Rather, you simply need to show the employer that you have taken the time to write a letter which clearly defines your qualifications for the job.

Customization Counts

Cover letters are all about customization this year. Your cover letter needs to show, at a glance, why you’re a leading candidate for the job. Recruiters don’t have time for generic documents and view job seekers who furnish these kinds of materials as unmotivated and out of touch.  

If you don’t take the time to customize your letters, you might as well not bother sending them.

How to Customize Your Cover Letter

Carefully review the job requirements for your target job and make sure you connect your qualifications to those requirements in your letter.  Include the skills, experience and education which line up with the job requirements. Make sure you include references to the specific accomplishments and results you achieved.

Cover Letters Are Shrinking

Your cover letter doesn’t need to be long. In many cases, candidates are using email in tandem with their resume when applying for jobs instead of a traditional full length cover letter.  The result has been shorter cover letters.  

The key is to be concise and focused, because your cover letter is only going to have seconds (10 at the most) to convince the hiring manager you’re worth a closer look.

Three Paragraphs Are Plenty

Your cover letter never needs to be more than a page and should include three paragraphs:

  • Why you are writing (your interest and general qualifications)
  • Why you are qualified (highlighting specific accomplishments)
  • Thank you (and a request for information on the next step in the hiring process)

Make a List

One way to easily show the employer you have the skills they need is to include a list of qualifications and the skills you have that are a match. Take three or four of the key requirements and list your qualifications in the next column.

Requirements                     My Qualifications  

Job Requirement                 Your Qualification
Job Requirement                 Your Qualification
Job Requirement                 Your Qualification
Job Requirement                 Your Qualification

Cover Letter Samples

Before you start writing, review cover letter examples to get ideas for what to include in your own letters. Here are a variety of examples:

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