10 Ways To Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

10 Ways To Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

February 9, 2012

By Natalia

Hundreds of resumes are flooding into many hiring and HR managers. So how do you get someone’s attention? Does your cover letter “kill” or get thrown in the “b” pile? Many of your comments indicate that some of you think that using a cover letter is a relic of the past, while others have discovered that a well crafted cover letter actually differentiated them from the herd of followers. To the non-believers, you can just keep filing out those online applications and HOPE for a response. But for those who are proactive and innovative, a cover letter can lead to new opportunities. If you already found the perfect job, you probably would not be reading this. So maybe it’s time to take a leap of faith “back to the future” with a well-crafted cover letter.

boxmanYour cover letter is the first impression that you give employers. Sometimes without a GOOD cover letter, your resume does not get the attention it deserves. Let’s face it; resumes get skipped over all the time. That’s why you have to come up with a strategy on how to sell yourself to this potential employer. Set yourself apart by telling the employer how you will help them achieve their goals and what they reap if they hire you. If a cover letter does not attract the reader’s attention in the first paragraph, then, your chances of being called for an interview are drastically reduced. An employer may have a hundred or more resumes to look through and he or she is probably limited in time to make their selection. Here are a few tips that can help you toward a high quality cover letter.

Tip #1:

If you are going to mail your cover letter, then, use high-quality white paper; it’s thicker than typewriter or printer paper. Avoid elaborate or colored stationery. Print a clean final copy to send, not a photocopy. Make sure there are no smudges or grease marks on the paper. Keep your extra copies in a large envelope or manila folder.

(Reader Comments:)

“FYI to those who think mailing isn’t worth it: I just mailed 217 covers/resumes to recruiting offices in the Midwest. I’ve received more calls, e-mails and one-on-one service in the last 10 days than I did in the whole first 5 months of my search. Think about it…you don’t just drop into the electronic void, they have to contact you and request the electronic copy. Have to say mailing worked great for me.”)

Tip #2:

Keep your cover letter brief and to the point. Your letter should not go over one page. Use short paragraphs and bullet points whenever possible. Avoid excessive words when fewer words will get your point across equally. Construct your cover letter to have the same format style as your resume.

Tip #3:

Highlight a most recent accomplishment or credential that you are proud of. This gives employers a hint of what you are capable of doing. Impress the employer with your skills and qualifications.

Tip# 4:

If you’re e-mailing your letter, make sure your document will open properly as an attachment and that your computer system is virus-free.

Tip #5:

Your return address should appear in the top right hand corner, without your name. As a general rule, you should avoid abbreviations in the addresses of your cover letters, although abbreviating the state is common in all business correspondence. The date should appear two lines beneath your return address on the right hand side of the page. Write out the date; do not use the abbreviated format. Example: February 11, 2012.

Tip #6:

Always try to find the name and proper title of the addressee before you send out a cover letter. Two lines beneath the date on the left margin of the letter, list the full name of the addressee preceded by Mr. or Ms. (Do not use Miss or Mrs., even if you happen to know the marital status of the addressee). On the next line, list the individual’s formal title; on the subsequent line, list the name of the company. This is followed by the company’s address, which generally takes two lines. The salutation should be typed two lines beneath the company’s address. It should begin with “Dear Mr.” or “Dear Ms.” You should never use “To Whom It May Concern.”

Tip #7:

Request an interview or follow-up call in your closing paragraph. This gives the impression that you are eager and ready. Truth be told, sometimes you have to follow up yourself and call the employer to check the status. However, be patient. Give them at least a week to follow-up.

Tip #8

Use a professional ending such as “Respectfully yours,” or “Sincerely”. Don’t forget to sign your name; preferably, black ink. Nothing looks worse than a letter with a big white space where the signature is supposed to be. E-mailed cover letters are exempt to this.

Tip #9:

Do not use the same cover letter for every job that you are applying for. Tailor your cover letter to that particular company.

Tip #10:

Most important: PROOFREAD! PROOFREAD! PROOFREAD! Use spell check and if available, have someone else look over it. Nothing is better than two pairs of eyes. Misspelled words will definitely send your resume to the bottom of the pile and possibly overlooked!

Written by Tressa Manns. I am a freelance writer and working the 9-5 as a Human Resources Supervisor. My goal is to utilize all my skills in acting, writing, promoting and marketing. △

Reprinted From:


Customer Service

Customer Service

By Sheena Williams

When most people think of customer service they think of sweating away in a fast food restaurant or maybe sitting on the phone in a cubicle eating Cheetos. That could not be further from the truth!

Customer service is exactly what it sounds like, providing service for customers. When you walk into a business of any type, you expect at the very least to be greeted customer-serviceand treated with respect, and rightly so! When you leave said business, you expect to have all of your needs taken care of within reason, and as a customer, you should. Not only should you expect this, you should also be giving this. As a Customer Service Rep, you were hired to make money or solve a problem, not lose money and cause problems.  So, we here at CampusJobXpress have a customer service cheat sheet to help you on your way.

  1. Use Common Sense. You should strive to treat people as you would want to be treated. If you expect someone to do anything they can to make your visit worthwhile, then, you should be willing to do the same. Granted, there are people who are naturally rude, but as an employee, you should do your best not to sink to that level. Continue to smile. It is not worth it losing your job due to a rude or disrespectful smileindividual. Just take a deep breath and continue to use the Golden Rule where applicable.
  2. Be Responsive. If someone asks you a question, sends an e-mail or makes a phone call, do your best to answer it or find someone who can give them an answer. You are providing a service that someone wants, and you run the risk of losing business by not providing it. Even if you don’t provide that particular service, you can help them find another department or politely let them know you don’t provide that service at this time.business card
  3. Make It Easy To Contact You. It is never remiss for you to make business cards. Maybe you have a specialized service, or maybe you can answer questions or resolve issues with ease. By making yourself easy to contact, you make it easier for people to see you as an expert when something is going wrong. This means more customers and more contacts. It’s a win/win for everyone involved!
  4. Listen. I cannot stress enough how often I have asked a customer service person, a lawyer, a CEO, or a fast food worker a simple question and an attitude suddenly appears out of nowhere. Keep in mind that not everyone knows the answer to even the most basic things. If they knew these things, they wouldn’t need to come to you. It shouldn’t be a bother to do your job as well as to listen for a few minutes. You may not have the answer, however, you can direct them to where the answer can be found. Listen to the complete problem, repeat it for understanding, and ask questions for clarity, then find a way to solve it. It’s that simple!listen
  5. Adapt. As stated above, customers have all sorts of questions. So when they come into your place of business, you need to be open to helping them, however you can. Let them lead and see where they need to go with each interaction you have with them. They may only need a small part to a piece of the puzzle. Don’t try to sell them the whole puzzle. This may be hard if you work on a sales job, so it’s recommended to do as your guidelines dictate, but do them within reason. You will get more repeat business by doing what the customer wants and needs rather than by giving them things they neither need or want.
  6. Embrace Social Media. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. All of these things are tools that you need to get get familiar with and social-mediause. If you don’t know how, find a class, a student, a second cousin, maybe even a daughter or grandson (if you’re lucky enough to be a grandparent) to help you navigate your way through the electronic jungle. You can notify people of sales, maybe suggest upcoming events, or just keep them abreast of what’s going on. It’s just another way of making yourself accessible to customers.
  7. Honor Your Word. Your word should always be your bond. If you tell someone that you are going to do something, then, by all means and by all cost, you should do it. Things do happen, and if you can’t honor your word, then you need to apologize profusely and find a way to rectify the situation as soon as possible. This builds trust with your clientele and it  keeps them coming back to conduct more business.keep your word

Remember. You are the representative of your company. What you do during your on-the-clock hours directly affects what people think of your company when they are away. Provide customer service, and being polite can go a long way to make everyone feel at ease. It doesn’t matter where you work, customer service is always acceptable and very much needed and appreciated! △