Do Cover Letters Help? (Career Advice)

Cover letters are the unsung heroes of job search. They’re like the duct tape of the recruiting and hiring process: If you do it right, people will never even notice that you used a cover letter. But if you mess up your cover letter, then no matter how perfect your resume is, it’s not going to get read by an actual human being (at least not one who can hire you).

In this guide, we’ll discuss why cover letters are so important in today’s job search landscape and what makes them truly effective

How To Write a Cover Letter: Top 3 Tips, Format & Examples
A well-written cover letter can help you stand out to potential employers.
Cover letters should be customized for each job application.
Keep your cover letter concise and to the point, ideally one page or less.
Address your cover letter to a specific person whenever possible.
A cover letter and resume should work together to present a cohesive picture of your qualifications and experience.

Introduce Yourself In A Cover Letter

You should begin your cover letter by introducing yourself and explaining why you are writing. You can do this by writing something like, “I am writing in response to the open position for [insert job title here] that was advertised on [insert company name here]. I am very interested in this position because…”

Include information about how long you’ve been working at your current job, what kind of experience you have, and any other relevant qualifications. Try not to go into too much detail here just give a brief overview of what makes you suitable for this particular role.

Next, include your contact information at the bottom of the page so that it’s easy for potential employers to reach out if they want more information about hiring you or scheduling an interview.

When writing a cover letter, it’s important to explain why you are a good fit for the job. Our article on why you are a good fit for a job can help you craft a compelling message that highlights your qualifications and shows why you’re the right candidate for the position.

Explain Why You’re A Great Fit

One of the best ways to make sure your cover letter gets read is to explain why you’re a great fit for the job. The most helpful thing you can do here shows how your skills and experience match up with what’s required for the position. 

For example, if it’s an entry-level position, explain how previous work experience or education will help prepare you for this role. Or if it’s a managerial role that requires significant decision-making skills, point out how past leadership roles have given you experience making tough calls.

This isn’t just about stating facts it’s also about convincing employers that they should hire someone like them (you). So be sure to mention any relevant experiences and skills early on in your letter so readers know exactly what sets you apart from other candidates right away. 

If possible, add some specifics about what makes these experiences/skills valuable: “I helped increase sales by 20% while working at ABC Company” versus “I’ve worked in sales before.”

Tie Your Cover Letter To The Job Ad

The best way to stand out in your cover letter is to show that you are familiar with the company and position. Here’s how:

Read the job ad carefully. This can be obvious, but it’s important to make sure that you’ve read the job posting before submitting a cover letter and resume. You’ll have a better idea of what the hiring manager wants from an ideal candidate if you know exactly what skills are needed for this job and which ones are most desirable.

Make sure your cover letter is tailored specifically for this company and position. If a company has multiple openings at once as many large companies do it can be difficult for them to find candidates who fit their requirements perfectly across all openings at once 

So try writing several different versions of your cover letter if necessary (and let them know which one applies to each specific opening).

Are cover letters really necessary? According to our article on whether cover letters matter, the answer is yes. A well-written cover letter can set you apart from other candidates and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job.

Write A Great First Paragraph

You should start with the same opening paragraph you would use in a cover letter, but that’s where the similarities end. You should include a brief personal anecdote about how you found the job listing and why it appealed to you. Some examples might be:

  • I’m interested in this position because.
  • I think your company is awesome and I’d love to work for it!
  • This position fits my skill set perfectly, so I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring.

Convey Enthusiasm

Now is the time to sell yourself in the position. You may be a perfect fit, but if you don’t make it clear in your cover letter, who will know? Your cover letter should indicate that you are genuinely enthusiastic about both the company and its specific role within it. 

Express how much of an honor it would be to contribute your talents and skills and how much you’d love to do so at this particular company!

Don’t be afraid to go overboard here; even if they never get past this section, they’ll remember how enthusiastic you were about working with them. 

The right balance is key: too little enthusiasm can make a perfectly good candidate seem uninterested or apathetic; too much enthusiasm (aside from being insincere) might come across as desperate or amateurish.

Curious about whether cover letters actually help in the job search process? Our article on whether cover letters help breaks down the pros and cons of including one with your application, and provides tips for making your cover letter stand out.

Showcase Your Skills And Strengths

Include any relevant experience. If you have a particular skill or strength that’s important for the position, include it. For example, if you know that your organization is looking for someone with strong writing and communication skills, mention how you’ve helped clients write content in the past.

Keep it short and sweet. Your cover letter should be one page long at most if it’s too long, readers will just see all of those words as clutter and won’t even bother reading through them!

Proofread your cover letter! Nothing turns off hiring managers more than grammatical errors or typos in your cover letter (or resume). It shows that you don’t take the time to proofread what comes out of your head before sending it out into the world where other people will see it too

Include Any Relevant Experience

Did you know that if you have relevant experience, it’s a good idea to include it in your cover letter? If not, here’s the deal: if you don’t have any relevant experience and are applying for a job that requires specific skills or knowledge (like being able to write code), then don’t mention this lack in your cover letter. 

You should also avoid making up details about yourself or otherwise embellishing your resume with claims about your abilities or accomplishments to make yourself seem more qualified than what is stated on paper.

If, however, there’s some kind of gap in employment history where employers can easily find out whether or not someone has been employed at another job but didn’t list it on their resume because they feel like it would make them look bad then, by all means, include this information! 

This will help set the tone for how honest and transparent an applicant is being when they’re trying to get hired somewhere else down the line so future employers will be able to trust them more easily without having anything negative pop up unexpectedly during an interview process down the road later again.

Writing a cover letter can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out our expert advice on how to write a cover letter to learn about the essential elements of a great cover letter, as well as some common mistakes to avoid.

Keep It Short And Sweet

Keep it short and sweet. Cover letters don’t need to be very long, but you shouldn’t go on and on either. The shorter your cover letter is, the better. While there’s no hard rule about how long a cover letter should be, most experts agree that one page is sufficient.

Remember that a lot of recruiters are going to be reading hundreds of these things during their job search—so make yours stand out by being succinct! Break up your text with bullet points or lists where possible; they help clarify what you’re saying while keeping things brief.

And don’t forget to use an easy-to-read font like Arial or Calibri (which are default fonts in most word processors).

Keep it professional; avoid jargon or slang terms so as not to confuse any readers who might not understand what they mean outside of your industry space(s). Don’t write a novel; just remember: Keep it quick!

Proofread Your Cover Letter!

Proofreading your cover letter, as well as the rest of your resume and application, is one of the most important things you can do. You want to make sure that everything looks professional and reflects who you are as a person. The last thing you want is for someone to see an error in your writing or formatting it makes you look unprofessional and unprepared.

The best way to find errors in your documents is by having someone else proofread them for you. It’s good practice to have multiple sets of eyes check overall content before submitting it anywhere; it prevents mistakes from getting through undetected!

There are many tools available online today that can help with proofreading. Some websites offer spell checkers while others provide grammar checks or readability scores based on Flesch-Kincaid tests (which rate how easy it is for readers). 

Other sites even allow users to upload their documents so other people can send feedback about them directly from within their web browser window! These features are super helpful because they allow users quick access without having any additional software installed locally on their computer system.

A well-crafted cover letter can make all the difference in getting the job you want. If you’re not sure how to make your cover letter stand out, our article on how a cover letter can help you get your desired job offers some useful tips and strategies for creating a compelling message that showcases your strengths and qualifications.


If you’re looking for a job, the most important thing is to make sure that your cover letter is as amazing as it can be. A good cover letter will help you stand out from other applicants and show off the skills that you have. With the tips above in mind, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles until one click and then use it as a template for future applications too!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you improve your cover letter:

Why Cover Letters are Important: This article from Michael Page explains why cover letters are an essential part of your job application, and provides tips for making your cover letter stand out.

Cover Letters: Prospects provides a comprehensive guide to cover letters, including what to include in your letter, how to format it, and examples to help you get started.

The Importance of Cover Letters: Indeed offers insights on why cover letters are important and how they can help you get noticed by employers. The article also includes tips on writing a great cover letter.


Here are some common questions about cover letters, along with their answers:

What should be included in a cover letter?

A cover letter should include a brief introduction, a description of how your skills and experience match the job requirements, and a closing statement. It should also be customized for each job you apply for.

How long should a cover letter be?

A cover letter should be one page or less, and should include only the most relevant information. Be concise and to the point.

Should I address my cover letter to a specific person?

Whenever possible, it’s best to address your cover letter to a specific person. Use the job listing or company website to find the name of the hiring manager or HR representative.

Can a cover letter make up for a weak resume?

While a strong cover letter can help compensate for a weak resume, it’s still important to have a well-written and tailored resume. A cover letter and resume should work together to present a cohesive picture of your qualifications and experience.

How do I make my cover letter stand out?

To make your cover letter stand out, be sure to customize it for each job you apply for, focus on your most relevant qualifications and achievements, and use clear, concise language. Use keywords from the job description and highlight your unique strengths and accomplishments.