Tip: Resume cover letters must communicate. Review your letter to be sure it does the following:
- Makes the case that you are the solution to the employer’s problems.
Gets to the primary subject quickly.
- Solidly connects employer’s job requirements with your background and experience.
- Is written such that all sentences and paragraphs are short and easy to read.
Makes a solid connection with the needs of the prospective employer.
- Has repeated use of the word “you” (i.e., remember that the theme of your resume is what you can do for them, not the other way around).
- Minimizes number of fonts used. One is preferable to me, with sparing use of italics and “bold.”
- Uses a clear and easy to read font that is no smaller than a size “10” or “11.”
- Makes a simple but clear case that you would like to work for them.
- Expresses a reason why they should contact you.
- Factors in a reason to act sooner rather than later.
- Starts the letter by stating your conclusion upfront.
- Supports your position by presenting a quantifiable objective(s) and briefly mentions why is/are relevant.
- Restate major conclusion in a sentence or two at end of letter.
- Makes it easy to reach you: provides multiple ways that you can be contacted (i.e., home telephone, email, street address, and/or cell number at minimum).
Tip: Use specific, measurable terms versus those that are unclear. Examples: “we received numerous inquiries,” versus “we received 170 inquiries.”
Tip: Eliminate use of repetitive and unnecessary words. Example #1: “assisted in the preparation of…,” versus: “assisted in preparing.” Example #2: “responsible for the directing of…,” versus “directed.”
Tip: Use first-person and second-person words (e.g., "I", "we," "my," "our," "you," "your," "yours," etc.), as appropriate, to personalize your resume and cover letter.
Tip: Sometimes it is possible to be too familiar with a document to see it objectively. Consider having someone else review your resume for you, such as a close friend or family member.