Writing a Great Cover Letter

Writing a Great Cover Letter

May 06, 2016

While there is some dispute in the personnel community as to whether hiring managers read cover letters, it is best to assume they do. The ones who ask for cover letters certainly read them. And, the truth is, whether your letter is read or not, it demonstrates professionalism to send one. WPS Office can help you with it, and it will make you stand out from the crowd.

You always want your cover letter to be perfect in case the hiring manager does read it. A well-written cover letter can get you an interview, because you will impress the hiring manager before she even sees your resume. These are some of the elements every excellent cover letter should include:

The Actual Name of the Hiring Manager

Avoid falling into the trap of addressing your cover letter to, "Dear Sir or Madam," or, "To Whom It May Concern." These generic greetings show hiring managers that you did not do your due diligence when researching the company. A quick search on the company's website or Google will usually provide the name of the person who will be reading your cover letter. If all else fails, call the company and ask a receptionist or secretary for the name. Using it in your greeting will give you a definite advantage over other candidates.

The Reason You Want to Work at That Particular Company

You should always tell the hiring manager why you are interested in working at their company instead of another. Use the name of the company when you give your reasons, so it won't look as if you are sending out the same generic cover letter to a lot of companies (even if you are doing this, always change the name of the company in your letter). Be truthful in your reasons for wanting to work there. Hiring managers can sense when someone is being insincere or saying what they think the managers want to hear.

Say Why the Person Doing the Hiring Would Want to Work With You

You need to give detailed reasons why the hiring manager would want to work with you. Don't just say you are the best candidate for the job or the most qualified. You don't know who else is applying for the job, so you can't accurately make these claims. Instead, list the attributes you have that would make you an excellent fit for the job, as well as a good co-worker and employee. Let the hiring manager know what unique qualities and skills you would bring to the company.

Perfect Spelling and Grammar

It is mandatory that your cover letter has perfect spelling and grammar. If it has even one mistake, it will likely be thrown in the trash pile, and your resume won't even be reviewed. If you aren't sure if your letter is perfect, have someone who knows grammar and punctuation proofread it. A part of using perfect spelling and grammar is avoiding the use of abbreviations and "text speak," such as "LOL," "SYL," "BRB," "CUSoon," or anything else you would use in a text, but not in a voice conversation. WPS Office comes with a built in spell-check feature to help you make sure you practice perfect spelling and grammar.

Keep It Short and to the Point

Hiring managers don't want to read long cover letters. If yours is more than one page, they will likely either only skim it or discard it without reading it. Ideally, your cover letter should only run about three short paragraphs, but definitely keep it to no more than a page. Follow all these tips, and your cover letter will stand out from the rest and give you an edge over other candidates in getting the job.

For more tips, guides, and information on using WPS Office, please visit our Online Knowledge Base.

About Author

Marketing team in the WPS office located in Mountain View