7 Tips to Improve Your Cover Letter

Ashley Jezek | August 27, 2021

A cover letter is more than just a formality. Often, they are the first meaningful impression you’ll give to a potential employer. Unlike a resume, a cover letter is your opportunity to justify your place in an organization and emphasize what makes you unique. If your resume is a collection of your professional plot points, then consider your cover letter the story that ties them together.

However, it can be a challenge to craft the ideal cover letter, especially as an up-and-coming professional. Fortunately, we’ve curated a collection of tips to help you write a story worthy of applause.

Before we dive in, remember every job you apply for is different, so never write the same cover letter twice.

Personalize

It’s important to address the hiring manager. Not only is it common courtesy, but it shows that you’ve done your research on the organization. Even if this information isn’t readily available, you should still avoid clichés like, “To whom it may concern.” Instead, use a relevant title, such as “Marketing Hiring Manager.”

Don’t dump your resume

Though your cover letter might complement and lean on your resume, it doesn’t serve the same purpose. Mirroring your resume is redundant and can waste an employer’s time — not to mention your own. Instead, a cover letter should accent your resume and focus on why you’re the best fit for the job.

You are the solution

When researching an organization and your role within it, consider the ways you could make an impact. Doing so shows a hiring manager that you’re already envisioning how you can elevate their business and encourage them to learn more through an interview.

Avoid self-sabotage

Though it may seem obvious, we sometimes draw attention to our weaknesses without knowing it. Avoid qualifying phrases, such as starting a sentence with, “Though I may lack experience…” The hiring manager will determine whether or not your experience is relevant; you don’t need to undersell yourself and do it for them.

Don’t be too formal

Be yourself when writing your cover letter. Using complex language might feel like the right call, but if it isn’t how you actually speak, then it can come off as stodgy and unnatural.

Keep it brief

A long-winded cover letter can bore a hiring manager, even if it’s filled with seemingly relevant details. Cut yours down to a single page and break it up into paragraphs for better readability.

Proofreading

Review and edit your cover letter multiple times. If possible, get feedback from the people you trust to ensure it accurately reflects who you are.

With these tips in mind, writing a cover letter can go from daunting to invigorating. Not only can it remind you of how capable you are for a position, but it can also help you prepare for a possible interview.

You’d be surprised how far a strong cover letter can take you. Put these tips to the test and apply at Paycom today!

About the author
Author picture, Ashley Jezek
Ashley Jezek
As a recruiting marketer for Paycom, Ashley Jezek helps the recruiting teams determine their goals and assists with strategy development. Her efforts include campaign management, engaging with top talent and increasing brand awareness. After earning a public relations degree from the University of Oklahoma, Jezek served as marketing team lead for OU's Tom Love Innovation Hub and joined Paycom as a marketing database specialist. Her hobbies include spending time with her family, attending concerts and cooking.