Impactful, distinct and concise cover letters get job interviews

Cover letters, those daunting self important documents that everyone dreads writing. Some say that you don’t even need them; that they aren't often read. They are still needed and are quite relevant. Follow this expert advice to make your cover letter stand out.


Cartoon with check mark

  • praise the company
  • write a passion paragraph
  • keep it short
  • make it conversational
  • ask for an interview

Cartoon with x mark

  • send it through the mail
  • over share
  • send it with typos
  • start every sentence with the same word or clause
  • go too soft

[publishpress_authors_data]'s recommendation to ExpertBeacon readers: Do

Do praise the company

The biggest reason cover letters don’t carry a punch is because the candidate hasn't properly conveyed to the potential employer why they want to work there. Praise the company over and over. Talk about why you would like to work for them. Talk about what you know of them. Talk about their reputation. Share whatever you know, and if you don’t know anything, do some research.

Do write a passion paragraph

Equally important in getting a cover letter to stand out from the stack is to properly convey your passion. Why do you want to do this work? Why of the stacks of resumes in front of them, should they not overlook yours? What is the why behind why you’ve chosen this career?

Do keep it short

Ideally cover letters are half a page. If you need to take up a full page, just make sure that it’s balanced with lots of passion statements. Try never to go past one page.

Do make it conversational

I can’t speak to professional fields i.e: lawyers, doctors, but for the average role, an informal tone is best. “Dear Hiring Manager…” is a great opening heading. Cover letters can be a simple introductory text in an email, they don’t have to be formatted in traditional letter format.

Do ask for an interview

At the end of your letter, declare your interest and how you look forward to a chance to interview.

[publishpress_authors_data]'s professional advice to ExpertBeacon readers: Don't

Do not send it through the mail

Sorry USPS, but the days of paper and mail resumes are gone. If you send yours through the mail, even as a follow up to an online submission, you run the risk of appearing out of touch with modern times.

Do not over share

The cover letter is a tease of what they’ll find on your resume, and what they’ll learn by meeting you. Explain how you’re eager to share your stories of success in an interview, don’t recount them all on the cover letter.

Do not send it with typos

Make sure you've edited the cover letter thoroughly. Don’t rely on spell check to catch everything. I've known many a recruiter who will toss a resume with too many misspellings or typos.

Do not start every sentence with the same word or clause

Shake up your writing a bit by the way you craft each sentence. “I was responsible for” or even just a variation on I becomes very tedious to read.

Do not go too soft

Be careful that your letter doesn't drift into the hopelessness category. Write with conviction and remove as many works like “hope” and “try” as you can.


In summary, write from the heart, keep your writing tight and compel the reader to call you. As a recruiter, cover letters can be very dry reading. Aim to make your’s jump out of the pile and excite the reader to call you for an interview, because you want that job!

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