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Despite the fact that most companies do not require a cover letter when you are applying for a job, it is highly recommended that you submit one anyways. Unfortunately, some job seekers do not know what should or should not be included, and their poorly-written cover letters are the reason they never got called for an interview. Below are a few tips which will help you write an effective cover letter:

1) Be concise. Your cover letter is meant to be a formal introduction to your resume, and the resume is the document that will “sell” your skills and abilities to potential employers. Throughout my years as a resume writer, I have seen cover letters up to three pages in length. Yes, you read that right! Keep your cover letter brief (one page maximum) and mention a few highlights that will persuade the reader to take a look at your resume.

2) Avoid repetition. Your cover letter should mention which job you are applying for, how your skills are applicable to the job, and then introduce the resume. Often times, job seekers will include information on the cover letter that is already mentioned on the resume. Rewriting your resume into a paragraph format, then calling it a cover letter, is a quick way to get your resume tossed out. Listing a few major items on the cover letter is fine, but make sure your cover letter doesn’t turn into a career biography.

3) Be consistent. One of the easiest strategies to ensure your cover letter and resume are effective is to be consistent. Use the same font, design, and layout on your cover letter that you do on your resume. A well-designed and well-written cover letter and resume combination is your key to landing interviews, so take the time to ensure everything is properly formatted.

By Drew Roark