Home > Cover Letters > How to Write a Cover Letter to Get You Noticed

How to Write a Cover Letter to Get You Noticed

By: Angelique Caffrey - Updated: 21 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
How To Write A Cover Letter To Get You Noticed

Your curriculum vita (CV) may be incredible, but if your cover letter's not as spectacular, no one may ever even see the CV.

A good many job seekers forget that their cover letter operates as a sort of first impression. When paired with a solid CV, the cover tells the employer that the job applicant is professional and thorough. On the flip side, a misspelled, inaccurate cover letter says, "Don't hire this person!"

Ironically, the most important weapon you have in ensuring that your cover letter shines is the position advertisement itself.

Typically, job opening ads contain pertinent details about the responsibilities of the position, the necessary qualifications that candidates must have to fulfil those expectations and perhaps a bit of background about the company. It's up to you to use the employer's most "important" words (aka, "key words") in your cover letter.

Use Key Words and Phrases

For instance, if an advertisement states that it wants people who are "dedicated", "mature" and "creative", it will behove you to use those terms somewhere in your cover letter. Obviously, you don't want to repeat them verbatim (as in "I am dedicated, mature, and creative"); however, if you weave those adjectives throughout your cover, you'll be more likely to catch the attention of whoever is screening the CVs.

Additionally, your cover letter should echo the qualifications you have that match the qualifications requested in the ad copy. If the posting wants someone "with a background in management" and you've been an IT manager for the past year, mention it somewhere in your cover letter. There's no need to go into too much detail, but you can easily add this fact in a natural way.

How Long Should My Cover Letter be?

As far as length is concerned, most cover letters follow a one-page rule. The exception would be if you're trying to attain a position that has a significant number of requirements or is academic in nature. If this is the case, you may want to consider a longer, more comprehensive cover letter.

Typically, three or four paragraphs are sufficient to whet the prospective employer's appetite and entice him or her to turn the page to your CV. The first paragraph should be an opening, but avoid terms like "hello", "hi", or "greetings". This isn't an email to a good friend - it's a professional letter.

The second (and perhaps third as well) paragraph should highlight your qualifications (using those key words from the advertisement). And the final paragraph should tell how to get in touch with you. (It may also include salary requirements if those are specifically requested.)


Of course, it's critical to always proofread your cover letter before sending. (You might be surprised at the number of errors one cover can contain… and that usually results in the applicant never making it to the job interview stage.) Just to be on the safe side, ask someone else to read it, too. Then, sign it and attach it to your CV.

At this point, you'll know that you've done everything possible to make your cover letter (essentially your "calling card") work for you. Remember that it's not intended to take the place of your CV; it's meant to introduce the CV. Keep that in mind, and your odds of getting a phone call from your prospect will greatly increase.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Sasha
    Re: Credentials Needed to Become a CV Writer
    Hello, I am interested in starting up a business in CV writing as this is something I enjoy doing and have received…
    24 January 2020
  • Lewis
    Re: A CV for a Teenager
    I'm a student studying GCSE levels and looking fot work experience. Also looking to make money.
    18 January 2020
  • GreatCVs
    Re: A CV for a Teenager
    this website is being shut down because nobody uses it and we have seen alot of minorites coming to the site we dont like minorites
    12 November 2019
  • Prof. Hugh Janus
    Re: A CV for a Teenager
    Good evening ladies and gentleman, I am Professor Hugh Janus PHD in Microscopy. My students very much enjoy this website while making their…
    5 November 2019
  • Prof. Big D
    Re: A CV for a Teenager
    Good evening ladies and gentleman, I am Professor Hugh Janus PHD in Microscopy. My students very much enjoy this website while making their…
    5 November 2019
  • pete
    Re: A CV for a Teenager
    Yeah sure charles lets teach him a lesson ;)
    21 June 2019
  • charles
    Re: A CV for a Teenager
    Hey Pete can i join you in that basement
    20 June 2019
  • linards
    Re: A CV for a Teenager
    Dont listen to alex it was all me my name is linards prodnieks
    19 June 2019
  • GreatCVs
    Re: A CV for a Teenager
    Our company has banned your IPs and you won't be able to use them next week but you have until Monday. The police are investigating this…
    18 June 2019
    Re: A CV for a Teenager
    Okay Okay Alex Boor I Get Your frustrated how pete did such a thing to you but we are still I'm a investigation of who cumed on my wife and…
    18 June 2019