Cover Letters are a Must and Tips for Writing One


Your cover letter is the long-lost other-half of your resume. Not only will your resume be lonely but your overall job application will lack a major part of you – your PERSONALITY.

If the resume is the brain, then the cover letter is the heart. Your heart, to be exact: your personality, your dreams, your aspirations and your story. Together, the resume and cover letter will present a whole and complete candidate to the employer.
Here 5 tips to get that cover letter singing your song:

1. ALWAYS include a cover letter

It does not matter if the position is part-time, full-time, or an internship. You need to include a cover letter. The cover letter will help you tell the employer, in detail, why you want the position and why you are the best candidate. Unlike Cover Letters, Resumes often have a standard format with information presented in bullet points: –

  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Volunteer Experience etc.
  • The bullet points work great as a checklist for an employer to access your matching qualifications to the position. However, the cover letter is more elaborate. The content is entirely your own to edit, write and explain.

    2. Know the Employer

    LinkedIn is your best friend. Why? Because it is the easiest place to search for your potential employer’s name.
    You should address your cover letter to the person who will be your potential supervisor, instead of the generic “Sir/Ma’am”/”To whom it may concern”.
    Hence, you come across as a resourceful candidate who is willing to go the extra bit.
    Other ways to find your employer:

  • Company website under the team page or contact page
  • Call the department or company and ask for the senior team lead’s name
  • Email the HR department and ask for a name
  • 3. K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Sister [and Brother])

    And keep it relevant. The cover letter is your story but you need to pick and choose which part of your story is most relevant to the job you are applying to.
    Topics to touch upon:

  • Achievements: this includes awards, scholarships, and leadership positions from university days. Achievements also include significant changes you made that helped the company reach its goals.
  • Examples: One way to elevate your cover letter is to give them examples of situations from previous positions. The examples can be short anecdotes that highlight a particular skill you demonstrated. Alternatively, hyperlinks are a great way to showcase projects and portfolio work.
  • Industry jargon: Strut your stuff! You have had an in depth education in. Now it is time to prove it. Use the words, phrases and technical jargon that is specific to your industry.
  • For example, a business graduate might write: “We performed a S.W.A.T analysis as a part of the marketing feasibility report.”
    To a Finance recruiter at BMO this would make a lot of sense. To a social media recruiter at Bell Media? Perhaps not.

    4. Is it legible?

    Pay attention to formatting as well. Ask a friend or a mentor to provide you feedback that improves the clarity of the piece. The content should flow from one point to the next.
    Few tips on format:

  • Font – use a font like Calibri, Times New Roman, or Malgun Gothic, that is legible when printed on paper and on screen
  • Paragraphs – break down your points in to digestible chunks. No one likes to read a paragraph that is half a page long
  • Spacing – lack of spacing will make it harder for employers to read the cover letter. You don’t have to Crtl+A and hit the “Multiple” spacing tab, but judge the spacing appropriately
  • 5. Job title and Job number

    This may seem very elementary but this next tip is very crucial. Save the cover letter document with your name, and the job title or number of the position.
    This is a great practice for distinguishing your multiple applications, and it is very helpful for HR to store all the incoming applications too.
    Most job postings will have instructions on how to name the document before uploading into their application software. The following are a few common recommendations:

  • First Initial_Lastname_Job Title
  • First Initial_Lastname_Job Number
  • Lastname_Resume/Coverletter_Job Title
  • Lastname_Resume/Coverletter_Job Number

  • We hope that these tips help you bring your cover letters to the next level. If you follow these tips carefully, your application will stand out from the rest and will definitely grab employers’ attention. For more cover letter writing tips, keep reading!