Cover letters are one of the most difficult things to nail down as you work on your strategy to become gainfully employed. Yet, they remain a critical aspect of getting noticed by the right companies. If you aren’t careful, it’s very easy for your cover letters to begin sounding identical from one company or position to the next. The longer your job search continues, the more they begin to feel like chain letters too.

Here are a few things you can do that will help your cover letters stand out as unique and not come across sounding like chain letters.

1)   Start each cover letter from scratch. Don’t follow a template or form. You know how they’re supposed to look. Other than following the “business letter” format, keep yours as far away from other cover letters as possible. You don’t want anything bleeding over.

2)   Add a splash of personality to each and every cover letter you send. There’s only one thing that’s really going to make you stand out from hundreds of resumes and cover letters that point out education and achievements as though they are menu items. Personality is what will have them salivating over what you have to offer when “job candidate X” may have a very similar set of circumstances, education, and experience to draw from. In other words, if all things are fairly equal, showing your personality will give you a little bit of an edge.

3)   Make it specific to the job you’re applying for. State a reason that this job with this company means something to you. It will be a sure indication to yourself and the person reading your cover letter at the company, that this cover letter was written just for them. It makes it seem more personal and is much harder to dismiss or overlook.

4)   Remember that the person on the receiving end of the cover letter is an actual human being. Put yourself in his or her shoes. What would you like to see in a cover letter? What would really make one cover letter stand out in a sea of very similar words and allusions?

Finally, the most important thing you can do to avoid a cover letter that reads like a chain letter is to avoid writing a one-size-fits-all cover letter. Form letters devalue the entire purpose of writing cover letters to begin with. It’s the last thing you want to do and one thing that will surely have your resume buried at the bottom of the “no call” file.

When you are ready to launch yourself in the career market, perhaps a visit to the staffing agency in MS is a good start? Work on your cover letter and resume, and then contact TempStaff for great part time, full time, and contract positions in a variety of industries.

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