It is honestly the one question we get more than anything (well, other than “can you find me the perfect job?“).

Cover letters are notoriously confusing. Should you simply expand on your resume, can you explain your strengths in detail, should it be casual or formal?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size fits all when it comes to cover letters. However there are some easy tips to make sure your cover letter (and eventually resume) get read.

  1. Be specific – do not simply put “increased department revenue”. Use examples of how you did it and what exactly the outcome was.
  2. Show your personality, but don’t be controversial – it’s ok to be a little humorous, but stay away from iffy topics. Obviously politics and religion are out and if there is a controversial topic in your industry, avoid it.
  3. Use keywords applicant tracking systems are used more and more. Focus on keywords that appear in the job description. Please, for the love of all things holy, use them correctly. Don’t just place words in your cover letter.
  4. Mention any connections – is the hiring manager an Aggie, like you? Heck, put that in and include an antidote. But if he or she went to UT and you’re an Aggie, forget it.
  5. Don’t address cover letter to “whom it may concern” – do some research and find out who you are sending your cover letter and resume to. Sometimes it’s just a phone call.
  6. Tailor every cover letter to the job you’re applying to – are you applying to multiple positions? Make sure every cover letter pertains to the specific job.
  7. Focus on your positives, not negatives (& how you can help the company) – are you lacking some recommended experience? Don’t mention it. Rather, focus on the experience you do have.
  8. Make it 1-page (or if it’s in the body of an email, make sure they don’t have to scroll) – you’re writing a cover letter, not your autobiography.
  9. Name your files with your first, last name, and job – just in case the hiring manager saves attachments, make it easy for them. Name the file ‘MikeSmithWebDeveloper’.
  10. Use hyperlinks – speaking of of making things easy, use hyperlinks to link to your social media accounts, email, etc.

In conclusion, you should consider contacting a professional staffing agency for help finding your next job. And if you’re in IT and looking for work in Dallas-Fort Worth, Maxsys Solutions is one of the area’s exceptional IT Staffing Agencies.