The Help Files’ Spring Special: Cover Letter Tips & Tricks

fountain-pen-and-paperCover letters provoke their own special level of dread. After all, if you don’t strike gold with your cover letter, the chances that any hiring manager will be forgiving (yeah, right) and proceed to your resume plummet drastically. But unfortunately, most of us spend more time on our resumes than we do on our cover letter.

We might even pay someone to highlight our career achievements for us on our resume. The same cannot be said about the cover letter. We must write our cover letters by ourselves, with our resumes hanging in the balance.

Fear not, however. You have to write by yourself, but you won’t be alone. After all, The Help Files’ Cover Letter Special is here to help.

Note: You might notice the heavy presence here of The Muse. I am not affiliated with them, but I do follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. This site’s authors offer fantastic and actionable advice on careers. Everything from creating resumes to finding out what your dream job might be. I highly recommend that everyone who works for a living follow The Muse using your favorite social media outlet. I try not to miss a single post.

This Is What it Means to Write a Cover Letter for Your Resume

After enduring the agony of writing, editing, rewriting, and updating your resume, some people might be tempted to slap together a cover as a mere formality (Anyone old enough to remember typing out “Dear Sir or Madam, Please find enclosed my application for the job of….”). Don’t do this. Please. Your resume deserves better. Think of your resume as a fine wine. Would you store it in a paper cup, or the best wine bottle you could afford? Pssst: Go with the wine bottle! You want the hiring manager to be curious about you because they’re interested, not because they’re confused. Read this post by Lily Zhang to learn about the four items your cover letter needs to address.

8 Resources to Help You Nail Your Next Cover Letter

Cover letter aren’t easy to write, are they? Resumes might stay basically the same, but those cover letters change all the time. They can be more annoying than mosquitoes. You need to create a new one for every job application. No sooner do you swat one than another one appears, ready to suck your blood. Fear not! Lily Herman has scoured the web for you, pulling in the best resources to help you nail your next cover letter. Swat that cover letter dead!

Attention-Grabbing Cover Letter Examples

Time to start sweating out your cover letter, hammering away. But then you start thinking, okay, just how do I start a cover letter? Glad you asked! I present you with not one, or five, or even ten examples of cover letters, but thirty-one. Yes, thirty-one examples of cover letter intros courtesy of my friends at The Muse. Have a look-see and decide which one suits you the best.

The 8 Cover Letters You Need to Read Now

Cover letters are no fun. Just ask anyone who has written one. Before you burrow into this particular salt mine without a pickax, take a look at this collection of eight fantastic cover letters that were actually sent by real people. Now that you have some examples to build on, get cracking! Courtesy of Lily Herman at The Muse.

How to Write a Cover Letter

Just to show you that I follow more than simply The Muse (a whole lot more, actually), here are some tips and suggestions for writing a cover letter by Alison Doyle, another job search expert I follow. She covers the types of cover letters, provides examples of each, and doesn’t stop there.

Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, circle me on Google+, or email me at craig.cardimon@gmail.com. I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.

Craig Cardimon

Craig Cardimon wears many hats and loves all of them -- technical communicator, content curator, and freelance copywriter. In his not-so-copious spare time, he reads, writes, runs on the local trail, and watches way too much "retro" TV.

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