A truly successful cover letter template

With so many examples and cover letter templates available, and so many things to say about yourself and your work, it’s easy to over-think your approach to writing a cover letter. A truly successful cover letter template is simple in form and function and is really about setting the stage for your resume, and finding the right balance between personality and professionalism.

Making your cover letter too long, or adding extraneous information can at best, take your reader’s focus away from your main message, and at worst, turn them off to you completely.  The idea is to sharpen their focus toward you and your work and never clutter or distract.  A letter, from your head or a good cover letter template, has a simple purpose – as a tool to get the reader to review your resume and set up a meeting.

The following are some tips to help keep simplicity in mind, and create a best-in-class cover letter:

Make Every Word Count – If it doesn’t pertain to your goal of achieving a resume review – leave it out!

  • Avoid Over-Used Clichés and Phrases – If you want them to take action, not be bored to death, use original language and re-phrase familiar terms to describe yourself and your qualifications. The best cover letter templates understand this and offer more inventive language.
  • Don’t Get Too Cute – With overdone color, or busy graphics.   They want to see what’s in the cover letter, not what’s on it.
  • Edit, Edit, Edit! – Once you think you’ve finished the cover letter, go back and make it at least 20% shorter.  Cull it down to its very essence. Employers are inundated daily with many employee choices.  Stand out with clean, efficient language and a straightforward message. The easier it is to get to know you through your cover letter, the greater your chances to reach your ultimate goal – the job of your dreams.

Whether your style is clean and edgy, or tasteful and professional, the “less is more” mantra should inform every aspect of your resume and cover letter writing style. To get more from your cover letter – less really is the way to go.