A good cover letter is a secret weapon that can set you apart from the rest of the competition. It's more than a requirement or formality, rather it's an opportunity to tell a future employer who you are and what makes you invaluable. Employers are more enticed to engage with resumes when accompanied by a cover letter. Nonetheless, the power of your cover letter is based on the quality and relevance of your writing. Since your cover letter is an example of you and your work, here are a few essential tips to help you format and write a state-of-the-art cover letter:

Do Your Research

Regardless of the position you are applying to, research is the foundation for writing a powerful, convincing, and unique cover letter. Learn about the company, their values, and their history. Study their website to learn from them first hand as thorough research gets you a step closer to an excellent cover letter. Additionally, find their profile on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and other websites that can give you an employee perspective of the organization so that you know the ins and outs of the business. Inform yourself about their perks and career growth opportunities. Lastly, research key people at the company, check your interviewer’s profile and learn about their professional journey and significant milestones with the company.

Always Customize

Cater your cover letter to the roles you are applying to – don't forget to edit your resume, too! You want to showcase the strengths that will allow you to excel in the role you wish to undertake and be a valuable asset to the potential employer. Use your research as the guideline to writing a killer cover letter. Highlight specific qualities that might match the company’s values, state career goals and ambitions that prove to be attainable based on your research. Set the tone of the letter to match the company’s mission and vision.

Tell a Story

Use your cover letter to expose yourself professionally in a positive light. Be open about past job experiences and how these have shaped you as a professional, as well as in your personal life. Share an anecdote, depending on the general tone of your letter you can make it humorous, heroic, or dramatic but always sharing a successful outcome as a professional accomplishment. Also, dedicate a brief paragraph in your cover letter to share a specific task that proved your capabilities and made you a stronger professional.

Keep It Simple and Consistent

The format of a cover letter must have a main idea, a consistent theme and tone, and impeccable grammar throughout the entire piece. Always tie in "main points" in each paragraph, too; why you would love this role, why you are the right candidate for it, and how you will add value to the team and the company as a whole. 
Ensure your cover letter also reflects your personality, states your career goals, and highlights your professional achievements. This is the only example the employer has of you, so make it stellar, as an honest cover letter is crucial to identify successful employment partnerships for both parties.  
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