Nobody ever landed a job because of an incredibly written cover letter, but, otherwise strong candidates who wrote terrible letters have been eliminated.  For this reason, many think a well-written cover letter is as important as the resume itself.  When you send out your resume, it should always be accompanied by a letter.  It is the cover letter that makes the first impression.

A well-written cover letter is professional, is properly formatted, and gets right to the point.  Be professional.  Don’t get folksy or cutesy.  Be brief, and don’t use flowery words, clichés, or jargon.  Avoid sounding stiff, and maintain a balance between professionalism and friendliness.  Each letter should be tailor-made to the organization.  But don’t go overboard – just make it sound like you didn’t pick this company out of the yellow pages.

Clearly state what you are applying for and how you were referred to the organization, including response to a posting.  
If there are obvious gaps in your employment, provide a brief explanation.  Keep it short, keep it on point, and most of all, keep it honest.

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