7 cover letter tips to make a good first impression

You only get one chance to make a first impression and your cover letter IS your first impression. It’s the first piece of you that any potential employer sees, even before they open your resume, so it’s worth making sure it’s really, really good. Here are some tips to help make yours better.

  1. Write the cover letter in the body of the email. You have to write something in the email, so make it your cover letter. Then, attach your resume as a PDF. Don’t use the Pages format -- many people can’t open this file type.  

  2. Make your cover letter specific to the company that you’re applying to. Never reuse the same exact cover letter twice.

  3. Compliment the work of the company. State at least two things you think the company does well.

  4. What can you do for the company?

  5. What have you been doing on your own that shows you are already doing the work that you want to be doing at the company?

  6. Use numbers. What have you done in past jobs to get real results?

  7. Keep it short. No more than one page.

Next, check out one of my favourite pieces of career advice to pass onto my students.

Chantel Guertin