5 Ways to Improve Your Cover Letter Introduction

by Holbrook Hernandez, Jessica Thursday, April 07, 2011
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Creating a proper introduction is perhaps the most important part of writing a cover letter because it introduces hiring managers to you and helps them decide whether they want to know more about you. There are often a lot of mistakes made when writing cover letter introductions. To help you avoid them, let’s look at what some are and how you can make the changes necessary to improve your cover letter.

Avoid Starting with “Hi,”

Starting your cover letter with “Hi,” shows the hiring manager that you have no idea who to address within the company. Instead, find out who is hiring or conducting interviews for the position then start your letter with “Dear (insert name),” to show you want to directly address the person you hope will hire you. If you research and still don’t know who to address, try “Dear Hiring Manager,” as a backup option.

Sidestep the Blanket Opening Statement

Writing an opening like “I want to express my interest in applying for your Communications/Public Relations position” expresses the obvious to a hiring manager and is a statement made by dozens of candidates.

A great way to sidestep the blanket opening statement is by diving in and talking about who you are as a candidate and why you’re qualified for the position. It sets you apart as a candidate, which does wonders for personal branding.

Try Not to Make Your First Sentence Too Long

Hiring managers read cover letters and resumes all day. They’ve seen it all and can become bored quite easily with long, run-on sentences. So if you make your first sentence the length of a paragraph, you’re sure to lose the hiring manager’s interest and decrease your chances of having the rest of the document read.

Don’t Start With a Narrative

You may feel that your professional history is so compelling that it deserves a narrative, but that’s best saved for your autobiography, not a cover letter introduction. If you start the letter with “Beginning in 1995 with (insert company name), I always knew I wanted to excel in public relations,” you may receive an email from the company that begins with the current date and ends with “we’ve found another candidate who is more qualified.”

Proofread Your Document (Especially the First Sentence)

There’s nothing worse than reading mispelled werds in a profesional documint, right? (See, it’s not too fun, is it?). So be sure to thoroughly check for typos, grammar issues and misspelled words. This way, your resume won’t be tossed in the trash over avoidable mistakes.

Cover letters open a window into your professional background and give you the opportunity to add the depth you can’t provide in a resume. So handle your introduction with care to ensure all hiring managers who read your letter will want to learn more about you.