Writing a cover letter can be difficult. Maybe you’ve never done this or you’ve never been invited to an interview. In both cases, read the 10 tips for a cover letter that we give here. This way, you don’t forget anything and you have a better chance of getting an interview. Ten tips for writing a strong cover letter.

  1. Read the vacancy text carefully and write down all the job requirements.

Read the text of the vacancy carefully. Then write down the three most important requirements and characteristics. Include these three in your letter and put the rest in your resume. Match the wording of the vacancy. This shows that you really understand the employer.

  1. Use short sentences when writing your cover letter.

Use short sentences. Long sentences are harder to read. Of course, you can write a longer sentence, but have it followed by a shorter sentence. Also, make sure you don’t use difficult sentence constructions. One clause is the maximum.

  1. Don’t make your cover letter a repeat of your resume.

Don’t make your letter a repeat of your resume. Of course, you can briefly mention something from your resume that is important for the position. Focus your cover letter on the ‘why’. Why did you do that training and why did you start working for that company? Tailor your story to the employer and explain why you want to work there.

  1. Address to the right contact

Dear Sir/Madam is a bit of an outdated salutation for a cover letter. Really address the person who receives your letter. Does the vacancy not state who this is? Please contact the employer to find out the name of the contact person. As an extra advantage, there is now a chance that your name will be recognized by the employer when they read your letter.

  1. Customize a cover letter

Even if you send multiple applications, you must ensure that each letter is tailor-made. After all, every employer is different. Assume that employers have already received enough standard letters. A tailor-made cover letter, therefore, stands out more. Research the job and the organization and make sure the employer sees that interest in your letter.

  1. Only list experience related to this position.

Suppose you are applying for the position of secretary. Then your experience as a postman and stock filler is not relevant to this vacancy. Experience as a note-taker is relevant.

  1. Clearly explain why you are a good fit for that position.

The cover letter should make it clear why you are the right person for the position. Demonstrate with concrete evidence that you meet the requirements. For example, the first point of the 10 tips for a cover letter fits in nicely with this. So make use of those three characteristics that you got from the vacancy. You can also give an example from experience.

  1. Tell us why you are enthusiastic about this job at this employer.

Make it clear to the employer that you are enthusiastic about this job. Try to justify your answers well. Are you applying for a job in healthcare? For example, tell them that you have been volunteering at a care institution for years. In addition, show your interest and enthusiasm for the company or organization. Of course, make sure you don’t come across as exaggerated.

  1. Follow the instructions

Read the vacancy carefully. Through which channel are you being asked to apply? Is this via an application form, via e-mail, or by means of a letter of application by post? Follow these instructions.

  1. Check for Language and Spelling Errors

While writing, use the spell-check function of your text program. Check your letter yourself to discover missed spelling mistakes. Then read your letter out loud! This will help you discover syntax errors that a spell checker doesn’t check. Just to be sure, ask someone who is good at language to double-check your letter.

Useful links:

Resume Writing
Cover Letters
Résumé Questionnaire
Job Search

Written by Bob Hubner