Have you ever spent more than an hour writing a cover letter? Maybe when you really wanted the job? 

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It takes so much time to craft a perfect cover letter. One small mistake might cost you the job. Isn’t it worth taking a few extra minutes to reviewyour cover letter before you submit it? 

Keyword Check

Keywords are the words in a job posting that tell you what skills and experiences are important to have for the position.

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Use keywords in your cover letter to show you're the right fit for the job. Many hiring managers sort applications by looking to see how many of these words appear.

Before sending out your cover letter, take another look at the job posting and ask yourself two questions:

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  1. Which words come up more than once or are essential “must have’s” for the role?

  2. Did I use these words in my cover letter?

Fact Check

✅ Have you addressed your cover letter to the right person at the company? Use the company website or LinkedIn to check.

✅ Have you spelled that person's name and the company name correctly?

✅ If you’ve included the company’s address, is it correct?

✅ Is the name of the job you're applying for correct?

These are especially important checks if you’ve copied and pasted material from other cover letters you’ve written! You don’t want to address the wrong person or company, or say you're applying for another role.

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Quiz

Lee is reviewing her cover letter. She's unsure how to spell the name of the company with the advertised position. What should she do?

Spelling And Grammar Check

Your computer’s spell check and grammar check are not perfect. You need to proofread your cover letter to find small errors.

Be sure to check your own name and contact information.

If a company wants to set up an interview, they need to be able to reach you! Check every letter and number of your name, address, phone number, email, and any website addresses (URLs) you’ve included.

Quiz

How should you review your name and contact information in a cover letter?

Freshness Check

Unfortunately, after you've stared at a piece of writing for a long time, you no longer see every detail...or every mistake!

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Here are some tricks to get a fresh perspective on your cover letter:

📄 Print it out or change the font or font size (just make sure to change it back before sending).

⏰ Let some time pass, maybe even a day or two, before looking at it again.

🗣 Read it out loud.

👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏾 Ask a friend to read it.

Take Action

Now that you've perfected your cover letter, you have a better chance of landing your dream job!

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This Byte has been authored by

CB

Carolyn Black

Freelance writer and editor for education