Three Cover Letter Secrets Revealed

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: July 9, 2008 - 11:52 AM

Writing a cover letter can be like cleaning your garage – you don't know where to start, and you just want it done.

Writing a cover letter can be like cleaning your garage--you don't know where to start, and you just want it done.

Wouldn't it be great if you could use a few "underground" techniques to write cover letters that get more job interviews? Faster and easier than you ever thought possible?

Well, pay attention. I'm going to share three cover letter secrets to get you more interviews, while taking a lot of the guesswork out of your letter writing.

To dig up these "cover letter secrets," I interviewed career expert and author, Jimmy Sweeney (

Read on!

Cover Letter Secret #1 – Drop The Big Words

Always keep one thing in mind: When you write a cover letter, you're not trying to impress readers with your vocabulary. You're trying to land an interview.

"Write your cover letter in language anyone can understand. Bring it all together with a friendly tone throughout and chances are you've got yourself a winner," says Sweeney.

So, don't write gibberish, like this:


"I have consulted, choreographed, compiled and specifically isolated technological solutions for challenging, yet highly inordinate retroflex samplings that have lead me to a potential mathematical resolution."

Write in plain English:

"I have taken the time to research your company and am very impressed. I have a real passion for this industry. I would love the chance to interview with (company name) for the position of account executive. Thank you in advance for the opportunity. I really look forward to meeting you."

See the difference?

"To improve your cover letter, simply read it out loud. If you find tongue twisters or wording that sounds a little too impressive, fix them! Write as you speak and let your personality shine through. Show your enthusiasm and clearly ask for the job interview," says Sweeney.

Which leads to the next tip ...

Cover Letter Secret #2 – Ask And Ye Shall Receive

Want more job interviews? The answer is simple. All you have to do is ask--clearly and directly.

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