How do you start a cover letter for employment?


Quick Answer

Common and effective tactics used in cover letter introductions include mentioning references, listing qualifications and introducing a creative hook. The introduction of a cover letter is tailored to the applicant’s personal circumstances and the job for which the individual is applying. Customizing the cover letter helps to show how an individual matches the job requirements and increases the chances of getting shortlisted for an interview.

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Full Answer

The first two sentences of a cover letter are the most important. This is the applicant's opportunity to capture the reader’s attention and begin explaining why the applicant should be considered for an interview. The most effective way to engage the reader is to use words that immediately grab the reader's attention and hold it throughout the content of the letter.

There are several approaches for doing this. First, mention a personal reference in the introductory line. The reference must be a mutual connection that the interviewer respects or likes. Identifying with a professional organization or alumnae group to which the recipient belongs may also earn the applicant points. Applicants can further engage the reader by clearly stating what they want and then listing their qualifications and the ways in which they benefit an employer. The qualifications should directly match the job requirements. Finally, creating a narrative hook by opening the letter with words that capture the reader’s attention encourage hiring managers to continue reading.

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