An effective cover letter is concise, grammatically correct and more personal than a resume. It focuses primarily on the needs of the hiring company, and connects those requirements with relevant skills and talents of the applicant.
It should take no longer than 10 seconds to read an effective cover letter, according to Business Insider, while The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin recommends that job seekers keep the letter under a page. The language should be professional and concise, but should suit the style of the hiring company's corporate culture. It is essential that the letter is free of grammatical errors, misspelled words and writing mistakes, so proofreading is a necessity.
An effective cover letter is crafted specifically for the company receiving it. This letter gives the applicant an opportunity to show his interest in the business, and to emphasis shared visions, values and goals. Job hunters can open the letter with a personal anecdote relating to the company or the open position to get the reader's attention. Forbes recommends that an applicant start the letter by mentioning a mutual contact whenever possible.
Instead of restating or summarizing the qualifications found in the resume, an effective cover letter should provide real-life experiences and examples that prove the applicant's ability to excel in the position and within the company.