You know that it’s beneficial to have a second set of eyes review your application materials. Someone who can tell you that your resume looks good—except for that part where you misspelled your own name ( FYI, you can check that, too !). Or that your writing sample is impressive, but that it would be even better if you used the correct version of “ their .”
But sometimes, no one is available. Maybe a contact said he would help but hasn’t replied since, and you don’t want to pester him . Or maybe you’re taking a chance in your letter and you’re afraid feedback from your stuck-in-the-mud roommate will make you lose your nerve and play it safe.
So what should you do? Write your very best letter, and then, before you hit send, try these three tips.
1. Pretend You’re a Stranger
You know why you’re perfect for this job. That’s great, but that context can prevent you from spotting what’s missing in your cover letter. In other words, you might know that you excel at building strong bonds with difficult clients or that you’re an ace public speaker, but if your cover letter uses bland language like “connect with stakeholders” and “has led multiple presentations,” the hiring manager will have no way to know the depth of your skills.
So, take the advice that you surely received from some English teacher at some point, and “Show, don’t tell.” If you led “record growth,” employ the same strategies you did on your resume to quantify your achievements . In lieu of saying I could “adapt to change,” I’ve written this: “I have routinely found myself in inaugural or transitioning roles, such as a first-time admin role that became a communications position, or taking a position once held by two people and rolling it into one.”
Ask yourself, if a stranger handed you your cover letter, what impression would it make? Would you think this person has achieved what you have achieved or could contribute what you know you can?
2. Make Yourself Take a Risk
You’ve probably seen some advice suggesting you step outside of the standard “My name is Sara and I’m applying for such-and-such position…” (If you haven’t, look here , here , and here ). But even if you spice up the intro a bit, you might hold yourself back from getting too creative, because as Muse contributor Dave Meadows writes , “Spice is good, but who wants to eat a spoonful of paprika?”
Honestly, one of the best cover letters I ever wrote was also the riskiest. And how I got over my fear of writing something over the top is that I reminded myself that I didn’t have to submit it. I didn’t write it in one of those finicky, little, online application boxes. I didn’t write in the same document as my pristine, go-to letter. I saved it under a different name and gave myself an hour to write down stories I thought exemplified who I was as an applicant and why I was right for the open role. Another time, I applied for a freelance writing position by submitting my cover letter in the form of an article—and yes, I landed an interview.
So, make yourself take a risk. Fill a document with words you’d use to describe yourself or slightly wacky, attention-grabbing first lines and examples. Then compare each document, and see if pulling a line or two from your risky letter will make your go-to stronger and more memorable.
3. Get Old School
Step one: Run spell check. Do not skip this step!
Step two: Locate a printer. If you don’t have access to a printer, it’s time for a field trip. Because in order to truly edit a cover letter, you’ll have to proofread it, and the most effective way to do that is to get it off of your computer screen and out in front of you—on paper.
So, print your cover letter and then read it out loud. Don’t breeze through it. Go slow, maybe use different voices—a super impressive voice, or an “I can’t believe I’m doing this” voice, or whatever works. As an editor, I can tell you that you’ll be surprised how often this tactic will show you that you’re actually missing a “the” and that without that three-letter word, your big, powerful sentence doesn’t make sense.
Cover letters don’t exist simply to torture you. They’re there because hiring managers are hoping you can flesh out your resume and provide them with a bit more information about why you’re right for the job. So, don’t submit the very first thing you write just to get it over with. Take the time to check your letter over—because you (yes, you!) have what it takes to write an amazing cover letter.
Photo of pencil on desk courtesy of Shutterstock .
Many people dread writing cover letters and often find themselves wondering just how important these letters are. The fact is that hiring managers will read them, so if you want to get noticed, a well-written cover letter is a must. To ensure your document follows the best practices, check out our copywriter and editor cover letter example and these do’s and don’ts.
- Do highlight your skills. Letting hiring managers know what abilities you have right off the bat is a good practice, especially if your previous work experience doesn’t quite sell you for the position.
- Don’t mention education in your cover letter, as hiring managers care most about experience and skills. As shown in our example, the candidate emphasizes only these aspects.
- Do get creative. A copywriter’s job is based on creativity, so showcase what you’ve got. Use spicy language and have fun with the format if you are applying to a company such a hip startup.
- Don’t state your name. The hiring manager already knows your name from the resume, so just get straight to the point.
Copywriter And Editor Advice
As a copywriter, you’ll write everything from witty ad copy to website content, to email communications to customers, and more. The cover letter examples below have been designed (and written!) specifically for copywriter & editor professionals. Take a look at these cover letter examples for guidance, and then write your cover letter using these examples (and your writing skills) as a guide. Click on any of the templates below to tak your next step toward a new and exciting copywriting job!
Cover Letter Tips for Copywriter And Editor
If you want to find jobs as a Copywriter And Editor you need to work on your job-hunting skills. Taking these tips into account will assist you in achieving your goals of finding a job in your field.
1. Network online. Social media plays a big role in finding jobs in this day and age. Utilizing professional networking websites like LinkedIn and Monster will give you an edge in finding your desired job.
2. Network in person. Even with the emerging importance of a strong online presence, you can’t neglect the value of face-to-face conversation. This can be done in many ways such as submitting applications on site or attending job fairs.
3. Perform research on local companies in your field. Doing some simple searches may lead you to finding companies you want to work for. Once you find a company you can often apply for open positions on their website.
4. Follow up with all of your leads. Staying persistent and keeping in touch in an appropriate timeframe will show the employer that you are interested above the rest of the applicants.
5. Keep your attitude positive. The job market can be tough sometimes but it’s helpful to remain optimistic and take responsibility. Optimism goes a long way in boosting your confidence and helping you bounce back from any setbacks.
Copywriter And Editor Job Seeking Tips
An important key to finding jobs as a Copywriter And Editor is having a great cover letter. No matter how experienced you are with job hunting it’s a good idea to keep some basic do’s and don’ts in mind.
1. Fix spelling and grammar mistakes. There is no room for mistakes when it comes to your cover letter. Proofreading and editing will make your cover letter professional and presentable.
2. Use a template but don’t be restricted by it. Many templates are out there that can get you started but they can look clunky or unoriginal. Fiddle around with the layout settings to give it a personal touch that will make you stand out.
3. Organize things in order of importance. Whether you list education or experience first depends on what is most relevant to the job you are applying for. Always be sure to list your jobs in reverse chronological order.
4. Keep it short. For the typical applicant you should keep it to one page or two pages maximum. If you have to use a curricula vitae to show your accomplishments then it is acceptable to go over two pages.
5. Consider including a Summary of Qualifications. This should be a bullet point or small paragraph that summarizes who you are and why you’re qualified for the job. This helps employers get a quick idea of your experience.