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How to Write a Successful Cover Letter in 3 Easy Steps—[Step 3]
Step 3- Post Writing
Now that you've written your masterpiece of a cover letter in Step 2, you have two things left to do.
Most people want to skip the 'edit it' part and hit send right now. You could do that, but sending a 90% complete cover letter means you'll lose to someone who did the whole 100. If you are applying for a position you really want, take the time to edit.
Edit Out Loud
I personally edit best when I have a physical thing in front of me, so I print out my cover letter and read it out loud. Hearing how the words actually sound instead of just seeing them on a screen will let you know where you need to edit.
Any spelling or grammar mistakes need to die, and reading out loud will reveal them to you. Exterminate them with extreme prejudice.
Edit for Rhyme
Keep in mind that the person reading your cover letter has seen your resume already. Your cover letter shouldn't repeat information on your resume; that's boring and a waste of time.
What your cover letter should do is rhyme with your resume. You should allude to the information your resume has and expand on it in the cover letter, but don't repeat it verbatim.
You also should make sure that the rhyming applies to the content you discuss. If your hook is about the job you had 3 years ago, but that job isn't on your resume, it's going to be confusing for the person reading it.
Edit for Shape
Now is the time to cut down the length of your letter. Shorter cover letters typically outperform their longer brothers, so aim for 3/4 of a page.
Stick to the 2-3 bullet-paragraphs outlined in Step 2 and your length should almost always be less than a page, which is ideal. Go through and remove any unneeded phrases. Try the Hemingway editor for some extra help getting rid of words you don't need.
Editing for shape also makes your cover letter look appealing, even if it's not being read.
If a hiring manager has 10 letters laid out in front of her, she's going to pick the most visually appealing one first, which is almost always the shortest and best-organized one. Editing for shape is another way to stand out from the pack, just like turning yourself human, and it's an important step that can push you ahead of the competition.
You're finally ready to complete Step 3. You can hit send, confident that your cover letter turns you human and communicates your skills.
Not just because you read this article, but because you put the work in.
Good for you.