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As the application process moves more solidly online, the application pool becomes more competitive, noisy, and faceless. If first impressions are warm, charming, or memorable, they must be so through your words.
While your résumé markets your skills, qualities, and experiences like a tailored menu, the cover letter follows a less distinct code of production. It leaves space for you to make a memorable mark, infuse some personality, and forge some kind of personal connection as well as round out your applicable experiences — but it also offers a lot of ways to mess it all up. In other words, the cover letter can make or break your application.
And while you might be able to transfer hours of labor over your résumé to many jobs with a little tweaking, the same cannot be said for your cover letter, which will likely require a mini — but heart-wrenching — overhaul for each new job posting.
If you want expert advice and guidance on how to create the kind of cover letter that gets pulled to the top of the pile and makes the rest of the stack look bad, you might want to invest a little time into a cheap online course. Some are taught by HR veterans and professors who can tailor your application to perform well with résumé screening software, and most require less of your personal time than three pages of Google tips and pulling hair.
Below are five courses that will help you excel in writing cover letters: