4 sentences to make your cover letter get noticed

Ladders founder Marc Cenedella has reviewed thousands of cover letters. Here’s his advice on writing one that is certain to get attention.

Writing an effective cover letter has changed a lot in the past few years. Gone are the formal, stilted rules governing the “Dear Sir/Madam” page-length introductions. As attention spans shrink, emails pile up, and recruiters and HR people are busier than ever, cover letters have simplified.

Now the cover letter is shorter, to the point, and reinforces your pitch to prospective employers by highlighting what’s great about your “brand.” And its purpose is to get your résumé read.

A great cover letter does this by connecting the positive achievements of your past and future to the present needs of future employers. Your cover letter does this by touching on four points about your career: your yesterday, your today, your tomorrow, and your enthusiasm. One great sentence for each of these points is all you’ll need. And it should invite response by making it very clear what you’re looking to do next and why.

Here’s how it breaks down. . . . full story