If you’re like most job seekers, you’re not taking advantage of one of the best ways to get a hiring manager’s attention: writing a great cover letter.

Cover letters are crucial to hiring managers who understand that people are more than just their work experience – that people have personalities, habits and other reasons they’d be great at a particular job that aren’t easily seen from a résumé. After all, if this weren’t true, employers wouldn’t even need to bother to interview candidates; they could just screen résumés, verify that candidates’ experience and accomplishments were accurate and then hire the person with the best résumé.

Here’s how to write a cover letter that will get you interviews.

1. Show personal interest in the particular job that you’re applying for. A strong cover letter will make a convincing case that you're truly excited about the opportunity. What grabbed you about the job description or the company? Why would you prefer this job over others out there? Why do you think you’d be great at it? What in your background demonstrates that you’d excel at the work?
1. 表现出对申请职位的兴趣。说服力强的求职信会让人相信你是真的想得到这个机会。工作描述或公司的哪方面吸引了你?为什么比起其他工作你更喜欢这个?你为什么认为自己擅长这类工作?你的哪些背景条件能证明你会有出色的表现?

2. Don’t summarize your résumé. Too often, job seekers simply summarize the contents of their résumé in their cover letter. With such limited initial contact, you do yourself a disservice if you use a whole page of your application to simply repeat the contents of the other pages. The cover letter should add something new to your candidacy – information that doesn't belong on your résumé like personal traits, work habits, why you're interested in the job, maybe even a reference to feedback from a previous manager. Speaking of which …
2. 不要总结简历上的话。求职者常常只在求职信里总结简历的内容。篇幅本就有限,如果你整页都只是重复下面几页的内容,你会害了自己的。求职信里要加些能加强竞争力的新信息——简历上没有的信息,如个人特质、工作习惯、为什么对这份工作感兴趣,甚至可以让前经理当参考人。说到这里…

3. If something makes you especially well-suited for the job aside from what’s on your résumé, mention it. For example, maybe the position requires an inordinate degree of meticulousness and you frequently get teased for being obsessive about details. That’s a perfect thing to mention in a cover letter, and it’s information that wouldn’t be found on your résumé. If you’re having trouble thinking of those qualities, try thinking about what you would tell a friend if you were explaining why you were excited about this particular job and why you think you would be great at it. Does that explanation add anything that your friend couldn’t get from just looking at your résumé? It probably does – and that’s what you want to convey.
3. 除了写在简历上的内容,如果有什么经历让你特别适合这份工作,要在求职信里提到。比如,这个职位可能要非常小心细致,而你经常因为执着细节被伙伴开玩笑。这就是写在求职信里的完美内容,而且无法在简历中找到。如果你很难想出这些特质,试着想想当你告诉朋友为什么喜欢这份工作以及为什么能做好它的时候会说什么。在你说这些的时候是不是发现了朋友光看你简历无法发现的闪光点?也许,这就是你在求职信上要传达的东西。

4. Stay away from hyperbole. Statements like "I’m the best candidate for the job” and “You won’t find a candidate better qualified than me” come across as naive. You have no way of knowing what the rest of the candidate pool looks like, and only the hiring manager is equipped to assess your candidacy against that pool. Keep the focus on why you’d excel at the job without trying to put down your competition. Your cover letter shouldn’t sound like an infomercial.
4. 不要夸大。像“我是这份工作的最佳人选”和“你找不到比我更合格的候选人”之类的话只能说明你太天真了。你不可能知道其他求职者的条件如何,而且只有招聘经理能评价你有多合适。把注意力放在你为什么擅长这份工作而不是看低竞争对手。你的求职信不该像电视导购那么夸张。

5. Be conversational. Job seekers sometimes feel that a cover letter should be as formal as possible, but the best cover letters are written in a conversational, engaging tone. Of course, don’t be overly casual; don’t use slang, and pay careful attention to things like grammar and spelling. But your tone and the language should be conversational and warm and engaging.
5. 语气别太正式。求职者有时觉得求职信应该尽可能正式,但最好的求职信的语气都是比较随意、有代入感的。当然,不要太过随意,不要用俚语,要仔细注意语法和拼写之类的细节。但是你的语气和语言应该随意且温暖。

6. Don’t use a form letter. Hiring managers can tell the difference between a letter that you’re sending with all your applications and a letter that you wrote specifically for this job. If your letter works for all the jobs you're applying to, that’s a sign that it needs to be more customized.
6. 不要用相同模板。招聘经理能区分你的求职信是发给所有申请公司还是专门为某个职位写的。如果你的求职信对所有申请的工作都适用,这是在告诉你要“量身定制”了。