Much like the resume, a cover letter is an important piece of the application process that prospective employees must have if he or she wants to be hired by staffing firms. Since dozens of resumes are received by recruiting agencies every day, a cover letter can be the difference maker when separating you from another qualified candidate. If you’re ready to start filling vacancies and want to learn how to take even further steps to securing a job and starting a career, try these cover letter tips:

Format Your Cover Letter. How you format your cover letter, with both content (the information you include) and presentation (what your cover letter looks like), perspective is important. Even when applying online or via email, your cover letter needs to be properly formatted, readable, and without any mistakes.

Review Cover Letter Examples. Take the time to review cover letter examples, then make sure that your letter explains how your skills relate to the criteria listed in the job posting.

Start From a Cover Letter Template. A cover letter template can be a good way to get started writing cover letters to send with resumes when you apply for jobs. Use a cover letter template as a starting point for creating your own personalized cover letter.

Include Keywords in Your Cover Letter. It’s important to include keywords which match the description of the job for which you are applying for and attest to your credentials in your cover letter in order to increase your chances of getting selected for an interview.

Write A Custom Cover Letter. It can be time consuming to write a custom cover letter for each job you apply for but it’s important to take the time and effort to show the company why you are a good match.

Write a Personal Cover Letter. When it comes to cover letters, taking the time to get personal is really important. Find out as much as you can about the company and the hiring manager. Personalize your cover letter and, if you can, address it to the individual responsible for hiring. If need be, research online or make a phone call to find out who the hiring manager is.

Send an Email Cover Letter. The most important part of sending an email cover letter is to follow the employer’s instructions. If the job posting says to include your cover letter and resume as an attachment, attach Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files to your email message.

Address Your Cover Letter. How to address a cover letter can be tricky if you are responding to a blind ad and don’t have a contact person’s name to include or you don’t know the hiring manager’s gender.  Take the time to find as much information as you can.

Send Your Cover Letter as an Attachment. When you apply for jobs via email, you may need to send your resume and cover letter as an attachment. It’s important to send your cover letter and resume attachments correctly, to include all the information you need so your email message is read, and to let the receiver know how they can contact you to schedule an interview.

Although cover letters are often not required by Recruiters, it’s a good idea to create a generic template that you can send out regardless of the job posting. Some recruiters have preferred a cover letter over the usual resume because the applicant has a chance to explain much more about himself upon initial review.

Learn more about our staffing firm at Why Join Athena and visit our Job Search page for current open positions.