The One Secret You Need to Know About Writing the Perfect Cover Letter

You won't believe you didn't think of it first! Here's how to start booking interviews—ASAP.

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Let’s cut to the chase: We’ve all had our fair share of cover letter disasters. And it’s led us to wonder if cover letters are actually still necessary for the job search, in the first place. Come on, 55 percent of hiring managers don’t even like reading them! But although it’s true that each and every one of us despise the dreaded cover letter—from both sides of the hiring process—unfortunately it’s here to stay.

Thankfully, one expert has found the key to writing the perfect cover letter—and it could solve all of our job-hunting woes. The way Lisa Siva tells it, one moment she was sending out hundreds of letters with no responses, and the next she was booking interviews with the likes of InStyle, Vogue, and Rolling Stone. So, what’s her secret?

According to Siva, the answer lies in four easy tips. First, she advises job seekers to identify the problem that the hiring manager (or employer) is trying to solve. Pointing out why they need this position—not why you need the position—will set you apart from the crowd. From the very first sentence, you’ll make the employer’s ears perk up with interest.

Now that you have their attention, talk about how you will address those challenges. Speaking specifically to your anticipated role in the company will resonate with them before you even step into an interview room, Siva says. She also suggests adding a bit of your own voice and humor to the mix. Why? Mirroring their own language will make them instinctively trust you.

Third, Siva recommends offering a solution to their problem (and why you’re the most qualified to deliver!). This part is easy; here, you get to brag on yourself and your various achievements. And finally, close your letter with confidence, not hesitation. In Siva’s words, “seal the deal with a sentence that displays confidence, competence, and a genuine interest in the company.” It’s guaranteed to make a lasting impression over a simple and insincere “Hope to hear from you soon!”

Thanks to Siva’s advice, you’re inbox will be pinging with job offers in no time. But before you hit send, don’t forget to never use these words in a cover letter.

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