News & Events

Guide to Effective Cover Letters


Employment & Learning

By Wendy Coleman.

In the article “5 Secrets to Making Your Cover Letter Stand Out” recently published on, author Megan Broussard provides “five guidelines for writing a cover letter … … … to catch the employer’s eye.”

She notes there are several ways “cover letters can stand out in a bad way” and identifies the importance of having this one-page help “you achieve your goal of getting an interview.” Broussard suggests to “follow these five guidelines – and the easiest-to-remember acronym ever:  C-O-V-E-R.”

“C – Call Out”:  Identify key roles, skills, and accolades “right at the beginning” to immediately generate interest in reading further and opening your resume.  Briefly outline how your “experience and skills” match the requirements for the position.

“O – Offer Stats”:  Provide details about “your impact on companies or associations.”  Emphasize “numbers” or successes to show that “you understand what they’re looking for in an employee: results.”

“V – Verify”:  Ensure you have the correct information in the address and “greeting of the cover letter.”  If the job posting does not identify who to address the letter to or you are unsure of who to contact be sure to “do some digging.”  This might mean exploring the company’s webpage or calling “the company” to “ask who the HR representative or the hiring manager is for the position.”  Taking this step helps the “employer see that you’re resourceful and that you’re OK with doing your homework.”

“E – Exemplify Your Strengths”:  “Show off your skills with descriptive statements…”.  It is critical to showcase “your unique attributes” and demonstrate how your skills and capabilities align with what the employer is looking for.  Remember “the cover letter should serve as an example of your skills.”

“R – Refrain From Regurgitating”:  “Your cover letter should complement your resume” not be a restatement of what is covered in that document.  Offer key points in your cover letter that identify “who you are” and what you will bring to that specific role.  Make sure “your letter is precise and punchy.”  The cover letter should never be more than one page and should help you stand out from other applicants.

Think about the cover letter as your chance to share that “one thing you’d want your dream employer to know about you” and your fit with the company and the job. Using a distinctive, well-developed and targeted, two-page resume and focused, genuine one-page cover letter should yield exceptional job search results and that new employment opportunity!!

Need assistance to write that effective resume and exceptional cover letter?  Want to learn more about where to find the jobs in Saskatoon and area?  Finding you can get those interviews but you are not getting the job offer?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, help is available.  Simply contact the YWCA Job Search Program to make an appointment to meet with one of our Employment Counsellors.  Phone or Text 306.292.6184 or Email


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