Cover Letter Tips For Veterans To Get Noticed

Even in today’s electronic world, a cover letter can help a veteran stand out when applying for a position. Cover letters still have relevancy, and they can often help a veteran make a point about how he or she is specifically the right person to help a company solve a difficult problem.

A concise, one-page, well-formatted letter can mean the difference between getting an interview and having your resume put into the “next time” pile. The following four tips can help you compose, format, and deliver an effective cover letter and win the interview.

**1. Research the company and the position for which you are applying. **
You should find out what the company produces and/or what services it performs – in other words, its lines of business. You should get a general idea of how and where the company produces its products or performs its services. And you should learn how the job that interests you fits into this overall process.

A very important point: Do not finish your research until you have identified a company need related to the job that interests you.

**2. Relate how your military experience – and any post-military job experience you might have – will help meet the need.** Do not use military acronyms and jargon. Make sure to use terms and themes important to business – efficiency, savings (time and money), quality, profit, etc. This is the meat of your letter, and it’s where you want to be sure you pull out what’s important for the reader to understand.

**3. Keep your letter brief, to the point, and specific to the company.** Ideally, the letter will be addressed to an individual. If necessary, call the company for the name and job title of a contact. You may also be able to do some research in LinkedIn to help you find the right person.

**4. Proofread your letter two or three times,** then ask at least two other people you trust to proofread both the letter and your resume. Even one spelling or grammatical error on either document can place you into the dreaded “next time” pile. You want to be in the “interview now” pile.

As you go through the process of writing your letter, keep your objective in mind – to get an interview. Your cover letter is your marketing piece, your first impression that can get your foot in the door.