How to Write a Winning Cover Letter

You’ve finished years of school and clinical training and are ready to launch into the world of podiatric medicine. Standing between you and your dream job is your resume and your cover letter. A resume tells what you’ve accomplished. A cover letter is a reflection of who you are as a person. Some executives will argue that it’s more powerful than a good resume. At The Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED) our membership offers a wealth of experience on hiring (as well as all other aspects of podiatric practice). With your cover letter, you have 10 seconds to impress.

Here are 10 rules from those who know on how to win the job with your cover letter.

Rule #1:  Keep it short, but make it powerful.  The ideal length is 3 paragraphs.  Keep each paragraph to 3 or 4 sentences.   Your opening statement is the most impactful. 

Rule #2:  Find the perfect format.   Use wider margins to create a cleaner and more professional letter.   If possible, use bullet points to make it easier to read.   Remember to customize your tone for your employer. 

Rule #3:  Address the proper person (fellowship director, office owner).  Try to avoid cover letter clichés like “To Whom It May Concern.”

Rule #4: Do not regurgitate the information from your resume.   A cover letter is not a summary of your resume.  It is intended to give a sense of who you are. 

Rule #5:  Focus on the job.  A common mistake is focusing too much on yourself and not on the company where you are applying.  Tell them exactly why you are interested in the job.

Rule #6:  Read the job description.  Identify the desired qualities.  Demonstrate the qualities and provide examples (if possible) of how you will deliver and get the job done. 

Rule #7:  Focus on your strengths.  This is not the place to defend your weakness.   

Rule #8:  Keep it clean.  Proofread your letter (at least 3 times).  Don’t rely solely on spell checker! It is best to sleep on it and read it over the next day.   Ask another person to proofread your letter.

Rule #9:  Be accessible.   A cover letter should include your name, address, phone number, and email.  

Rule #10:  Convey enthusiasm.  Do not be afraid to follow up.

Getting your dream job is just the beginning. Membership in IPED can help you along the way of every step in your career. To learn more, contact us at: