Never has it been as important as it is today to learn how to write an amazing and effective cover letter. This simple part of your job application package is the single most important step in separating you from the crowd. Follow these seven simple steps and you will put yourself at the front of the interview line.
1. Always do you research and address your cover letter to the person you intend to reach by their name and job title. If you are submitting your resume and cover letter to a job posting that does not allow phone calls, do so anyway, but do it in a professional and courteous manner. Simply ask the receptionist or person that answers your call for the name and title of the hiring manager. Make sure that you let this person know that you are only asking so that you can submit your application in a professional manner to the correct individual.
2. Make sure that you sign the your cover letter in ink, I prefer black, but blue will work as well. This simple step will show the hiring manager that you and your resume package are original and not just another copy from a mass mailing by an uncaring applicant.
3. Keep your cover letter short and to the point. Never use more then five paragraphs and NEVER use more then one page! This is another simple step that will show that are considerate of the hiring managers time. The reader will always appreciate a short and to the point application much more then one that tends to ramble on and on about things that are not relevant to the job opening they are looking to fill.
4. Use a good quality paper for both your cover letter and your resume. Put both documents on the same paper stock. Also, make sure that the style and fonts that you use are the same or at the very least, compliment each other.
5. Be sure to highlight a couple of your proudest accomplishments and/or abilities. This will draw the reader or hiring manager into your cover letter and grab his or her attention. Remember, you are trying to make yourself stand out from the crowd and prove that you are the right candidate for the job. Never waste valuable space on your cover by describing your past jobs and back ground, that is what the resume is for. Your cover letter should always be written in such a way as to grab and keep the readers attention, make sure you are writing in your most positive manner.
6. Proofread, proofread and then proofread again. Nothing shouts “do not hire me” more then a misspelled badly punctuated cover letter or resume. I like to go as far as having someone else read it and critique it to me so it can be corrected in any way it needs to be. Make sure to send this out in “Perfect” form.
7. Last but certainly as important is to use a simple and easy to read font. Always remember that there are many other people out there vying for this same open position and this is your one and only chance to make a great and lasting impression.