If you’re looking for a job, long before the recruiter sees your resume, it is the cover letter that can make a good first impression, or land your papers in the trash. Thus, to stand out from a large pool of applicants, your cover letter also needs to stand out.
The two things always required by employers is a cover letter and a resume. Naturally, the resume will show off your experience and accomplishments in short summary formats. Your cover letter lets you summarize the most vital points in that resume and offer a detailed explanation of why you’re the right one for the job. The cover letter can also demonstrate your strong writing and communication skills, assuming it was you who wrote your cover letter.
When writing a, you need to consider the following:
Before you even write:
Use a basic cover letter format – old school type – but the content should be customized for each employer. The simpler the format and appearance, the better.
Always research each of your prospective employers and the position and work for each before even starting on it.
Take the time to organize clear and precise sentences. Remember that the employer is evaluating how good your writing skills are.
Always do careful proofreading to prevent errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You can ask a professional or a friend to read your letter before sending it.
The header should contain the name and contact information such as address, phone number, and e-mail address of the applicant. This is immediately followed by the date, and the company’s contact information. The best address at the beginning of the company’s contact information is one addressed to a specific person, complete with the specific position.
Always begin with the proper salutation to the person specifically concerned such as ‘Dear Mr. Smith.’ If the gender can’t be determined, simply use the full name as the salutation. ‘To whom it may concern’ are outmoded salutations that should be discontinued as well as those ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ types.
Tell the company who you are and why you are applying for the job. Move on to a brief summary of your relevant education and experience. You can also mention how you learned about the position or who endorsed you to it. If the person who endorsed you is personally connected to the company, mention the reference in full name.
This is the part where you convince the company that you’re the right person for the job. You need to show the recruiter that you possess the skills required for the job, both hard skills and soft skills, and mention a few achievements and accomplishments to highlight those skills. Give reasons how well you can cultivate relationships with your employer and co-workers.
Your closing statement should simply state or summarize why the company should hire you above all other applicants. Give your contact information to reiterate that you are ready any time for an interview. One nice closing is to thank the recruiter for taking time in considering your cover letter. This shows great respect and a pleasant closing to the letter.