Cover letters and resume’s go hand in hand.
It’s essential to attach a cover letter along with a resume. It’s like shaking someone’s hand when you first meet them. You wouldn’t just start talking to them would you? That’s why the cover letter is so important, it’s your way to ease into the conversation of employment.
Most people just hate writing cover letters. If you are serious about your job search, get used to it. It’s not as bad as it looks, let’s figure this out.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter introduces you, it explains your purpose of writing the letter and gives a briefing of your educational qualifications and paves way for an opportunity to interact personally with your employer.
A cover letter also covers your accomplishments and makes a first impression on the employer upon reading it. As we know that the first impression should be the best impression, especially for a job, it is important to have a good cover letter which will also disclose your potent communication skills.
Cover Letter Format
- Introduction and Reason for Writing
- Tell them briefly about yourself, and some accomplishments.
- Showcase how you have stood out in the past
- Ask for an interview so you can personally discuss your credentials
- Thank them for their time
See a detailed example from Monster here.
Essential Cover Letter Tips
- Ensure that each cover letter is personalized to every position that you apply. Try to address it specifically to the hiring manager. Open the letter with proper addressing and greetings to the manager.
- Keep this letter to a maximum of one page. This letter should give your introduction and minimal description of your latest qualifications. It should state your skills in keywords and finally conclude in a positive tone to look up to your resume and request to schedule an interview. It is not suggested to write more than three paragraphs, first is the introduction, second stating your qualifications and skills and third one as a conclusion.
- Don’t replicate the same points in the cover letter and the resume. There should be significance in writing a cover letter and distinguishing it from the resume.
- Don’t write length paragraphs as the employer’s will scan the document for few seconds or a couple of minutes and pick the keywords.
- Cover letter should be written in paragraphs and not by using bullet points. Try to give an idea to the employer as to what roles you have handled and what you have learnt in the form of sentences as you cannot do the same in a resume.
- Apart from requesting a personal interview, state that you will follow up for further updates after few days and stick to it.
- Proof read the cover letter multiple times to ensure there are no spelling mistakes, incorrect grammar or punctuation or other errors. It should be clean and informative.
- If you are switching domains and don’t have the necessary experience of the new profile, begin positively with the skills you previously acquired that match with the new job opening. Find key points from previous work which gel with the current employment.
- Mention what you can do to the company, not what you can gain from it. The employers want to see what a potential employee can do to benefit the company with his skills but not vice versa.
You now have the ability to sound professional and not casual while framing a cover letter. The tone of the letter should indicate that you are genuinely interested for the job, and that you are the best candidate.
Sources: Monster Career Website