Cover Letter 101
Along with your resume, the cover letter is a formidable weapon
in your mission to find a new job. Many people overlook the
importance of a cover letter, and instead only focus on putting
an effort into their resume. However, the cover letter is just
as important in getting you that interview.
A good cover letter is short, concise, and lays out exactly what
you are looking for and why you are qualified. It should give
the employer a reason to call you.
Here are the elements we recommend you need to consider:
Your cover letter should state what job you are applying for, as
well as, the qualifications you possess to do this job. The
cover letter should leave the employer wanting to know more
about you, and cause the reviewer to call you for an interview.
You should briefly provide the reasons why the employer should
hire you. Remember to follow directions. If the ad you’re
responding to says “To apply please send your resume with salary
history to....” then you should make sure to include salary
history in your cover letter. Pay attention to the details in
the employment description and follow exactly the steps an
employer requests. Some company's recruit for many positions at
the same time so always mention the position you are applying
To be effective, your cover letter should follow the basic
format of a typical business letter and should address three
1. First Paragraph - Why you are writing
2. Middle Paragraphs - What you have to offer
3. Concluding Paragraph - How you will follow-up
Another factor to consider beyond the content of the cover
letter is its presentation. If you’re e-mailing your
information, make sure the format is easy to read and don’t use
too many fonts. If you have to design a letterhead, keep it
simple. If you are not creative enough to do this, you can hire
someone or use a template from your word processing software.
If you’re sending it by mail, use quality paper to print the
cover letter and resume.
Not only should the cover letter be printed on quality paper, it
should look professional without any creases, stains or smudges.
If you are terrible at spelling, run the spell checker on your
computer, and also get another person to read it over for you.
Spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and so on, will quickly
get your cover letter and resume in the garbage can.
The reason it is important to put as much effort into writing a
good cover letter as preparing your resume is the fact that the
cover letter will speak for you first. The cover letter is
important in making your resume stand out from the other resumes
that the employer will receive.
A well thought out cover letter and resume are key to successful
job hunting. Spend the necessary time on these items and you’ll
be on your way to career success.