A cover letter allows you to personalize your resume when it is mailed to prospective employers in response to an advertisement or to inquire about a possible interview. The letter's main purpose is to highlight your strengths and assets in a way that would interest employers in interviewing you.
Address it to a particular person, making sure that the spelling and title of the individual are correct. The person addressed should be the hiring manager or hold an influential position in the company. A good cover letter is not too long, so try to limit yours to only part of a single page. Correct spelling, spacing, paragraphing, margins and above all, flawless typing is crucial.
The first paragraph of the cover letter should peak the reader's interest. You could state stating some facts or knowledge that you have about the company / employer, or an outstanding fact relating to your ability that would appeal to the employer.
The body of the cover letter should make the employer want to interview you by explaining what you can do for his/her company. Put yourself in the employer's position as you write and present facts that will both be attractive and accurately describe your skill sets, assets and qualifications. Never express your bad points, such as lack of experience or unemployment.
The last paragraph should request action. Ask directly for an interview stating specific times and dates when you will call to arrange an interview. Always be courteous, but use a direct approach.
The cover letter should close with the formal salutation like, "Sincerely yours." Below the salutation, type your name and then add a signature. If you are sending your resume and cover letter via email type your name and then include an electronic signature, if you have one available.
- Research the company and the specifics about the position so you can tailor your letter to the organization.
- Cover letters are a reflection of your writing skills, so be sure there are no spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes.
- Avoid using too many sentences that start with "I" or writing in the passive voice (ex. "This experience enabled me to..." or "Through my current position, I was responsible for..."); instead, make yourself the subject of each sentence and use active descriptions (ex., "In my current position, I demonstrated strong problem-solving skills.").
- Do not use contractions (I'd, didn't, it's).
Click here to view a sample cover letter