When you apply for a job, write a cover letter. Cover letters show you. They make you appear professional and personable. Every cover letter should answer the basic question, why should you be hired?
The best cover letters are addressed directly to a person. If possible find out who makes the hiring decision. Address them with the appropriate courtesy titles such as Mr. or Ms. following the person’s name; write their job title, the company name, and the address. If you do not know the persons name, write, to whom it may concern. The letter should follow the basic business letter format.
Sending a cover letter with your resume lets your future employer know what job you are seeking. Within the letter, share briefly what you know about the company and the industry. The cover letter is your first impression. It will convince the reader to look at your resume and consider you for employment.
Cover letters bring the facts of your resume to life. You need to show the reader how you can help the company. Employers are looking for what you can do for them. They want to see and know your skills. Provide specific examples and reasons that show your qualifications. The reader will make their own evaluation based on your examples.
Do not emphasize how the company can help you. They are not hiring you to educate you on the company or industry. They need someone that will work hard to help the company achieve its goals.
In your cover letter briefly describe your background and education related to the job position you seek. Show your attitude and personality. The reader wants to see a well written, interesting, and clear cover letter. They want to see the applicant’s potential.
Reread your letter and check for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes. A letter that appears sloppy or careless will not get you the job. Do not use contractions nor write in a passive voice.
Keep your letter short and concise. It should not go beyond one page in length. Most cover letters are three to five paragraphs long. Be sure and write your letter on good quality paper that matches your resume.
The conclusion of your letter should flow into an interview invitation. You should suggest how you would like the reader to contact you to set up an interview. You can do this by requesting an interview or stating how you will make a follow-up phone call. End your letter with the word, sincerely or respectful, followed by your signature.
A well-written cover letter will help you get the job you want. Cover letters show the reader what job you are looking for and how you can benefit the company. Future employers will be sure to consider you for a job position if you prepare a quality cover letter.