If you want to get hired by your dream company, you will surely do everything in your power to get noticed and make the best impression. Some job seekers make the mistake of sending out resumes to potential employers without a cover letter. Unless you are doing walk-in application, you should never send your resume through post mail or email without a cover letter.
The Importance of A Cover Letter
A cover letter is a simple letter where you formally introduce yourself to a potential employer. It should be the first document that a hiring officer will see upon opening your job application letter or email. In your cover letter, you declare your purpose or desire to be part of the company. It is a formal invitation to a potential employer to take a look at your resume for further evaluation. Indeed, your cover letter is the bridge that connects to your resume. These documents complement each other.
What To Include in a Cover Letter
What are the things you should include in your cover letter? Typically, a cover letter can be three to four paragraphs long with each paragraph containing at least two or three sentences.
In the first paragraph is where you make the formal introduction of yourself and how you learned about the job opportunity. Did you read the ad from the newspaper or from an online job listing? Or do you personally know someone who is connected with the company who informed you about the opportunity? If you have a personal connection, you should definitely use it to your advantage by mentioning the name of the person in your cover letter.
In your second paragraph, you should focus on your credentials. Here is your chance to say why you deserve to be hired for the job. Don’t be afraid to brag about your achievements. Let the hiring officer know what you can do for the company. If applicable, you can use the third paragraph to strengthen your second paragraph by adding a few more accomplishments.
Your last paragraph should directly persuade the hiring officer to take a look at your resume. You can also state that you are looking forward to be contacted for an actual interview. Finally, thank the prospective employer for his/her time reading your cover letter.
Reminders on Writing Your Cover Letter
Here are important points to keep in mind when writing a cover letter:
- Keep it short, simple and concise. Choose strong words and omit unnecessary terms and phrases.
- Instead of writing in a very formal tone, use the conversational writing style, making sure that you maintain professionalism and respect all throughout your letter.
- Be positive. Don’t use sentences which send the impression that you are not certain about your credentials or qualifications. If you want to convince a hiring officer to meet your for an interview, you must believe that you are qualified for the position.
- Don’t just repeat sentences which are already in your resume. Make your cover letter unique in itself, and use your resume to supplement the facts you stated in your cover letter.