While a resume gives you a complete introduction to the potential employer, a cover letter adds that personal touch that makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. So… it’s time for some expert cover letter advice!
Here are five tips sure to help you open the door to more job interviews…
Know Who to Address
Always address your cover letter to the appropriate contact at the company. Never start your cover letter with the heading “To Whom It May Concern”. It gives an impression that you are not serious about applying for a position and are just one among hundreds of applicants who have applied for the job. Take the time to find out whom you should send your resume to, and direct your letter to the concerned person. This gives you a specific contact with whom you can follow-up, and also creates a positive impact on the potential employer that you were interested enough to do some research on the company.
Every cover letter you write should be customized according to the specific company where you are applying for the job. This is perhaps the most important expert cover letter advice. Don’t simply change names at the top of the letter. Research the company and address their specific needs. Also, highlight the benefits that you can offer to the company. The cover letter provides you an opportunity to interpret the top skills on your resume and discuss why they make you the best candidate for the position.
Be Clear, Precise, and Brief
At the end of your letter, make it clear that you are actively pursuing a position. Request an interview, and tell the employer when you will follow up to arrange it. Don’t send a cover letter that contains any typing errors, misspellings, and grammar or punctuation mistakes. It creates a very bad impression. Keep your cover letter brief and concise.
A cover letter should not be of more than one page. As many have learned, it’s best to keep it well under a full page.
Each paragraph should have no more than one to three sentences. Also, use simple language and simple sentence structure. Then eliminate all unnecessary words.
Grab Their Attention
Don’t waste your first paragraph by writing a boring introduction. Use the first paragraph to grab the employer’s attention; give the employer the reasons you are qualified for the position. Avoid hackneyed sentences such as “Enclosed please find my resume”. The employers can see that your resume is enclosed and they don’t need you to tell them. Tell the reader how you learned about the position or the organization. Were you referred by a friend or colleague? Be sure to mention their name.
Call attention to elements of your background – education, leadership, experience – that are relevant to a position you are seeking. Be as specific as possible, using examples. Reflect your attitude, personality, motivation, enthusiasm, and communication skills. Provide or refer to any information specifically requested in a job advertisement not covered in your resume. For example, your availability date, security clearance status, or a link to a writing sample.
Despite what some people think, cover letters remain an important part of your job search.
With this expert cover letter advice, you’ll be writing attention-grabbing, interview-winning cover letters in no time.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Resume to Interviews!