You have heard it so often that it is permanently etched into your mind – always write a cover letter for resume submission. But what is a good cover letter? Is it even that important?
It’s very important, in fact. A cover letter provides an introduction to a potential employer and can do so in a more personalized way than you resume alone ever could. It’s important to know how to write a cover letter that communicates who you are as a person. You can use your cover letter to give the reader an idea of who you are and why you are perfect for the job. Tell them about you in your cover letter, for resumes are the place to tell them about your skills.
Additionally, it is a chance to impress a potential employer with your intelligence and communication skills as well as to tell them that you know all about the job you are attempting to land. You can really do a lot with a good cover letter for resume applications, so don’t forget to write one with every resume.
A cover letter shouldn’t be too elaborate. Use the same paper as you used for your resume (and plain white paper is perfectly fine, by the way). Remember that a cover letter should always be typewritten.
Address your cover letter for resume recipients by name if possible, but don’t use titles like Mrs., etc unless you are certain of their marital status – it is considered offensive to be misaddressed in this way. Remember to include the date on every cover letter, as well as your phone number, which should be underneath your address at the top of the letter. Use a neutral exit greeting such as Sincerely to close your letter and use only black or blue ink to sign.
Now for the content of your letter; while format is very important, the content is the heart of the matter. Mention right off the bat which position you are applying for and the reference number from the job posting (if any) and mention where you saw the posting. Something along the lines of “Please consider this letter my application for the position of —–” makes for a good first line of a cover letter for resumes that get read.
The second paragraph is where make your case to the reader briefly. Tell them why you want to work at their firm, why you are the ideal candidate for this position and include anything that will help you stand apart form other applicants. If you have held a similar position in the past, now is a good time to say so. This paragraph is the most important part of your cover letter for resume consideration.
The last paragraph should briefly close out your letter. Tell the prospective employer when you can meet for an interview and never, ever use the word “if”. Exude confidence and assume that they will call you – after all, you’ve just spent the last paragraph telling them you are perfect for the job.
That’s it, you’ve done it! Remember not to staple your cover letter to your resume (use a paper clip instead) and fold your cover letter and resume together before you put them in the envelope. It wasn’t that hard to figure out
, was it?