Lets explore the cover letter writing Tips, that enables you to write that perfect cover letter. Writing a nice cover letter can give your application a major boost, to getting shortlisted for an interview. This is what every Job seeker out there desires. Most Job seekers will lock the job offer, if given an interview chance. Getting an interview chance is the hard part. We will begin our discussion in brief by first explaining what a cover letter is.
What is a Cover letter ?
A cover letter is a one page document, that accompanies your resume applying for a job vacancy. Basically your going to use the document to convince the potential employer, why your the perfect candidate for a particular position. A cover letter will summarize your skills and experience, clearly explaining how you can add value to the company.
How Long should a cover letter be.
Just because we have said a cover letter is a one page document, it doesn’t mean you should go ahead and fill the whole page with whats already in your resume. It should be a brief introduction, of what the Hiring manager expects to find in your Resume. Like we are going to see in our discussion of the building blocks of a cover letter. It should be a four paragraph document. It should be on point, quickly communicating why you are the perfect candidate . Lets see what exactly are the building blocks of a cover letter.
Building Blocks of a Cover Letter.
What are you going to include, in this so important document. We have five basic elements of a cover letter. Lets see how your going to list them from top to bottom.
Header & Salutation:
The Header: should begin with your contact information, followed by the employers contact information. Make sure you give your Name, Address, Phone number and email address in that order. We will latter see with a practical example later.
Salutation:Before writing your salutation, it could be good to first find out whom your writing to. Avoid salutations like; Dear Sir/Madam, or ”To whom it might concern”. These types of salutations are usually very irritating to the hiring managers. They also portray ignorance and lack of concern, hence make you look less serious. If you cant find the details of whom your writing to, simply use ”Dear Hiring Manager”. This will sound a bit polite than using To whom it may concern.
Introduction & The Body:
Introduction: This part begins by stating which job your applying for, and how you heard about it. If it was through an advertisement through the print media, state it. Briefly mention how your education and working experience, matches the position your applying for. This is meant to catch the attention of the reader. Shortly you can review a practical example here.
The Body: The body should be the paragraph where you explain why your interested in the position. Why do you think your the perfect candidate for the job ?. Provide practical examples that demonstrates your abilities matching the job posting. We all know actions speak louder than words. Don’t just state that your a good team leader, give a practical example when you demonstrated that.
The closure: In the closing remark, restate your skills makes you the perfect candidate. State your desire to be given an interview chance to further prove your worth. Finally thank the hiring manager, and end your letter with a signature. If its an email application, simply type your full name.
Cover Letter writing Tips.
obviously by now I am sure you’re already aware, how important the cover letter document is. Definitely In your Job search journey, it makes you stand out from the crowd. Lets discuss some the best practices to observe, and what to avoid before customizing your next cover letter.
Best cover letter writing practice.
- One letter for each application: Just as we talked about the Resume, every Letter should be customizes to match a specific job opening. Make sure you first review the job advertisement requirement, to nail what the hiring manager is looking for. After that customize your letter to perfectly match the needs of the opening.
- Always Target the company needs: Always use your letter as a selling tool, to demonstrate how your skills will benefit the organization. Tell the Hiring manager why you think he or she should buy the skills your selling.
- Research about the organization: Before you sit down and draft your next letter, Do some research about the organization. After a brief research, use the job advert to find keywords that portray you as the solution to the company problems.
- Lastly make sure you proofread: I know almost every one hates the process of customizing a resume or cover letter. In a hurry, we only use spell check to correct mistakes. Mostly the spell check only replaces with suggestions, hence not mostly recommended. I strongly recommend slowly reviewing your work and counter checking that everything is ok. It can also be good practice to always have someone else do it for you.
Cover letter writing mistakes to Avoid.
- Use of the same document: In reality, most people are naturally lazy. For this reason they tend to use the same document on every application. Its good to emphasize Hiring managers review thousands of applications every year. For this reason sporting generic letters is quite easy. That is why, if you want to stand out, take your time and customize each document for each application.
- Avoid spelling mistakes: Its quite difficult to catch your own mistakes. With this in mind, i strongly advice on getting some one to help in proofreading. Hence you don’t wish to get disqualified, just because of spellings mistakes.
- Don’t over use ”I” : Occasionally, I’ve gone through some cover letters, that made me feel like am reading someones autobiography. Note the focus should not be on you, but how you full fill the employer need. overusing I bring a perspective of self centered. In conclusion avoid the use of I, especially at the beginning of a sentence.
- Making it too long: Make sure your cover letter doesn’t regurgitate what’s already in your resume. However make it concise above all compelling.
- Finally don’t forget to sign: When sending a hard copy, signing your cover letter shows proper business etiquette. But when applying via email, make sure in place of a signature, you type your full name.
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