The cover letter plays an important role in the job search. A well-written cover letter can substantially let the applicant stand out to compete for jobs and generate interviews. In addition, the cover letter demonstrates the applicant’s communication and organizational skills as well. In this highly competitive job market, the cover letter gives the applicant an opportunity to show his or her edge over other job seekers by describing how his or her specific skills and accomplishments uniquely qualify him or her for the job.
To make that great first impression, the applicant needs to know what makes a cover letter good. Here are some tips to writing effective cover letters. Use a combination of these tips and fine tune with each specific situation to achieve goals.
- Prepare resume. The experiences and skills list on the resume should be tailored to the particular position applying for, stressing strengths desired by the potential employer.
- Research the target company. To get information relating to the desired job is very import to write a cover letter which addresses the company’s needs specifically.
- Analyze the job. In order to understand what kind of important skills, qualifications and experience the employer is looking for, read and think about the job description carefully.
- Try to find the name of the manager in charge of the job. Use network to find someone who is in the company or industry.
- Personalize each letter to the organization. Each letter should be typed in business form standard size paper, and directed to a particular individual by name and title.
- Highlight the aspects of the applicant’s background that will be most relevant to the job. Draw attention to a particular skill or accomplishment that has meaning to the organization.
- Use key terms from the ad or job description that are clearly relevant to the applicant’s background. Use simple direct language and proper grammar.
- Include some challenging thoughts that will cause employers to feel that discussion with you would be worthwhile even if they really had not been planning to hire anybody right now.
- Keep the letter short. Most cover letters should be limited to one page, preferably 3-5 paragraphs.
- Hints on the letter structure and content:
- In the opening paragraph, clarify the purpose in writing and build readers’ interest.
- In the body, persuade the reader that the applicant has skills and abilities very useful for the company.
- In the closing, request an interview as well as a strong reminder of the benefit to the prospective employer the applicant may bring to the job.