Job ads often request a cover letter to be sent with your resume. You may think that a simple “my resume is enclosed for your review” will suffice, but you would be wrong!
The cover letter is an extension of your resume which gives the employer an opportunity to learn information that’s not covered in the resume. Your cover letter just might be the deciding factor in whether or not you get an interview.
When writing a cover letter, there are three important things to remember:
It is important to focus your cover letter on the specific job you are applying for. Using the advertisement, outline your strengths and abilities that match what the employer is looking for. Note your experiences and skills that directly relate to the job, but that aren’t already in your resume.
Be sure that your cover letter is written in business format. If you are uncertain about the correct format, do an internet search for sample cover letters or templates.
Include the name and address of the hiring manager, as well as the date and appropriate salutations. If you do not have the name of the person to whom you will send the letter, do an internet search or make a phone call to the company to request the information.
Attention to Detail
Make sure to use spell check and grammar check before sending your cover letter. Many employers use mistakes as a way to weed out potential applicants, tossing aside the ones with errors. Also be sure to sign your cover letter, if you are providing a hard copy.
The time and energy you put into your cover letter will not go unnoticed by an employer. Following these tips will help you to make the best first impression. Good Luck!