A cover letter is your first chance to grab the employer’s attention. If written correctly, it will surely set you apart from the rest of the applicants. The key is to be brief and direct, just like in a resume, but in a way that complements your resume and does not duplicate it. It should also draw the reader’s attention to your strengths. It doesn’t matter if you have highly qualified credentials or the best written resume in the world; if your cover letter is boring and dull, then you might even lose a once in a life time opportunity. The main purpose of a good cover letter is to hold the reader’s attention so that s/he is interested in checking out your resume. There are different ways to write a cover letter. You can write one depending on the company and the method of transmission. Below are given a few tips on how to write good cover letters that make you stand out from the endless sea of applicants. For better results, combine a few of these tips depending on your needs.
Tips On Writing Resume Cover Letters
- The most important tip for writing a good cover letter is to grab the employer’s attention. So start your cover letter with something that engages the employer’s interest. Instead of a dull and boring introduction, start by mentioning how you can be beneficial to the company in a way no other candidate can. Or you could also point out key qualifications you possess for the job position. Remember that you have a maximum of one or two seconds to grab the reader’s attention before s/he continues with the next letter. So use it wisely.
- Don’t ever hand-write a cover letter. Use nice, crisp, quality paper and print it out. Don’t make it too fancy with different fonts and colors. Keep it simple. Avoid making information repetitive. Also limit the number of paragraphs. A good cover letter need not go beyond a page. Also, avoid writing unnecessary information that exaggerates unimportant matters and can project a false image. Never speak ill of co-workers or former employers. Be diplomatic.
- Use proper grammar and simple direct language. Clearly state why you want to be a part of that organization. Make no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors and stay away from acronyms, buzzwords, slang, or anything overly personal. Poor printing, misspelling or wrong grammar indicates that you are not serious about that particular job. Reflect your personality in the letter without appearing too desperate, humorous or aggressive.
- Target the right person. Instead of writing “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”, find out the name of the person who is responsible for the job you are interested in. Don’t misspell that person’s name.
- The body of the cover letter should elaborate on the qualifications stated in the opening and explain how it can be beneficial for the employer. The body can be divided into two parts – the first part explaining educational experience and the second, work experience. You could also highlight your strong points like leadership qualities, team work, problem solving skills, multitasking, etc.
- Sell yourself by providing relevant evidence of your achievements and write it in such a way that it doesn’t look like you are repeating your resume but supporting your achievements with brief stories. Also, if you have irrelevant experiences, then don’t bother mentioning them since it will be of no interest to the company and you will be wasting the reader’s time by mentioning it. Mention only relevant accomplishments. Also clarify how your skills or talents will be beneficial to them.
- End the cover letter with a strong request for an interview. Provide clear contact details for the employer to contact you. Or you could also take control of the situation by mentioning the day and date on which you will call the potential employers’ office to follow up and fix an appointment as per mutual convenience.
- Do not take the short cut by copy pasting one of the millions of cover letter templates available online. It might be tempting, but remember that by doing so, you are being deceitful and it also conveys the wrong impression about your morals and ethics. Write your cover letter in your own words.