A cover letter is an important complementary support document that should always accompany your resume when applying for employment. It represents the very first impression you will make on a potential employer and should effectively and persuasively demonstrate who you are, your knowledge of the company you hope to work for and how your unique set of skills and accomplishments would make you the best fit for the role you are applying for.
In this post, I will be sharing five tips for creating the foundation of your cover letter that will be just as important as your resume. Cover letters should be revised and tailored to each new job you apply for.
Your cover letter should be only one page long. Be sure to use the same letter head, font and font size you used when creating your resume. The font should be simple and easy to read. Your cover letter should be about three to four paragraphs in length.
2. Address the appropriate person
Find out the name of the hiring manager so that you can address the correct person when writing your cover letter. This will show that you have done your research and set you apart from other applicants. Try looking for this information on the company website or directory, if there is one, or call up the company and ask for the name of the hiring manager.
3. Do your research
When writing your cover letter, be sure to research the company you are applying to work for. Look up the company online and follow their social media platforms. This can provide you with some additional information about the company that you might not have been able to get from simply looking at the job posting. Include in your letter why you want to work for the company and reference your research. If you don’t know anything about the company, it will be difficult to convince an employer why you want to work for them and why they should hire you.
4. Your experience
In this section of your cover letter, you will explain why your education, work experience, and volunteer work make you a strong candidate for the position. Here, you can mention your hard and soft skills. For example, I would advise highlighting your experience with video conferencing and working virtually with supervisors and team members. During these unprecedented times, I am sure you have gained a wealth of knowledge in these areas from either working or studying from home. These new skills will speak to your ability to be flexible and adapt to new and challenging work environments.
Your cover letter should be edited by a friend or mentor with strong proof-reading skills. I recommend using the same proof-reader that edited your resume. They will be able to refer back to your resume and make educated, objective suggestions regarding use of specific skills or experience you might have failed to mention in your cover letter.
Join me next week when I will be posting Series Three: LinkedIn.
Until then, take care.