Your resume is meant to indicate your facts, but your cover letter is meant to represent more character of yours. The cover letter is your very first introduction for the recruiter, and its aim should be to make you as memorable as possible, in a good way for the recruiter.
That means writing a special cover letter for every job you apply to. It shouldn't contain any templates or any personal stuff. The format of your cover letter should always match the company's and the industry you’re applying to.
As such, there's no “official format” for the cover letter or the information you include in it, but your cover letter should be well organized, and orderly in its presentation of information.
A cover letter shouldn't be of more than a single page. It's only meant to highlight the summary of the information you’ve written in your resume, so try to keep things short. Remember, you’re writing a letter not an essay.
Following is a list of do’s and the things you should include in your cover letter. For examples of how to include these things, visit our Cover Letter Samples page.
Just as important as the things you should mention on your cover letter are the things that you should never mention on your cover letter. Following are few things to look out for.
Looking for a recruiter-preferred cover letter? Following are the five easy steps which’ll guide you towards writing a successful cover letter. By going step by step, you can ensure that your cover letter will be drafted, written, and sent off without much stress - and with a good chance of success.
Go through the job listing and description very carefully and check where your own experience best matches up. Be biased about company's requirements you choose to highlight the most, as you are going to use these to frame a table in your cover letter.
Remember, after all is said and done, your cover letter should only be of a single page. The points you choose should be the ones that are most relevant to the job position, but also the ones that provide specific examples about your past experience.
Tip: When you copy and paste from the job listing into your editor, check for the typos that might be in the listing. The person who will read your application probably won't know - or care - that the mistake wasn't your fault.
Through social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Instagram), you might be able to find the name of a relevant employee to whom you can address your cover letter.
For example, Twitter's advanced search is used by many applicants to find names, and if the company has a profile on LinkedIn which it’ll surely must be having, you can view its employees from there as well.
Don't just choose any random person, but if you can, try to find someone in Human Resources Department - preferably a Director or Manager - or a higher-up within the department you're applying to.
This is a key way to kickstart your application and make sure it lands where it needs to.
Tip: If you know someone at the company who can refer for the job for you, mention them in the first paragraph of your cover letter.
Next, create a table with the company's requirements on one side, and your matching skills on the right side.
While creating the table, you'll need to make it two columns. Then, take the number of requirements you're choosing and add one for the header. So, for this example, which has focused on five points, the table is two columns by six rows.
Tip: If you face difficulties in creating a table, you can write-up your qualifications in paragraph form.
Now, you've created the table, you should copy and paste it into the body section of your cover letter. This is sometimes termed as a "T" shape cover letter format. The table should be placed in between your introductory paragraphs, and before your closing.
It gives nice look to format the table with invisible or very thin borders, although it's not necessary. To perform this in MS Word, right click on the table, select Borders and Shading, and then click "None" on the left hand side of the small window that pops up.
Tip: Save your cover letter in a PDF format so that the document retains the proper formatting when it is opened and looked at.
Finish on a higher note and conclude the cover letter with the promise of a "next step." That way, even if your application gets lost somewhere at the bottom of a pile, when you reach out to the potential employer they'll be reminded to go retrieve your cover letter and resume and take another look.
At last, make sure to proofread your cover letter so it's error free.
Tip: Reach out when you say you will to demonstrate your punctuality and ability to follow through with promises. If you have submitted many different applications and have trouble keeping track of dates, stay organized with an Excel sheet or set reminders with your phone.
How you send your resume and cover letter to the employer depends totally on the organization's criterias. You may be asked to upload your application documents to the company website or to a job board or maybe both. Or, in some cases you may be asked to email your resume or cover letter or even mail it.
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