Tip #1: Always Try To Submit One
Since you’re usually up against many other qualified job applicants, a cover letter is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd. A cover letter might not be a requirement, however; smart applicants make it a habit to include a well-written, customized letter with every resume you submit.
Tip #2: Make It Personal
How likely are you to read a letter that’s addressed “To Whom It May Concern?” If you can, try to learn the name and title of the hiring manager – that way, you’ll be able to personally address your cover letter and have a much better chance that your resume will get the attention it needs to compete.
Tip #3: Learn About The Job & The Company
Your chance of landing that first interview is greatly increased if you demonstrate some knowledge about the job you’re applying for and the company. Read the job description very carefully, and research the company on the Internet. Go to a search engine such as www.google.com or www.yahoo.com, and type in the company name, then do some research on the company’s web site.
Tip #4: Answer The Question: “How Can I Help This Employer Succeed?”
After you’ve read through the job description and learned about the company from Web research, you should have a good idea of what the firm is looking for. Instead of using your cover letter to let them know what you’re looking for, let the company know how you can solve business problems by improving efficiencies, saving money, etc. In the process, you’ll not only demonstrate an active interest in the firm’s organization but stress why they should hire YOU for this job.
Tip #5: Use Your Own Voice
Resumes, by their nature, tend to be factual and pretty drab. A well-written cover letter, on the other hand, gives you an opportunity to communicate more straightforwardly with the employer and let your individual style shine through. Write as you’d speak, but express yourself professionally and emphasize what you can do for the company by talking about the positive results you have achieved. Try a dry run while standing up as we are more animated when standing.
Tip #6: Get To The Point
You’re probably very busy trying to find a job, but keep in mind that the employer is even busier filling them. Although you want to customize each cover letter with job and company information and show the wisdom of hiring you, it’s best to keep your letter to at most two or three short paragraphs. So stick to what’s important, and put yourself in the reader’s shoes: Is your letter interesting and to the point? Is it a quick read that leaves unanswered questions? Would you want to hire the person who wrote it?
A good Cover Letter makes you stand out from the rest of the pack! Show your new prospective employer that you care enough to make a difference.