11 Nov, 2012Tweet
Often times in the world of job searching today, a resume is not sufficient to apply for the job that you would like to be considered for. It is likely that, when applying, they will ask you a cover letter as well There are many reasons for this. One is that employers no longer feel that they can get all the information that they would like to know about you from your resume.
Another is that they would like to see a sample of your writing and how you present yourself. It can be difficult to write a cover letter, so here are some cover letter tips and cover letter strategies that will be helpful to you.
When learning how to write a cover letter, it is easier to put the steps in terms of the parts of a cover letter. The first section starts out just as any other business style letter would, and that is with your contact information and the contact information of your employer. Make sure you have your name, address phone number, email address, and any other information that you feel is relevant as a focal point of your cover letter. When adding your employers contact information, be sure that you address it to the exact person you're hoping to contact (if you have that information) instead of just generally addressing it to the company or a job title that you think is fitting. The next portion of the cover letter is the salutation. Be sure to keep this formal and professional. Once again, if you have the name of the person you are contacting (which you should try your best to get) use that here.
Next, and most importantly, is the body of the cover letter. Your first paragraph should contain why you are writing your cover letter. The next paragraph should contain what you have to offer the person you are writing to. In this portion of your letter be sure to be specific. For example, if the point of your cover letter is to apply for a job at an advertising agency for a creative position, highlight the creative skills that you have. More importantly than showcasing your skills, however, is letting the person that you are writing to know why it should matter to them and how it will benefit them. The third part of the body of your cover letter should be spent letting them know how you will follow up. This will take out any ambiguity in the process and make you appear that you really care about why you are writing this letter to them.
The final portion of the cover letter is the closing. As always, be completely professional.
After you have included all of the parts of a cover letter, it is important that you go back through the cover letter to make sure that you have all the parts, have not made any spelling or grammar errors, and that you are generally satisfied with the cover letter that you have written. The first thing that you should check is that you have included your contact information so that they may be able to contact you just after looking at your cover letter. Second, you need to make sure that there is a discernable call to action or multiple calls to action within your cover letter.
If your objective is that they contact you for a job interview, be sure to make that very clear. If you are looking to set up a meeting simply to get more information or to share ideas, they need to know that. You can learn more about Cover letter checklist in Cover Letters Webpage.
By Xavier Colomain, Resume Consultant and Blog Contributor. Sharing expertise and providing Career Coaching since 1997. Owner of ResumeBlog.org