Looking forward to impress a hiring manager? It is said that a cover letter can be more intimidating than a resume and can show the manager what he is expecting to look. But cover letters can also be misleading if not done the right way. Here is a list of seven most important things that constitute a cover letter.
A good cover letter can help you stand out of the crowd, and the worst can make even a promising candidate look unexperienced. Most of the cover letters include the same information as the resume, and hence are left out of the screening process. Since no one reads it or reading it makes the hiring manager more furious. Even if you are the perfect fit for the job, your first impression can keep you from landing the job.
Remember for every job that you apply, there is something that you will have to change. Sending the same cover letter to every job you apply is one of the biggest mistakes you are making while sending out job applications.
What should a Cover Letter be like? If you get this right, the chances of you landing a job will definitely go up. Here is a list of seven things that will help you write a great cover letter.
1. Avoid “To Whom It May Concern”
It is quite common that when you apply for a job interview, you are not sure whom to address. If you do not have this idea, it is better not to address anyone rather than using the phrase “to whom it may concern”. Plain phrases like ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ and ‘To the HR’ are a complete no.
2. Give a Great Start
Telling someone that you are so and so and you are applying for a particular position makes no sense to the reader. The recruiter definitely has an idea about the position that you are applying for and your name in any case he would not remember. Instead you can start by displaying your interest in the organization and flaunting your knowledge about the organization as well as the job applied. You can also talk about how you’re the right fir for the job.
3. Keep it Accurately Long
Well it may be difficult to decide what is accurate, but fitting what you wish to write in your cover letter in three paragraphs or less is apt. No one is interested in a long letter that talks about you all through its length. Keep it less, and increase your chances of getting shortlisted.
4. Add Some Phrases from the Job Description
When a company posts a job description, it clearly says what they are looking for. And, if your cover letter does not have the matching keywords, you may not be shortlisted for any further discussion. You can add a keyword or two when you are explaining why you are the right candidate for the job.
Even if you create a template for a cover letter, you’ll still have to tweak some information. If you are applying for a particular field say for example you are applying for a technical job, then it is always better to have a look at a sample cover letter for the same before you start drafting or tweaking yours.
5. Avoid Repeating Information
A great cover letter should be unique and not a repetition of information that you have in your resume in a different format. It is obvious that your cover letter will be followed by your resume and chances are that your resume is glanced more carefully than the letter. So it is useless putting up the same information. Instead use your cover letter to show your personality, your curiosity to learn and the interest in the field you are applying to. Use different mediums to show off your interest and expertise in the field. It will convey to the reader your interest and increase your odds of landing to thus job.
6. Do Not Ignore the Small Stuff
Even if you have everything framed right for your cover letter, little ignorance can still create troubles for you. Always keep a check of the smallest details. For example always send your cover letter and resume in PDF format, label your attachments, add references and cognizant of your document name.
7. Give it a Great End
A quick ending will do your job. Just in a sentence or two you can show the recruiter that how your experience can contribute to the role. Yes, that’s it. Anything other than this can turn into rambling and you surely do not want to do that.
A cover letter does not only help you represent yourself but also lets you be a stronger candidate. In a compelling way, it forces you to make your case. So when making a cover letter make sure you give your best performance.
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About Akansha AroraAkansha Arora is a professional writer and blogger who loves to pen down her views on a number of topics that interest a reader. A writer by day and a reader by night, her passion is to help readers in all aspects of job search and resume writing.
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Are you one of them who think that a cover letter is just a summary of your resume, then you definitely need to change the way you think. And, you need to change your cover letter or probably draft a new one. A cover letter most of the times leaves a first impression of the job seeker on the employer. There are many things that can go wrong with your cover letter if you do not give it importance. A missing cover letter can be one of the reasons you are not hearing from the employers. And other major reason is that your cover letter is missing the some important elements. The article talks about the importance of cover and how can it help you get a job interview.
A job seeker once wandered if a cover letter was even important? “I mean I am giving all they need in my resume, then what will a cover letter do?” is the exact thing a job seeker asked when asked to apply with a cover letter. Today a scan through the resume or looking up a candidate online can help the employer with the basic details such as education, work experience and awards and rewards. But what the resume misses is your work ethic and attention to detail. A well written cover letter gives the employer a glimpse of your personality that a listed view of achievements cannot.
For a first time job seeker, a cover letter is very important with every job application. Do not use a cover letter that is generalized and has no keywords relevant to the job.
Writing a killer cover letter is not an easy task to do. You need to search and research, read the job description and then finally go through cover letter samples so that you can write your cover letter just perfectly.
What an Ideal Cover Letter Should Look Like?
Resume is an important part of a job search programme but a cover letter can act as the most important document as at times a cover letter acts as the first glimpse of what you are to the employer. A strategically designed cover letter should:
- Be able to target the job and the employer specifically and lets the resume market your skills and competencies
- Not be a repetition of your resume in a sentenced form. It should contain your uniqueness and efficiency that attracts the employer.
Ideally your cover letter should explain things that your resume can’t. You can use a cover letter to positively put your reasons about a gap in job, a career switch or any other such thing.
Some Things to Remember When Writing a Cover Letter When writing a cover letter:
- Try addressing someone specifically instead of a general salutation
- Write an attention seeking introduction so that the employer is interested in you from the first line
- Try and relate yourself with the company and mention phrases like “understanding your business and requirements” and “how can I benefit the company”
- Include your current accomplishments
- Make it specific for a job search; include keywords that makes it ATS (Automated Tracking System) friendly and at the same time industry specific
- Never include a negative information
- End your cover letter by requesting to schedule a personal interview
- Keep it free from all the errors and typos
Cover Letter Sample:
Here is a cover letter designed for someone looking a job in finance:
NISAR C. KHAN
Contact: 0966 5413xxxx –
Company Name & Address:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (Last Name)
It is with great interest that I am applying for the position of XXXXX in your organization, as advertised in Newspaper XXXX dated on xx/xx/xx. I possess over 7 years of experience in the Construction & Contracting Domain. I believe am a suitable candidate who can work efficiently in your organization.
Working with Sterling & Wilson Middle East Electro Mechanical L.L.C, Dubai, U.A.E as Sr. Accountant, I have consistently produced strong results with high degree of integrity, dedication and organization communication skills. My track record speaks for itself along with my broad range of skills in handling all aspects of accounting and financial management.
With excellent/good knowledge of the financial services industry; I am currently pursuing ACCA which have helped keep myself updated with the latest financial trends.
- My notable accomplishments include the following:
- Efficiently handled nearly SOO million AED for the three projects namely King Abdullah Financial District, Riyadh, KSA, Barwa Commercial Avenue, Doha, Qatar – SWME Doha Operations and Hilton Marina Hotel, Doha, Qatar – SWME Doha Operations
- Ensured sufficient amount of cash flow through proper management of capital funds, trade payables & receivables Maintenance of monthly financial statements such as Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Accounts for future reference for higher management
Regular interaction with banks and other financial institutions for payments, receipts, etc.
As added demonstration of my seriousness and commitment to the job quest, I have been pre-screened by an online background verification service with the report available for review. My past employers can attest my abilities to use my financial and accounting expertise to take on a management and leadership role in the business.
I have attached my resume, which highlights my experiences and accomplishments in more detail for your review. I would love the opportunity to speak with you regarding the potential employment opportunity within your firm. Please feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
NISAR C. THALIYIL
A cover letter needs as much attention as your resume for a successful job search process. Keeping it professional like any other document that you need for the job search. It should display your enthusiasm and your efforts that you have put in for this application. You can draft a cover letter but remember to modify it according to each job that you apply.
All the best for your job search!
Akansha Arora is a professional writer and blogger who loves to pen down her views on a number of topics that interest a reader. She writes keeping in mind the current scenarios and wishes to keep her readers well informed. You can follow her on google.com/+AkanshaArora2112