Cover Letter serves as the first introduction to an employer. Include the most useful information in the open of the cover letter itself.
The open and end of a cover letter plays an important role to create an impression in the recruiter’s mind. As it is an opportunity to open up as one’s viability as a strong candidate as well as to communicate it in a polished, professional manner.
Cover letter helps to showcase relevant qualifications the job seeker has to offer. In addition, it allows the applicant to further explain any unusual circumstances in his or her background (e.g., gaps in employment, a return to the workforce, or change in career focus). This demonstrate professionalism and hence helps to attract an interview.
With this in mind, it is best to ensure the cover letter aligns with common expectations by limiting it to one page and addressing a specific individual whenever possible. Include the company name and the recipient’s name and title. Even when applying to a blind ad or box number one can use the ad information to personalise a cover letter.
A well-written, employer-centric cover letter will typically consist of three main parts: the introduction, the body, and the closing (which ends with a compelling action or request).
Whenever possible, indicate how you came to apply to the company, such as :
- responding to an advertised opening
- having identified the company through research (do not use this if you didn’t do the research as it may be obvious to the employer)
- reading about the company or its executives in a publication
- receiving a referral from John Jones at XYZ company
It is important to highlight your qualifications and strengths as they relate to the requirements of the position. Amplify or even augment information contained in your resume (rather than merely repeating it) and include a few strengths or personal qualities.
If the position was unadvertised and the resume is unsolicited, indicate that you will follow up in a few days.
If you are responding to an advertised position, indicate you are looking forward to the opportunity to discuss how you can contribute to the success of the organisation.
It is important to balance the tone of your cover letter. You want to be professional yet cautiously assertive. While a resume does not conform to standard writing styles (e. g., using personal pronouns, articles, and complete sentences), a cover letter does!
Lastly, remember to focus on the employer’s needs rather than your own (e.g., indicate what skills you will bring to the position to get the job done, rather than what you expect the employer to do for you).
Cover letter may seem as a formality at times, but there have been instances where the decision making has been vested on the cover letter sent by the application. Make the most while writing a cover letter
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Now that you know how to structure the cover letter, here are the list of important things that needs to be included in a cover letter.