You know it very well that to apply for almost any job, you will need to send your resume under a letter as a part of your application. This letter is often referred to as Cover Letter.
What does a cover letter contain?
As the name suggests, a cover letter is a letter attached with your resume. It is in the form of a letter and addressed to the recruiter. It is usually short and typically of one page, highlighting important information about your education, relevant experience, career achievements and applicable skills for the job you are applying. In addition or alternatively, it can also provide additional information about you which has not been mentioned in the resume. The cover letter characteristically informs the head hunter that why you are the most suitable candidate for the job you are applying for.
The importance of cover letter
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When you are applying for the job after completion of studies or looking for a change of job, you know that you have to send your resume or CV to the potential employer or the head hunter.
Since everyone just shoots his or her resume when applying for the position, if a cover letter is included as a part of your communication it sets you apart immediately.
Therefore, a cover letter is an excellent tool in your hands to draw the attention of the potential employer or the head hunter toward your qualifications, experience, skill sets or whatever you think is unique and important in your case.
A recruiter has to go through hundreds of resumes when shortlisting suitable candidates. While this becomes a boring task, the head hunter normally gives a few seconds to 1 or 2 minutes per resume initially. In that case, if you attach a cover letter with your resume, you might stand a better chance of being noticed and to be called for the interview.
Sometimes all you need is an interview to convince the potential employer that you are the most suitable candidate for the job.
If the cover letter is well written and presented then the recruiter normally pays good attention to the content and it helps to add weight to the applicant’s candidature for the job being applied to. In other words, cover letter might be helpful to determine which candidates the employers would like to interview.
Video: Do you need a COVER LETTER when Applying for a Job ?
How to write a cover letter for a job
If you would like to write a cover letter for applying to a position, here are the important steps and relevant information. With an effective cover letter you stand a better chance to get your resume noticed. While writing, you should express yourself in a way as if the reader is sitting right in front of you and you are talking to him, trying to convince him that there is high degree of match between their requirement and your profile.
Video: How to Write a Great Cover Letter for Resume
Just follow following steps carefully and you’ll be proficient at writing them while applying for the job.
A good cover letter should definitely have the following components:
Name and contact details of the sender
This is also called the header. Make sure your name is clearly written on the top in a decent font along with your address, telephone and / or mobile number and e mail id. If you are sending it through e mail, then these details should be a part of your signature. After this should be your resume.
Details of the Addressee
After the header, there should be the name, title, name of the company and the address of the person to whom you are writing.
This is a beginning slot for addressing the person with a prefix like “Dear Dr./Mr./Ms.” followed by his or her last Name. If you do not know the name, just write, “Dear Hiring Manager.”
The body of the cover letter should further have 3 components:
You may like to begin by mentioning about the position or the title of the job you are applying for and where did you see the advertisement.
(b) Matching of your profile with the candidate’s profile
In about 2 paragraphs of not more than 3 sentences each, explain that how you are one of the best candidates for the job advertised and how closely the set of your skill sets / experience / qualifications etc. match with the ideal candidate’s profile.
You may also mention about something extra / unique which you bring to the table and if given an opportunity to work for the company, how will this benefit the organisation. In other words, you may mention that if given an opportunity how you can add value. This could be in the form of your career achievements in the past.
Your aim should be to get attention of the reader and engage him for more than normal time he has set for each resume.
In the closing section, restate how keen you are to work on the position. You may like to assure the reader that you are looking forward the opportunity to meet them or have a formal interview to discuss employment opportunities. State what you will follow up.
Toward the end, thank the employer for considering your candidature.
Giving compliments, close your cover letter with your signature, above your typed name.
Re check / Double check
It is highly recommended that you read your cover letter a couple of times to check for any mistakes of spelling, grammar etc. Also fill in the name of the person and the organisation properly.
Once you are satisfied, you should do proper formatting also.
What not to mention in Your Cover Letter
It should not repeat the information in your resume and should only complement your resume. Its point here is to add a personal touch rather than throw the resume at the potential employer.
A cover letter assumes all the more significance when you are sending your resume not against the job advertised but to explore the job opportunity. It should be compelling enough to make the reader go through your resume also thoroughly and consider calling you for the job interview – should a suitable opportunity exist.
With these useful tips, I am sure you will be able to a good letter accompanying your resume. Best of Luck for your Career Success.
Other useful links:
- Interview Tips for First Time Job Seekers
- How to get self confidence instantly for job interview
- Affirmations for Success in Job Interviews
- Ultimate Tips to Crack Interview
- How to Prepare for Job Interview – Top Tips
- Easy Ways to Ruin Job Interview
About the Author
Sundeep Kataria is the CEO of ACS Consultants – a Management Consulting Firm. He holds multiple qualifications: MBA, PGDIT (IIFT), MS in Counselling & Psychotherapy and Diploma in Company Law. He has also formally learnt Digital Marketing and Website Making.
In 1995 he pioneered the concept of professional Career Counselling, Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Over the years he has mentored many professionals, like CAs, Engineers, Sales & Marketing Professionals, IT Experts etc.
The unique style of Sundeep Kataria is that he connects with each and every individual personally, holds in depth discussion before undertaking the assignment.