Cover Letter Writing Tips
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter provides more detailed information on why you are qualified for the job or career area you are targeting. They explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences.
Cover letters should be tailored for each job application. A well designed cover letter helps personalize the job applicant and enable them to convey enthusiasm and professionalism and this will draw the employer to your resume. This approach leads to more job interviews.
Before Writing the Cover Letter
Research the company/organization as you should know all you can about the company’s products or services. Researching its website is a good start. You may wish to obtain other publications such as annual reports. This kind of research can help you target your skills or background to make a positive impression during the interview.
Prepare Your Resume First
It is best to prepare your cover letter after you have prepared your resume. By preparing your resume first, you will then have a better sense of what information to highlight in your resume, based on the company or job description.
Writing the Cover Letter
- Choose words that show enthusiasm for the position, and be prepared to back up what you say.
- Ensure your cover letter is free of grammatical and spelling mistakes.
- Keep paragraphs short and ensure that you have plenty of white space for maximum visual appeal.
- Be sure your cover letter links your background, skills etc. to the particular position or employer.
- Emphasize what you can do for prospective employers rather than what they can do for you.
- Back up your skills with examples from your past work.
- Keep it to one page.
First Paragraph: Briefly state where and when you saw the job, and why you are interested in this position. State that your resume is enclosed.
Second Paragraph: “What can you offer me?” Describe two skills, personal attributes or accomplishments, with examples of how they benefited your previous employer(s). Briefly state any awards or certifications that would be of interest.
Third Paragraph: Briefly demonstrate knowledge of the company or position for which you are applying.
Fourth Paragraph: State your enthusiasm for an interview where you can describe your qualifications in more detail. Include contact information, such as phone number and/or email address.