Seven basic cover letter rules

The cover letter is a very important part of your job application. While the resume gives the employer a good idea of your skills and experience, the cover letter describes why you should be considered.

Have you ever written a cover letter?

The cover letter is a very important part of your job application. While the resume gives the employer a good idea of your skills and experience, the cover letter describes why you should be considered. It also illustrates your writing skills. Because it’s such a vital component of the job application, here are basic rules to remember.

Have a plan

What you write will have a big impact on your chances for being considered for the position. That’s why you should never view it as a low priority and wait to write it. Instead, you should plan out carefully what you want to say.

Research the employer

Letters with informal headings such as “To Whom It May Concern” leave an employer thinking that the applicant is not interested, prepared, or willing “to go the extra mile”. It’s important to not only do your homework on each prospective employer, but track keyword, philosophies, and goals for each business.

Describe yourself

Your cover letter should describe why you want to work for the prospective employer. Share why you are applying and how you learned of the position. Describe your qualifications in a conversational format, as the cover letter provides you with a platform to explain your goals, skills, and experiences.

Build a personal connection
Try to establish a connection with the reader of your letter. It’s easier to establish such a connection by researching the company’s key players, goals, and strategies, as well as the position which you’re seeking.

Be concise

Cover letters should be less than one page in length. Any longer, you risk losing the reader, particularly if they have a resume still to review. Be sure to include examples of your qualifications only as they relate to the specific position.

Let the resume speak for itself
Many people use the cover letter to emphasize work experience. It is redundant to mention things that the employer has already seen on your resume. You may be better suited to use specific examples from your experiences to communicate how those positions prepared you to work for the prospective employer.

Proofread several times over

There’s no such thing as too much proofreading. You’ll not only fine-tune your message, you will eliminate all spelling and grammatical errors. There’s nothing worse than presenting a cover letter with poor sentence structure and typos.

 

Because every reviewer looks for different strengths in cover letters and resumes, keeping things clear, concise and consistent will impress any employer. Always be specific in your examples and be sure to follow up, and get ready for the interviews.

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