How to write a Cover letter
Cover letter is your first, and sometimes your only opportunity to grab an employer's attention and let them know why your resume is worth reading. Since there are many different ways to write a cover letter, depending on the employer and the method of transmission, for example, here are some ways to make yours stand out along with some examples you can tweak to your liking.
Format the heading elements correctly. Line spacing and address conventions mainly apply for a paper cover letter. For an online version that is not likely to be printed out, the date alone may be sufficient, or not even required.
- Include your address at the top (in the left-hand corner - approximately 1 inch down from the top of the page).
- Skip down 4 lines and enter the date.
- Skip down 4 more lines and enter the Contact Person, then the name and address of the company. Write to a specific person, not "To whom it may concern", or "Dear Sir/Madam", whenever possible. 2-
Write the body of your letter with three or four paragraphs.
- In the first paragraph, tell the employer why you're writing to them in two or three sentences. State the position you are applying for. Avoid the standard openings like "I wish to apply for the position of ___ advertised in ___". Design your opening to get the reader to sit up and pay attention to what you can do. It's unnecessary to specify how you became aware of the position unless it's through a mutual contact or recruiting program. If you're writing a letter of interest (also known as a prospecting or inquiry letter), in which you're asking about positions that might be available, specify why you are interested in working for the employer.
- In the next one or two paragraphs, outline your qualifications and match them to the requirements of the position. Show enthusiasm and a desire to help the company reach its goals. Show the employer what you can contribute to their bottom line, not what you want to get out of the deal. Use what you've researched about the employer's background and history. Try to make two or three solid points, backed up by specific examples. Relate some relevant details about the company so the employer knows you did some research ahead of time.
- In the final paragraph, include a positive statement or question that will cause the employer to want to take action. Make this closing paragraph between 2-4 sentences. Direct the employer to the enclosed resume; make
- your availability known for an interview. Provide your own contact information (phone number, e-mail address) and welcome them to get in touch. It's very important to finish off by thanking the employer for their time and consideration.
Conclude with "Yours sincerely," (if you have addressed the letter to a named person), "Yours faithfully," (if you have used a "Dear Sir" approach) or "Regards." Leave four blank lines to sign your name in blue ink. If you use black ink, they may think it is a copy. If this is online, leave only one or two blank lines.