Irrespective of a good resume, a well written cover letter is also necessary. This article provides information on how to write it.
A cover letter is an important part whenever you think of applying for a job. It gives an overview of your qualifications and experience, besides giving an idea of the kind of occupation you are looking for, and where you can fit in the organizational hierarchy. It should also give an idea about your thinking, and also if you are ideal for a particular job. In short, it can be said to be a sales letter for recruiting personals, so that they can take a further look at your resume.
The Right way
Firstly, you need to research about the company, names of their top management (if they have mentioned any), their mission, and current goals. Also, you need to know about the kind of qualifications, experience, and skills, which are needed by this organization. They may mention their present needs and plans for the future, so you need to go through them. Make sure that you have an updated resume. Moreover, this will give an idea about the things you need to include in the cover letter.
While writing it, a proper format is of utmost importance. Your address is written on top left-hand corner of the page (about an inch below the top), and the date is typed below it. Enter the name and address of the company, and begin it by addressing to an individual. Do not write things like ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.
The body text comes next, which should include three to four paragraphs. Firstly, you should give a gist of the reasons for which you’re applying. Secondly, you should include your qualifications, while the third paragraph should include a call for an action statement. Lastly, there should be conclusion with a closing remark like ‘Yours faithfully’ or ‘Yours sincerely’. In case you have mentioned a person’s name in the salutation (which is preferable), you should use the latter one. In case you don’t know the name, you can write ‘Dear Sir’, and in such cases, end the letter with the former one. Leave a few blank spaces (for signature) and then write your name.
A sample cover letter is provided below:
Name of the Employer
Dear Mr./Mrs. (Name of the person to whom the resume is addressed)
The first paragraph includes the reasons for applying, which can be written in a sentence or two (at the most three). You also need to mention the designation for which you are applying. It’s better if you stay away from standard opening lines like- ‘With reference to an advertisement posted on… (name of the source where you found out about the advertisement) and dated… (the date). It should be written in such a way, that the readers take note of your application in this line itself. Unless the application is through a recruiting program or a person who is known to the reader, you don’t need to specify the source, from where you got the information of the opening.
In the second paragraph you should mention all your relevant qualifications which match the position you are applying for. Here, you need to show that you are interested in working for the organization (the key is to show enthusiasm). You can also mention that you are interested in helping the company achieve its goals. You should be able to convince the organization regarding how you can contribute to its productivity. Hence, research on the company’s background is important. If this paragraph is too long, you can divide it into two.
As mentioned above, the final paragraph should include a call to action statement, which will redirect the reader to your resume. It should not be more than 3 to 4 lines long. Make sure you mention the time during which you are available. You can also state that you will get in touch with them within a specified period of time (but if you mention a time, make sure you do contact, as it shows your sincerity). In the last line, mention your e-mail address and phone number, besides making it clear that they are welcome to contact you. Moreover, don’t forget to thank the employer for their time.
Your letter should show that you are confident and motivated to pursue a career in their organization.