WHAT IS A COVER LETTER?
A letter of application sent with a resume in response to an advertised position, a letter of introduction for no job advertised, or to a Headhunter.
If you neglect the importance of a cover letter, you neglect one of the most important elements in a successful job search.
- provides additional information on your skills and experience.
- provides elaborated data on why you’re qualified for the job you’re applying for.
Employers use cover letters as the way to screen candidates for available jobs and to see which candidates they would like to interview. If an employer needs a cover letter, it’ll be listed in the job posting. Although the company doesn’t ask for one, you must include one anyway.
Your resume is meant to lay out the facts, however your cover letter is supposed to convey more personality.
To put it simply, your cover letter is the easiest and most effective way to stand out from the crowd.
It brings a something additional to the table when you apply for a job – the employer will know more about you, your personality, what you really want from the job and gain insight as to why you’re applying.
And, as your CV/Resume is supposed to be short and sweet, your cover letter is the perfect way to elaborate on your achievements.
WHAT DOES YOUR READER WANT TO KNOW?
Step #1: Opening paragraph
- Concise, punchy sentences to grab attention!
- Identify your target job.
- Where you saw/read the ad.
- If someone who knows the employer referred you, give the name of that person.
- Your interest in the position.
Step #2: Second paragraph
- Highlight your strongest qualifications.
- Demonstrate how these qualifications will benefit the employer.
Step #3: Third paragraph
Demonstrate your knowledge of the company. Create interest by showing your value.
Step #4: Fourth paragraph
Give a detailed description of your experience. Show employers (do not tell) your qualifications.
Step #5: Closing paragraph
Thank the employer in advance for their consideration and that you are looking forward to meeting them soon.
ATTRIBUTES EMPLOYERS LOOK FOR
- Positive attitude/motivation/energy/passion.
- Self-motivated/able to work with little or no supervision.
- High performance standards.
- Customer service oriented.
- Willingness to work and learn.
- Leadership/management skills.
SKILLS YOU NEED
- Judgment/decision making.
- Problem solving.
- Critical thinking.
- Planning/time management.
- Computer competency.
- Efficient use of technology, tools and equipment.