The Cover Letter
Always include a cover letter explaining your reason for submitting the resume. It serves as an introduction, highlights specific qualifications or objectives you may have for this job, and exhibits written communication skills. Do not use standard letters from books. Create your own business letter. Every resume, whether faxed, e-mailed, or hand delivered must include a cover letter. The letter can also include additions to the resume that specifically match the description.Other uses
- To initiate networking
- As follow-ups after interviews, to thank interviewers, emphasize skills, and summarize your fit for the position
- To cover any omissions during the interview
Setting Up a Cover Letter
Use good quality 8 1/2" x 11" paper, correct grammar, spelling, spacing, paragraphing, margins and, above all, flawless typing is a must. Address it to a particular person by name, making sure that the spelling and title of the individual are correct. The person addressed should hold an influential position in the company. A good cover letter is not too long, so try to limit it to only part of a single page. Always have someone else proofread it when you are finished. It is almost impossible to accurately proofread your own work. One typing error or spelling mistake could cost you a job.
First paragraph: The first paragraph should arouse the employer's interest. Do some research on the company so you can state some particular knowledge you have of the business, comment on some "timely" issue relating to the company's operation, or make an impersonal statement of some outstanding fact relating to your ability that would probably appeal to the employer. Body: The body of the cover letter should compel the employer to interview you by explaining what you can do for his/her company. Put yourself in the employer's position as you write, and present facts that will accurately describe your assets and qualifications. Your prospective employer will be interested in your ability to make and/or save the company money, to conserve time, to effectively assume and discharge responsibility, and to produce results more rapidly and economically than anyone else. Do not point out your bad points, such as lack of experience or unemployment.
Last paragraph: The last paragraph should request some action. Request an interview stating specific times and dates when you will call. Be courteous but use a direct approach. (Some ads will indicate that "only qualified candidates will be notified." In this case, do not attempt to contact the employer; wait for the employer to call you.)
Signing off: The letter should end with the formal salutation, "Sincerely yours." Below the salutation, type your name and your signature.
Remember to have someone else proofread your cover letter and your resume!