A cover letter requires a lot of work, but it is a great opportunity to highlight your qualifications. Cover letters also help you to explain certain things like large gaps in your employment history, relocating or changing your career focus in a positive light. Also they help you personalize your job application to potential employers.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is basically a letter of introduction, highlighting your key accomplishments and your fit for the particular job opening. Also a cover letter will add more focus to your resume. Your cover letter must be tailored according to each job opening and each employer.
Why is a cover letter so important?
Your resume is of limited value to an employer. It does not tell them what kind of work you want to do or if you are really qualified for it. A resume can offer very little and limited information. But a cover letter on the other hand, can explain the type of job you are seeking and how qualified are you for that position.
What should the cover letter contain?
Here’s a small checklist that your cover letter should contain.
1. Start with a salutation
Always start your letter by greeting the reader. If you know the manager or the HR’s name then include a polite “Dear [add first name]“. If you don’t know the name, no worries; just include a simple “Dear Manager/ HR” .
2. What position are you applying for?
Your first paragraph should be 1-2 sentences long. Talk about which position you are applying for and did you come across this job opening.
3. Talk about your qualification and why are you a good fit for this role
Begin the body of your letter. Generally, cover letters will have 1 or 2 paragraphs as the body of the letter. Make sure you answer these questions
- How will your qualification fit this job opening?
- How will your experience from your previous work or projects done fit the requirements for this job?
- What makes you the best candidate for this position?
- Why do you want to work with this company?
4. Conclude your letter in 2 or 3 sentences.
In the last paragraph,
- Reiterate in one line why you are the best candidate for this role.
- Provide your contact information – email id and phone number.
- Mention that you are looking forward to the interview and to discuss further about your qualification.
- Don’t forget to mention that your resume is attached.
5. End the letter with a Thank you.
Close your letter with a respectable “thank you for your time” line. You can sign off with either Best or Sincerely followed by your full name.
Always remember, if you throw together a cover letter in thinking that nobody will actually read it, you might be missing a chance to land the job. So always put your best and spend some time writing your cover letter. If you have already written your cover letter, you can check here for some awesome resume tips.