Many employers ask prospective applicants to submit cover letters with their resumes. A well-written cover letter can be the difference between finding a job . . . and finding your resume in the prospective employer s garbage can.
Think of a cover letter as a sales pitch to a potential employer. A good cover letter introduces you to the employer and explains why you are the best candidate applying for the job.
So how do you write a great cover letter? Let us help. Here are some tips.
Cover letters fail when they:
1) Don't communicate clearly why you want a particular job;
2) Don't communicate clearly why you are uniquely qualified for a particular job;
3) Fail to address the needs to the employer;
4) Fail to be interesting, easy to read and to-the-point;
5) Aren't checked for spelling and grammatical errors;
6) Don't include the recipient s correct title;
7) Don't include adequate contact information;
8) Use the passive voice;
9) Use awkward language;
10) Are an obvious form letter that an applicant has sent to many employers.
Cover letters succeed when they:
1) Clearly explain your interest in a particular job;
2) Clearly explain your interest in a particular employer;
3) Clearly explain why you are uniquely qualified for the job;
4) Use active verbs;
5) Get-to-the-point (the cover letter should be under one page);
6) Are printed on high-quality stationery;
7) Are not in the form of a quick cut-and-paste form letter that s been distributed to other employers;
8) Are well-written and interesting;
9) Contain an immediate “attention grabber”;
10) Are spell-checked and free of grammatical errors;
11) Are written in your own words;
12) Downplay “I” and emphasize “you” or “your company”;
13) Illustrate that you know something about the industry & company.
14) Are addressed to the person who can hire you (department head or hiring manager, not a company);
15) Are followed up within a week by a phone call.