I had the opportunity in my career to be part of an interview team to employ some more staff for a large company. Many of the resumes that came past my desk were very poor in quality, and substance, and very few were written well.
Here are the steps to write a superb cover letter
Anyone can write a great cover letter, it take refinement to write a stand-out one.
You only have about 1 minute when someone is reading your cover letter to make a great impression. Remember they are reading a huge amount of job applicant cover letters, and are looking for certain key words. First thing you need to do is rewrite your cover letter. Every time you apply for a job rewrite your cover letter. So what should we include in our cover letter?
Well every Job that is advertised usually includes a Job Description and Required skills. Write the key skills and Descriptive words down, as you must include all these in your application. The person doing the first cull, has been trained to look for these words.
A good cover letter should include
- Your name, email address and phone number at the top of right of the page
- The name of the business and or the contact person’s full name (only if you know it)
- The current date you wrote the letter put it on the right
- A job line (e.g., Application for account
- Write personalized directly (e.g., “Dear Mr. Smith” ) If you don’t know the person’s name “To whom it may concern” will be fine.
- An opening paragraph that briefly introduces you to the reader
- A main body that highlights all the key words that we mentioned above in the Job Advertisement, only put them down if you have the skill. If you don’t have a particular skill say you are pre paired to take extra training to get that qualification
- A closing paragraph asking to arrange an interview.
- Try to keep it to 1 page Cover Letter.
- Keep it plain, no fancy fonts or colours.
Other things you can mention in your cover letter include
- Special skills that help you work in a team and as part of an organization
- Key strengths and contributions that show you are a stand-
- School work experience or volunteer work if you are just starting out as a new job application from school
Key points of this cover letter are that it…
- Tells the reader who you are
- What position you are applying for
- Your skills and experience
- You have the required key words
- Why you are applying
- When you applied
Try to keep you cover letter to one page, If you have a lot off special skills two at the most.
Cover letters are the make and break your job application, get it tailored to every application. It doesn’t mean you have to write out the whole thing every time, just change the date and a few key words from the Job advertisement.
Also don’t just send out One job application, if there are multiple job ads going for different companies apply for them all. Send out 10 Job applications if you can to separate companies and hopefully you should get some interviews. Don’t get discouraged you are competing against many hundreds of other people. It’s a very competitive market out there now days with such high unemployment.