Effective Cover Letter Techniques
by Linda Matias of www.careerstrides.com
Applying for a new
job, or a new career, can be a major task if you are not prepared with
knowledge about yourself and techniques for revealing the best
information about yourself when you are applying through the mail for a
new position. Sending your resume off through the mail can often seem
like you are blindly putting yourself ”out there” for everyone to look
at and review. But if you use the information in this article, you can
create a cover letter to accompany your resume, one that will get you in
the door for an interview. Taking that step from mailing your resume to
actually getting an interview is one that many people find difficult,
but it does not have to be. The first thing you really need to get a
handle on is how to convey your skills, your abilities, and your
flexibility in accepting a new position with any company.
is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a brief introduction about
you and why you are seeking employment with this particular company. If
you are writing a cover letter and you are including all the same
information that is listed on your resume, you are not going to get the
response you want from the company. What you want to do with a cover
letter is to catch the eye of the screener without being repetitive.
Remember that sometimes when
business mail is opened, it is passed on to the first logical person to
read—but that first person is not always the person who does the actual
hiring! Catching the eye of the person reading the cover letters and
resume can be done if you are short and to the point in what you are
writing about yourself. Remember, you don’t want to list all the
information you have on your resume, but you want to tantalize the
reader with specialty items and topics.
topics should you address with your cover letter?
Your cover letter is a short
introduction to you. The first paragraph is generally an opening
statement about the position you are applying for, something along the
lines of ”I am applying for the position of X that was advertised in the
Y paper or at the Z career listing service.”
You must use that first
paragraph to stand out, including a statement such as ”I feel I am a
great candidate for this position, as I have the [skills, education,
life experience, or whatever you might have to fit this position best].”
Make the sentence short, and be sure to leave out the word
”because.” You want to make an action statement that you are proud of, a
statement that makes your cover letter one that is full of confidence.
As you come across with professionalism and confidence in your skills,
experience, and abilities, the potential employer is going to notice
this and put you on the short list.
Along with a sentence about the
position you are applying for and a statement about why you feel you are
a great candidate for this position, you also need to emphasize that
your personality fits the company. Make a statement that fits you as
well as the position you are applying for. For example, if you are
applying for a position in marketing, you can state: “I am a very
well-versed, outgoing person who can strike up a conversation with
anyone in almost all situations.” This is something that may not be
appropriate on your resume, but that will be important to this type of
What is going
to make your cover letter stand out at a glance?
You want the cover letter to be
typed, never hand-written. You need to get the point across that you are
professional when applying for a professional position!
You need the cover letter to be
clean, crisp, and on paper that will match your resume. In using good
stock paper for writing a resume, you should use the same paper for your
cover letter. This is professional and good practice.
You always need to sign your
cover letter. Taking the time to personalize your cover letter, and
taking the time to sign your cover letter will make the potential
employer realize you are complete and thorough in what you do.
Never include an e-mail that
might embarrass you! This is important. Many times, people from around
the world use e-mail addresses that reveal just a little too much about
their personal life. One time I received a cover letter and resume from
a very good candidate. She was not put into the short list for
interviews simply because of her email. The email was email@example.com.
This was not something that should have ever been listed or included on
a resume. I am sure you get the point, but there are many types of
e-mails you can create that will include your name, and that emit a
great professional appearance without giving too much personal
information. This is a must.
The final statement of your
cover letter should include a sentence stating that you are available at
a certain day and time, or if you are available any time for an
interview. Including a statement that you will be waiting to hear from
the company about when interviews will be scheduled is important. An
effective cover letter is going to make the statement that you are
interested, that you fit the position, and that you are ready for an
interview. Including a statement that “I will be expecting your call
about scheduling an interview for this position” is a strong statement,
but it will show you are confident in thinking you are well qualified
for the position that is open.
An effective cover
letter should not only state the position you are applying for, but
should also include information about your personal skills and
confidence levels about doing this job. To make sure your cover letter
is complete, you should include the date you are writing the letter, the
complete business name and address of where you are applying, and your
signature in closing of your letter.
www.job-interview-advice.net for free resources, articles, and
advice on how to answer top interview questions, write a compelling
resume, embark on a successful job search, and find a satisfying career.
Certified in all three areas of the job
search—Certified Interview Coach ™ (CIC), Job & Career Transition Coach
(JCTC), and Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)—Linda Matias is
qualified to assist you in your career transition, whether it be a
complete career makeover, interview preparation, or resume assistance.
She is also the author of "How to Say It: Job Interviews" (Prentice
Hall, August 2007). You can contact Linda Matias at linda @
careerstrides.com or visit her Website
www.careerstrides.com for additional career advice and to view
We offer a confidential consultation. Information gathered online or
in a one-on-one meeting will not be disclosed to any outside source.
learn more about our services:
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