A cover letter is a formal way to introduce you to a possible employer, and a perfect way to explain some skills and degrees in more detail that on your resume.
Writing a cover letter is easy, but there are some advises you should take into account, and of course, you must follow the correct cover letter format.
Take a look at these advises to write a correct cover letter:
- Use the same kind of paper you used on your resume.
- Use simple font styles, easy to read.
- Avoid jargons.
- Avoid grammatical mistakes.
- If you are stuck and you do not know what to say, you can imagine that this letter is for a friend, and once it is finished, you can “translate” it to a more formal language.
Cover letter format has 4 parts:
This part must include your information, the current date and the receiver’s information (in that order), the format is really simple so follow the examples below. Keep in mind that if you don’t provide your phone number here, you should do it in the last paragraph of the letter.
The information part can be aligned at the left as seen here:
City, Zip Code
January 25, 2012
Mr, Ms, Dr Name Lastname
Adress of the Corporation
City, Zip Code
But can also be aligned this way:
This part must be attractive and very specific, it is the first part employers read, so gain their attention. Here you can indicate how you learned about the available job and the position you aspire.
This part is divided by paragraphs, they must support what is written on your resume and also complement it, resumes usually name all your previous jobs and degrees, but here you can write briefly about them to explain them better. It is very important for you to extract the company’s requirements (they are usually written within the job advertisements), this way you can match your experience and skills with them, and show properly why you are perfect for the position.
It is a good idea to research about the company, that way you can find out what’s their objectives and write about how you can help them to achieve their goals, for example if you know that they always try to innovate, you can write how you contributed in innovation on your past jobs, of course first focus on the specific requirements, but is not a bad idea to match some skills with the organization’s global objectives.
The body is usually formed by two paragraphs, the structure must be natural and easy to follow, write about related things and keep in mind that you are the product to sell, so you can brag about your achievements, obviously not to the point to look as an egomaniac.
The closing part may indicate the next step you are going to follow, your interest on following up your application and also your availability to provide more information if it’s necessary (include your phone number so they can call you). It is also important to show your gratitude for the receiver’s time. Finally add your signature (handwritten), your name and indicate if there is enclosure.