Every resume needs to have a cover letter. This is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of a resume. This is not necessarily because people feel that it is not important, but can be because they simply do not know how to write a cover letter. If you are in the latter category, then you need to read these tips for writing a cover letter and setting the right tone. Basically, a cover letter introduces you to the company that you are applying for a job at. You would never go to a job interview looking messy, dirty or unkempt so your cover letter should never be messy, have typos or look sloppy. There are many other tips to getting the perfect cover letter:
• Tailor Each Resume to the Company –
Each cover letter should be written with the company you are applying for in mind. Not every company wants the same qualifications as the rest so you need to look at each company as an individual. Go to the company’s website and see what the company is about. This can take a bit more time, but the time is well spent when you have a fabulous cover letter. You should also use the job listing to find out what the company is looking for in a new employee and use these exact words when writing your cover letter.
• The Importance of the First Paragraph –
The first paragraph of any document or book can show exactly what the reader can expect from the rest of it. Your first paragraph of your cover letter should do the same. This is the introduction to you so you need to get right in there and highlight all of your qualifications. Do not waste time on pleasantries as they are not really necessary. You want to get to the point without wasting much time. The typical recruiter only spends about a minute and a half on the cover letter and resume so you want that time to show how well you fit into the company.
• Cover Letter Length –
Your cover letter should not be more than two pages long. More appropriately, it should really stay within one page but more and more companies are losing this rule because many candidates are coming from long term positions and need more space for their qualifications. But when possible, if you can get all your information on one page, by all means do that. You need to be succinct while still getting all of the positive qualifications you have on your cover letter.
Writing a cover letter does not have to be stressful and it is not hard to do. Do not leave out a cover letter simply because you do not know how to write one. You do not want your resume turned down because you did not include one. Just remember to research the company, forget about the niceties and get to the point of the cover letter and finally, keep it as short as possible without giving up on content.