The job of a cover letter is to persuade the hiring manager who reads it to give you an interview. The best way to do this is to show the reader how your skills and experiences make you a perfect fit for the role. The following tips will help you to write a cover letter that helps you to get an interview.
A cover letter is not the same as a resume, and you shouldn't attempt to cram all the information already contained in your resume into your cover letter as well. Instead, you should take this opportunity to highlight just the most important points. Read the job posting to see what the most important requirements for the job are, and then use your cover letter to show that you can meet those requirements. For example, if a requirement for the job is good project management skills, then you could explain how you successfully led a team to complete a project in a previous position.
In addition, avoid the temptation to write multiple paragraphs explaining what a good candidate you are. A cover letter should be one page or less in length as hiring managers don't have time to read through long pages of text. A good way to get a hiring manager's attention is to place your key points near the top of the page and in the first lines of paragraphs, so they stand out when the reader scans the page.
Your cover letter should also show that you understand the company or organization. Try to find out the name of the hiring manager who will be reading your application, and address that person by name. You should also show a clear understanding of the company's goals, and show that you can help the company to meet them.
Always close your cover letter with a statement letting the hiring manager know that you will follow up with a phone call in a week or two. You should also provide your own contact details at this point so that the hiring manager can contact you as well.
Finally, it almost goes without saying that your cover letter needs to be accurate. Ask a friend to proof-read your cover letter to check for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Reading the letter yourself is not as effective as it is easy to miss your own mistakes. Just one careless error could cost you a job interview as it shows a lack of attention to detail.
By following these tips, you can write a cover letter that will get you a job interview at the organization of your choice. Remember, keep your cover letter brief, relevant, professional and accurate, so that it shows off your experiences and written communication skills to the hiring manager who reads it.
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