A professional, compelling cover letter is an essential component of your candidate profile. It is designed to introduce you to hiring managers and persuade them to want to get to know you, meaning that writing one should never be considered an afterthought. It is important to put together a well-written cover letter that outlines your specific skills and achievements in order to make a great first impression and get you closer to a job interview.
Never make the mistake of addressing your cover letter "To Whom it May Concern" or any other generic title. Find out who will be conducting the job interview, and address your letter to that specific person. It shows you are willing to put in the extra effort to get the necessary information. In addition, reference the specific job title or reference number your letter is regarding; don't make the hiring manager have to guess why you are writing to them. Talk in detail about how your specific skills and experience match what the company needs, and make sure your resume supports these claims.
Keep it Brief
Hiring managers are busy people; more times than not, they will only briefly skim your application materials, looking for specific words or phrases. Keep your cover letter to one page. Three to four carefully worded paragraphs are all that is necessary to explain who you are and why they should hire you.
Send a PDF
Sending your cover letter — and resume, for that matter — as an editable Word document is not a good idea. It looks like a draft, and is too easy to accidentally delete something or make unwanted changes. For a more polished, final look, save the cover letter as a PDF file before sending.
Too many candidates make the mistake of regurgitating the same tired information from their resume onto their cover letter. Your cover letter is your chance to really shine; express your passion for your industry and your excitement about this possible opportunity. Keep it professional, but don't be afraid to show your enthusiasm while explaining how well you'd fit in with the company.
All the cover letter advice in the world won't matter if there are spelling or grammar mistakes on your cover letter. That is a sure-fire way to have your application discarded quickly; it makes you appear careless and unprofessional. After spending so much time crafting the perfect letter, it can be difficult to edit it yourself. Recruit a trusted friend, family member or colleague to look it over for errors. It's also a good idea to read it aloud to see how the words flow.
Your cover letter is an essential piece of your job application. It allows you to elaborate on the information presented in your resume and really sell yourself to potential employers. Take the time to put together a tailored, professional and engaging cover letter that is free from spelling and grammar errors to give your candidate profile that extra push.
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