Don't Forget the Basics of Cover Letter Writing
By Heather Eagar
A former professional resume writer who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources that promotes job search success from beginning to end.
What do employers want to see in your cover letter? That seems to be the question a lot of job seekers ask. Here are some basics that will help you start writing your cover letter and propel you into applying for new jobs. Ask yourself the following questions so that your job search is off to a good start.
What Job Are You Applying for Anyway?
It’s a basic step but sometimes it’s left out on a cover letter. The hiring manager is left to wonder what the cover letter and resume they have in their hand is for. If they have to guess, then you can forget about getting a call for an interview. They are too busy to spend that much time on one candidate.
Include the job you’re applying for towards the beginning of the cover letter. You could even make it a header to your letter. Make it apparent so the hiring manager doesn’t have to spend time looking for it.
Can You Fulfill Their Requirements?
If you’re applying for an advertising position, don’t go and talk about what great administrative skills you have. You have to demonstrate how you meet their requirements. If the job posting says they require a four-year degree and you only have a two-year degree, don’t mention it at all. Let your strengths speak for you instead.
As you review the posting, take note of what you can specifically point out to the reader. You don’t want to mention every point, but if there’s something unique about the position and you either have the experience, training or skills that suit that job to a tee, then you should make a point to mention it in your cover letter.
How Can They Reach You?
Make your contact information easily accessible. Include it in your header and your closing paragraph as well. Some even suggest adding your phone number below your signature. You want to be sure that when an employer is so impressed by your cover letter package that they just have to call you for an interview, they don’t get frustrated looking for a phone number or email address.
How Professional Are You?
How you present yourself on paper speaks volumes about who you are as a professional. Are their typos? Is the format correct? Do you have too much white space? Not enough? All of these little things add up to a very important impression on the employer.
Of course, these are just very broad aspects of your cover letter that you should include. However simple as these may seem, they are vital to getting interviews. If you overlook the obvious, then the employers will obviously overlook you.
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