These days it is essential that you include a cover letter with your resume when applying for jobs. Employers who come across job applications without cover letters attached will immediately discard them. However, including a cover letter is only half the battle. You have to know how to write the cover letter properly so that it captures the interest of the employers. Otherwise, they will throw it away after 30 seconds. Below are 5 tips that will help you write a great cover letter, so that your employer will consider you above all the rest of the applicants.
Short and Sweet
A cover letter is not a rewrite of your resume. Don’t write a whole page that talks about your employment and educational background. Employers can clearly see that when they look at your resume, which should be attached to your cover letter. Instead, you want to get right to the point by telling them why you are interested in the job that you are applying for. Perhaps the job involves the kind of work you have done before or it is something you want to gain more experience in. Either way, just use direct statements and tell the employer why you deserve the job.
Connect Your Background
In your cover letter, state what experience or skills you have that make you the perfect candidate for the job. These skills should match the ones talked about in the job description of the position. Employers want to see a connection between your experience and the job you are applying for. That way they will consider you a good match for the position and will likely call you in for an interview. If you don’t have any job experience that you can connect to the position, then try connecting your educational background. Perhaps you got A’s in all the college classes that correspond to the position. If you did, then write about that.
Talk About the Company
The days of learning about your employer at a job orientation are now over. Employers expect applicants to already know about the company before they apply for any positions with them. This means you have to use the internet and research the company thoroughly. Then in your cover letter, write down some of the facts you learned about the company that captures your interest. For example, you might say something like, “I’ve always had an interest in selling boat accessories over the phone and this company provides me with the opportunity to make my dream come true.”
Address the Letter Properly
If you are like many job seekers, you are probably applying for dozens of jobs every week. Don’t get into the habit of addressing your cover letters with some generic greeting like “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Employer.” This tells the employer that you are just printing out a bunch of cover letters without actually personalizing them in any way. You need to address the cover letter to the actual employer, like “Dear Starbucks Management” or “Dear Mr. Schultz.” A little thing like this will go a long way with the employer who reads it.
Keep it Professional Looking
A novice job applicant may think that spicing up their cover letter with big colorful fonts will make employers notice them more. Unfortunately, employers do not appreciate cover letters that are not professional looking. Text with big colorful font will just make you look childish and unprofessional for a business setting. You need to keep a neat and simple 12 point font with either Arial or Times New Roman for all your text. At the most, you can use bold on the headings but that is it.