A cover letter is as important as the resume. In a competitive job market, neglecting the cover letter is a blunder. In some respects, the cover letter is more crucial than the resume. It is the first thing a recruiter or a hiring manager scans. If it fails to impel the hiring manger to take a look at the accompanying resume, you lose your chance. It is an introduction to your abilities and talent and it gives you an opportunity to show case your skill set, experience and accomplishments that project you as the right fit for the job. So you must be very careful in drafting your cover letter.
Here are a few suggestions for writing an appropriate cover letter:
Personal touch: You must inject personal touch to your cover letter. Nobody likes to go through a mundane boring mail. Ban phrases like "To whom it may concern" that characterize your cover letter as junk or bulk mail. You desire the hiring manager to take some time to go through your material, so you must also take time to write your cover letter. It is not enough to just write a good cover letter. Find out the correct addressee. Call the company or visit the company's Web site or speak to somebody and get the name of the contact person. You should address your letter to him.
No common letter: You should send different cover letters to different companies. Hiring managers smell a mass mailing miles away. You can get their attention when your cover letter addresses their companies and their needs specifically.
Before writing the letter, know everything about the company, and scan the news about the company and use the information. If you do this, hiring managers come to know that you are informed, motivated and willing to make more effort than what is expected of you.
Meet the specific job requirements: If you are applying for a sales post, make sure you focus on your sales experience. To check whether you have met all the requirements, make a table, list the company's needs in one column and your corresponding qualifications and experience in another column. Use the information to write your cover letter that tells the employer what exactly he wants to know.
Make it easy for hiring manager: Give specific examples of your accomplishments and experience. If you are applying for a marketing position, give detailed information about a marketing campaign you successfully launched. Don't say you are motivated. Give an example that shows you are motivated. All the information should be neatly presented so that the hiring managers can see how your qualifications, experience and skill set fit their needs.
Be direct: Hiring managers won't have time to go through all the mail in detail. So be brief and to the point. In the first paragraph mention the job title you are interested in and then immediately write about your specific qualifications.
Follow-up: You won't get a call once you sent a cover letter and resume. You must take the initiative to follow it up. Instead of ending the letter with "I look forward to your response" conclude by saying that you would call him/her next week for fixing a time for meeting.
Revise your letter with care: Your letter should be free from typos and incorrect information. Make sure the company's name is correctly spelled. Check whether the contact person is male or female. See the letter is signed. Careless mistakes show that you are not serious about what you do.
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