Developing a dynamic cover for your resume is not an easy task. However, a well crafted lead in letter is the surest way to get your foot in the door and get an interview. You should never send a resume without one! Tailoring your cover letter to the job description, demonstrating who you are, your personal style, and how you fit the job can make a world of difference.
Cover letters should be personal and genuine; employers want to see who you are when they read them. You can create a stellar document by knowing what information should or should not be placed in it. Your letter should be a vivid display of your personality because this is where your window of opportunity to make a lasting first impression lies.
Here are some success tips:
1. Never address your letter to “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” because it may make the potential interviewer believe you are sending out an unoriginal, and copied letter to many different employers. Employers want to see your interest is in them and their organization. If you cannot locate who the hiring manager is from their website or other source, then address the letter to the “Human Resources Manager/Director” or “Hiring Manager”.
2. Don’t copy your letter from a book or an internet source. Your cover letter should be genuine and sincere. Originality is the key to success. Employers are extremely savvy and can spot a copy or template easily. This could lead to an immediate toss of your letter into the “not interested” pile.
3. Paragraphs should be at least 3 sentences in length (at least 3 sentences for each paragraph). Your first paragraph should tell the employer how you found them (via the internet, newspaper, or other source) and briefly describe your match to the position. Your second paragraph should tell the employer about your personal successes and definitive things you have done that have had a positive impact on the community or another organization (such as volunteering, or being a member or leader of a successful team, or getting recognized for something you have done). Your third, and typically final, paragraph should tell the employer how and when to contact you by including your email address, LinkedIn profile link, phone number, and exactly when you are available to take a call. Make a positive impact by stating how, if, or when, you will contact them to follow-up.
4. Your cover letter should not be a carbon copy of what is already stated in your resume. Always use different and concise terms while using power words to develop and peak the employer’s interest. Demonstrate and state how you will fit into the company and make a difference. This is where you should make them believe you are “the one” to hire.
5. Proofread, proofread, and then have someone else proofread your final copy. Review statements and make sure they are clear and concise. A lot of attention to spelling and grammar can go a long way in standing out to an employer and being the one who gets the interview call and, ultimately, lands the job!