So you have that perfect CV (Curriculum Vitae), but you can’t seem to get a call for the interview. Chances are you have a weak cover letter or no letter at all. A Cover Letter or application letter is the most document in your job application.
What is a cover letter
A cover letter is a custom-made document for a specific job and an exact job-seeker. Therefore, a cover letter is sent together with your CV to offer supplementary information on your abilities and capability. The letter provides in depth facts on why you are the ultimate applicant for employment. Don’t just state what’s on your CV – rather, use precise instances on why you’re the best candidate for the employer’s job requirements.
When writing a cover letter, you should:
- have a memorable introduction
- mention the particular job you’re applying for.
- show how your abilities and capabilities match the skills and experience required to undertake the job
- Use a tone that encourages the reader to read your CV
- Finally, finish with a call to action. For example, ask for an interview or a meeting at the convenience of the employer.
Anatomy of a cover letter
Your letter should begin with the date and then followed by the establishment’s contacts. Begin your letter salutation with “Dr./Mr./Ms. Last Name.” If you have no idea who the employer’s name is, just write, “Dear Sir/ Madam.” This is better than the generic and formal, “To Whom It May Concern.”
Your objective in the introduction section is to capture the reader’s attention. Begin your introduction by clearly stating what job you are applying for. Briefly mention how your abilities and knowledge match the position you are applying for.
In a paragraph or two, give details on why you the best candidate and make an outstanding applicant for the position. Mention specific qualifications and experiences listed in the job advert, and explain how you meet those qualifications. Don‘t just repeat your CV, but provide specific cases that prove your skills and abilities.
Remember, actions speak louder than words, so don’t just state to the reader that you are, for example, you work great with a team and you have excellent communication skills and a tremendous attention to detail. Instead, use concrete examples from your work experience to demonstrate these qualities in action. Click on the link for more information on what to include in the body section of a cover letter.
When concluding your letter state that you would like the opportunity for them to invite you for an interview or discuss employment opportunities. Reaffirm how your qualifications and skills make you a perfect candidate for the company and/or position you are applying for. Your letter should not be longer than one page. At the end, thank the employer for his/her time and consideration. Prompt the employer to want to move forward with your application. Finally end your letter with your signature, handwritten, followed by your name typed. If it’s an email, simply type your name, followed by your contact information, after the complimentary close.
A cover letter should emphasis on yourself. If you are a student and have no work experience you should focus on your school experience. Click this link to download a sample cover letter looking for internship. Sometimes you might be a bit experienced in your field, the same format applies but this time it will be geared towards how your experiences make you the perfect candidate for the job. Click on this link to download a sample cover letter for a sales representative.
Finally, remember that the letter is used together with your CV and it make make the difference between getting or not getting the interview. Happy Job Hunting…