The job position you are applying for will likely get the interest of other individuals looking for the same opportunity. One of the most helpful ways of getting yourself recognized is through your cover letter. While some companies don’t require you to send a cover letter, it’s always best to have one ready. A cover letter is a formal letter that introduces you to potential employers and gives them an insight into why you are the person they should hire. In a cover letter, you have ability to offer new information and explain why and how you are qualified. Here are some tips that will help you create an effective cover letter:
1) Use similar words and language as the job posting
Much like your résumé, it’s important to identify the skills and experience the company is looking for. This process applies more to online applications because hiring databases are programmed to pick up keywords they are asking for in order to eliminate applicants. For example, if phrases such as “Excellent computer skills, especially in Excel and databases” appear in the job description and you feel you have the knowledge they are looking for, put the exact words in your résumé and mention it in your cover letter with an example. Don’t doubt yourself!
2) Personalize your letter
Make sure the hiring company feels you are writing to them. Not all of the companies you are applying to will require the same duties or expected experience. Therefore, do your homework on the businesses you are applying to and mention what you know about them and how you would be a great asset to their work environment.
3) Don’t be repetitive
Your cover letter should be brief and to the point. Break it down into short paragraphs and don’t make it more than 1 page long. If you are going to mention phrases from your resume, follow them with examples that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
4) Presentation counts
Use a font that’s easy to read, like 12-point Times New Roman or Arial. Using 8.5 x 11-inch white paper is usually a smart choice.
5) The OTHER Presentation counts too
Make sure you represent yourself well on programs such as Facebook and Twitter. The reality is that some job seekers may try to search your profile online so it’s best to Google yourself and make sure your image is a positive one. Check your postings for grammar/spelling mistakes, and how you and your friends represent your image, among other things.