1 – What the heck is a resume cover letter?The cover letter will accompany any resume or job application you send out.The cover letter should NEVER be a copy of your resume, it should compliment it. Think of it like sauce to a meat. It should add a personal touch, this works nicely with the fact orientated feel of a resume.
2 – Why do I need to bother with a cover letter at all?A cover letter can make the difference between clinching the interview or ending up with your resume in the file marked “Trash”. So you should really make the time and effort in creating a quality cover letter.The cover letter is your first contact with a potential employer and as you know first impressions are crucial.
3 – Is there just one type/format of a cover letter?Good question! And the answer is no.There are 3 types of cover letter:
Application Letter – most common, this is for a known job vacancy.
Prospect Letter- this is an inquiry for a possible job in a company.
Networking Letter – this is a request for info, aid and assistance in your job search.
Each cover letter should be personalized for the company or employer, so do not send the same one out (especially if you have the same company name in!) as it will be treated as junk mail and end up in the garbage!
4 – What is an effective cover letter?An effective cover letter explains why you are interested in the position in that company in the first place. It will also highlight the most relevant skills YOU have for the job, and the cover letter should convey a genuine interest and knowledge about the company and the position you are applying for.
5 – What format should the cover letter be in?Typically a resume cover letter will have 3 paragraphs
1st paragraph – Why you are writingYou may have been refereed by an acquaintance or friend. Name drop as this will keep the employer reading!If you saw it advertised, put where you saw the job and the title of the job. You should include some enthusiasm and express the ideal match of you and the company!If it is for a prospect letter, then you really really need to impress here – state your objectives and aim to capture the readers attention.
If the letter is for networking purposes, make your information request clear.
2nd paragraph – What you are offeringIf for a job advertisement, you should refer to your relevant qualifications and how the skills, abilities and experience relate to the job. Really show off your achievements here, show how your educations and skills are transferable and relevant for the job.
If for a prospect letter, here you should show how you would fulfill the needs of the employer and company. You can do this by thoroughly researching the company and then highlighting relevant skills and talents that you possess which can be utilized by the organization.
Final paragraph – Follow UpFirst reiterate your interest for the position. Put your contact details here (phone, e-mail), or even say you will follow up with a telephone call to set up an interview (this will also confirm that your application was received too).
Finally you should write that your references are available on request and if relevant any portfolios of work to support your application should also be available on request.
So this is five things you need to know about a resume cover letter. Remember this should compliment your resume and not duplicate it. It should have that personal touch, and show that you have real enthusiasm working for the company (do your research!). Finally best of luck!Tagged as: