Most people lose a job before they get into the door because they don’t understand what a cover letter does for them. The cover letter that accompanies a resume is your first impression to any employer.
It’s essential you understand what a cover letter does and how it can make a potential employer take notice or just dump it. The cover letter introduces you and highlights your job qualifications. The more you can show how your skills match, the easier it is for the potential employer to look at the resume which then may get the interview.
Here are tips for getting into that first interview through the use of your killer cover letter:
- Make it informative — Introduce yourself to the employer and tell them what job for which you are applying. In the next paragraph, give them a description of how your skills and abilities match the skills and abilities listed in the job posting.
- Understand what type of cover letter you are sending — there are two different types of cover letters you might send. One is the letter of application that you send in response to a specific job. The other is the letter of inquiry which is used to ask about jobs within a company where you have interest.
- Be business like but show your personality — the cover letter is the place to show a little about your personality as you write. Keep it business like, but let the employer know just a little about your style.
- Email or Snail mail — usually the potential employer will say within the job posting whether email cover letters are okay. If you see an email address, you are probably safe to send an email; put it in the body of the email not as an attachment.
- Long or short — a cover letter is an introduction so it should be short. A few paragraphs highlighting your achievements and how your skills meet their job will suffice.
- Customize your cover letter — a good rule of thumb is to do a little research on the company for which you are applying and customize your killer cover letter to that particular employer.
- Address an individual, not a company — in most cases you can find out who the cover letter should go to by doing a little research. Call the company or look it up on the Internet to find the most logical place to send your resume.
- Check for errors — always check for errors in spelling or typos. Remember this is your first impression and you don’t want to show sloppy work.
- For examples use query letters — query letters are cover letters that writers send to a potential magazine. It’s a good idea to check these out to get some ideas.
- Send a thank-you letter — as a follow up to any interview, make sure you send a thank-you letter. Often this makes the difference between someone who gets an interview and one who does not.These tips can help you customize a killer resume that will get you an interview every time.