While applying for jobs, most people are concerned about perfecting their resumes. However, there is an equally important document that needs attention and that is the cover letter. In addition to a resume, a cover letter introduces an applicant to the hiring committee. An effective letter highlights important career achievements and makes a case for why the candidate is the best fit for the position. A strong cover letter format can set an applicant apart from other candidates aiming for the same job. Since only a limited amount of information should be listed in a resume, this document provides an opportunity for job seekers to offer finer details about who they are, and what value their experience will bring to the employer.
Why Is a Cover Letter Important?
What is the right format?
1. In a header to your document, include your full name, address, telephone number, and email address. Offering multiple contact methods ensures a line of communication.
2. Address your letter to a specific person and include his or her title. Ideally, it should be addressed either to the person to whom the position reports, or the person responsible for the hiring. In your salutation, include the proper prefix i.e. Mr., Mrs. Ms., Dr., etc. If you do not know to whom the letter should be addressed, you may write, ‘Dear Hiring Manager’.
3. The opening paragraph should be strong and make the reader want to read the rest of the letter. It should provide a broad overview of your background and relevant skills, as well as offer some insight as to why you are interested in the position.
4. Your letter should be job-specific and should match your qualifications and experience to the job profile. Make sure to read the job description and research the role properly. Only the facts that are most significant to the position should be detailed.
5. Your cover letter should have a strong closing and reinforce the enthusiasm you expressed for the position in your introduction.
6. Format and proofread the letter properly. There is nothing worse than a poorly written cover letter with careless errors. It leaves a bad impression on the hiring manager and may harm your prospects.
7. Make sure you follow your employer’s instructions while sending or uploading your cover letter.