Write Your Cover Letter
Once your resume has been assembled, laid out, and printed to your satisfaction, the next step before distribution is to write your cover letter. Though there may be instances when you deliver your resume in person, you usually send it through the mail.Resumes sent through the mail always need an accompanying letter that briefly introduces you and your resume.The purpose of the cover letter is to get a potential employer to read your resume, just as the purpose of your resume is to get that same potential employer to call you for an interview. Like your resume, your cover letter should be clean, neat, and direct.
A cover letter usually includes the following information:
- Your name and address (unless it already appears on your personal letterhead)
- The date.
- The name and address of the person and company to whom you are sending your resume.
- The salutation (“Dear Mr.” or “Dear Ms.” followed by the person’s last name, or “To Whom It May Concern” if you are answering a blind ad).
- An opening paragraph explaining why you are writing (in response to an ad, the result of a previous meeting, at the suggestion of someone you both know) and indicating that you are interested in whatever job is being offered.
- One or two more paragraphs that tell why you want to work for the company and what qualifications and experience you can bring to that company.
- A final paragraph that closes the letter and requests that you be contacted for an interview.
- The closing (“Sincerely,” or “Yours truly,” followed by your signature with your name typed under it).
Your cover letter, including all of the information above, should be no more than one page in length.The language used should be polite, businesslike, and to the point.Do not attempt to tell your life story in the cover letter.A long and cluttered letter will only serve to put off the reader.Remember, you only need to mention a few of your accomplishments and skills in the cover letter.The rest of your information is in your resume. Every achievement should not be mentioned twice.If your cover letter is a success, your resume will be read and all pertinent information reviewed by your prospective employer.