The Basics of a Great Cover Letter

February 3, 2015

11:00 am

If you are searching for your next job, then make sure that you have your cover letter up to standards. Although candidates mostly focus on drafting their curriculum vitae (CV), candidates usually ignore the cover letter’s importance. Know this: the cover letter is equally as important to impress the recruiter.

In most cases, a cover letter is even more important than the resume. This is because the employer will read the cover letter first and then flip through the resume pages. The cover letter you draft must address the position you are applying for and shouldn’t merely be a generic one; you have to write a job-specific cover letter so that the recruiter finds interest in your profile. The importance of cover letter in finding a job is manifold; the resume covers your professional journey. In your cover letter explain your previous roles and why you are suitable for the desired position.

A common mistake made by most applicants is that they prepare a generic cover letter and use it for all job applications. As no two jobs are identical, your cover letter should also not be identical for two different positions. To help you prepare the perfect cover letter, read these five important tips:

1. Write to the Point

A cover letter must have a title. It’s the place where you can highlight your key skills and recent experiences in your present job. However, you must try to keep this description short and brief.

2. Address the Correct Authority

It is of utmost importance to address your cover letter correctly. Find out from sources who it is heading the department for which you’re applying or for people who could be your next boss. In these cases, professional networking websites are useful. You can also try searching through the  official website of the company. Addressing your cover letter to the concerned authority means it will be read faster and your chance for getting the job offered will be heightened. If the contact details of the person are not available, then it is appropriate to address your letter “Dear Sir/Madam”.

3. Sound Professional

The content of your cover letter should always sound business-like and professional. Using colored or bold fonts should be avoided. If you are attaching a printed CV, then make sure to use a fresh, clean sheet of paper and keep it free of any creases. Proofread your cover letter before submitting, ensuring that it is 100 percent typo-free.

4. Keep It Short

Writing a cover letter does not mean writing an essay. You don’t need to pen down a huge paragraph stating why you are the right choice for the position. Address the key skills that are highlighted in the requirement of the role and point out how your experiences will serve them. By doing this, the attention of the reader is easily attracted to the segments of your CV that highlights your role.

5. Sound Positive

Your cover letter must portray your positivity and enthusiasm. Your CV should also contain positive words and highlight your skills, stating that you were successful in your previous projects. The most important thing to keep in mind while working on a job application is that each and every aspect of your cover letter and CV should present you in a positive way. Though your CV is of utmost importance to judge your skills for the job post, the cover letter must also not lag behind. If there are lengthy breaks in your employment career or if you have changed the direction of your career, a cover letter can highlight these areas in a positive manner.

 

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Saurabh Tyagi is a writer, social media enthusiast and a keen watcher of latest job trends. He is currently associated with Naukri.com, a leading online recruitment company in India. When he is not writing, you will find him reading about the latest in technology and new media.

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