When you are seeking for a job, the first thing that comes in to your mind is to write your resume. However, you should also think for the “second thing" which is your cover letter that is also known as your application letter.
Some job recruiters or employers ask for your cover letter together with your resume; while others don't. Whatever the case may be, it is still an ethical and a professional attitude to write your cover letter. Why? Your cover letter is the front-page of your resume. This may also serve as your ticket toward those precious requests for job interviews. That is why your cover letter must be carefully written. But it doesn't mean that you must over-emphasize your intent by writing a long letter of application. It doesn't pay that much if you lose your reader - the job recruiter or the one in-charge for the position applied for. Consider the attention span of the reader of your cover letter.
So, what are you waiting for? Let your pen do the writing and your mind do the thinking by simply following these do’s and avoiding these don’ts of an effective cover letter.
As mentioned earlier, don’t let the reader suffer when he reads your cover letter. A cover letter with three to four paragraphs is enough to emphasize your qualifications, credentials, and suitability for the position. Moreover, avoid lengthy sentences. An average sentence contains 15 to 20 words. Just write what you think the employer wants to know from you and what you know to the company that you are applying with.
If you are applying for a job to different employers, you probably just get on customizing your ready-made cover letter. That saves time and no rule prevents you in doing so. But you may also try to flavor your cover letter with creativity. You may emphasize your best achievements yet or how did you meet the requirements of your last project by using two columns. Put the scenarios of your recent top projects on the first column and your achievements to the second.
Professionalism with personal style always has a room. What do you feel if you are Mr. McKelly and yet addressed as Ms. McKelly? Isn’t that pretty embarrassing? There are cases where job ads do not include the contact person for a specific position. Calling the company and asking the receptionist to whom you could address your application is worth it.
Proofread. Even the most excellent writer in the world could not write a perfect article at once. Try to keep your cover letter for a while. Then, go back and take a glance. This time, you could easily notice the mistakes of your cover letter in terms of grammar rules, punctuation marks, misspellings, and sentence fragments. An error-free cover letter creates a positive impact to the hiring manager. The rule: take the habit of revising or proofreading.
As a rule, prefer active verbs than passive verbs. Active verbs set you up as the subject. Remember that in writing a cover letter you are also marketing or selling your self to your prospective employer. Instead of writing “The net sales of my previous company was raised by me. ”, change it as “I raised the net sales of my previous company. ” Now, it creates a strong impact by being the subject. Be the man!
Don’t make your cover letter look dull to the eyes. Learn the art of paraphrasing the sentences on your resume. Treat it like you are just telling a story of “My Toughest Accomplishments in the Workplace”.
As part of professionalism, have the act of signing important documents. This will not just formalize your job application. It will also serve as a confirmation that the letter content is originally-based on your knowledge and information.
Now, you are ready to beat that winning cover letter. Remember that what you are to be initially on the eyes of your employer is what you wrote on your cover letter.
Jimmy Sweeney is the President of CareerJimmy and author of “Amazing Cover Letter Creator. " Visit him at: http://www.amazing-cover-letters.com for your “instant" cover letters today.