Your cover letter is very important when you are looking for a job. While cutting and pasting a generic template seems to be the easiest way out of it, investing a lot of time on your cover letter is a good way to ensure that you get a fair chance in being hired for the job you are applying for. Some cover letters get applicant resumes thrown without reading it at all. The cover letter is something that needs utmost care and here are a few guidelines to make sure that your cover letter doesn't sabotage your plans of getting hired.
Do your homework and know your target
Research, research and more research. This is the first step before you construct your cover letter. You don't just research for patterns of good cover letters, but you must also check the companies you are intending to apply in. Check the background of the job you are applying for, the needed details that will amplify your cover letter and many other things that will keep your cover letter specific and suited to the needs of the company you intend to apply in. Also, address your cover letters well and looks for the key person who will be assigned to review your application information.
Check if you genuinely match their standards
After you have done your research, check which of the qualities they are seeking matches you perfectly and capitalize on that. Add that to your cover letter draft as a way of augmenting the specific need of your job application in your letter. Use your creativity to state these facts in a non-threatening, humble and assertive manner.
Grab attention in the first lines.
Pay close attention to your first paragraph. If this is interesting enough for your reader, you will get their attention all throughout and possibly give you that much coveted job. If your first paragraph is bland and boring to read, you cannot expect the other details of your application to be given much attention.
Keep it short
Limit yourself to a page or two, and nothing beyond that. You are not the only application being screened in a day's work. You just might as well be the thousandth applicant. The last thing an overworked applicant screener needs is a lengthy discourse of yourself. You have to consider the time element. Be as succinct as you possibly can and you will gain their approval more with the limited things you say that will be backed up by your actions.
Introduce yourself and things that make you qualified for their job requirement Use the cover letter to introduce yourself. Be friendly and formal, allowing your voice or personality to come out in the letter without compromising professional decorum in writing. Humbly assert yourself on why you meet their job requirement. Be confident but not cocky.
State some of your reasons for applying (but not financial!)
Another thing you can put in your cover letter is your motivation for applying. Of course, we all know you may generally be applying for financial compensation, but it will not hurt to add certain phrases that will make them know that it's not just money that you are after. Words such as “I see your company as a good avenue for me to thrive in my strengths and grow more in them over time” are good examples of reasons that win their approval. But a note of caution: make sure you are sincere with those reasons and you are not saying them just to dazzle them into getting you a job.
Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For more information on free cover letter help checkout his recommended websites.