The cover letter is every bit as important as your resume and should always accompany your resume or CV. Your cover letter introduces you (and your resume) to your prospective employer.
Your cover letter essentially serves to ask for an interview. As a result of your cover letter, your prospective employer will decide whether or not to read your resume to learn more about you.
When all is said and done, the prospective employer will feel compelled to call you in for that important interview if you got his attention with your cover letter.
Below is an outline on how to write an effective cover letter.
COVER LETTER OUTLINE – HOW TO WRITE A GOOD COVER LETTER
In top right hand corner or middle of letter, write your contact details and date.
2150 Orange Grove
New York, NY 55555
February 20, 2005
Write contact details of prospective employer
Mr. John Smythe
5854 Tombon Road
New York, NY 55555
Dear Mr. Smythe,
Opening paragraph - Use an opening that will bring yourself to the attention of the reader and make clear the exact job you are applying for. Use one of the following:
1. Summarize the opening
2. Name the opening
3. Request an opening
4. Question the availability of an opening
Secondary paragraph(s)- Provide descriptive information to provide the reader with good reasons to invite you to an interview. Use a variety of the following:
2. Work experience
3. Ability to work with others and/or alone
4. Interest in your field
5. Interest in the company
6. Responsibilities in previous positions
Closing paragraph - This will be written so your prospective employer will take action!
Take the initiative and suggest a good time for you to come in for an interview. Be sure to include all of your contact information, including your email and fax numbers.
Enclosure (this will be your resume)
To review, you will always begin your cover letter by placing your full name, address, telephone number and email address, if you have one, in the top right hand corner of your letter. You will follow this with the same information addressing your letter to your prospective employer.
When addressing your prospect, always use full name, address, etc. , and do not use abbreviations.
Address your letter directly to the person in charge of hiring.
Sign your letter by hand.
The cover letter is a sales letter. You are selling yourself. The overriding purpose of the letter is to tell the prospective employer why you feel you are qualified. The letter must focus on what you can do for the employer, not what the company can offer you.
Keep this is mind and you'll stand a much better chance of getting your resume read and a call for an interview.
Gilles Cote has experienced both sides of job hunting first hand. First as an applicant fresh out of college trying to find a job, then as an employer when he was co-owner of an advertising firm and finally as an interviewer for a billion dollar corporation. After realizing that you can't get an interview if your resume doesn't get read, he founded http://www.cover-letter-help.com to help others write cover letters that get attention and interviews.