Now that we have established why a cover letter is important, here are some tips on how to write an effective cover letter.
The trick in crafting this correspondence is to make it short in length, conversational in nature, personal in tone and definitely customized to highlight specific skills and achievements that is needed for the target job. This means that for every job application that you will process, a different cover letter should be made. For you to be guided on how to effectively scribble that one page of information, check the list below. Read on.
1. Check on the format
Since this is a written document, there is a need to go back to the basics of writing or refresh yourself with writing letter guidelines. This means knowledge on letter format is important. This includes checking on your font style and size, spacing, margins and over-all look. The best way to do this is to look on sample cover letter that you think is appropriate for your personality. Bear in mind to keep the letter simple as much as possible. Important things to consider in terms of format is the font. It should be clear, readable and appropriate in size. Do not overdo it by making designs or borders. Cuteness is not the deal here. It would look professional if the cover letter is just simple.
2. Keep it short
Cover letters are not short stories or a tale to tell. Be cautious of the length and the content that you write or include. As much as possible, stick to a one page deal and be direct to the point. The one who will read this is a person who only have a few minutes to spare. So, immediately deal with the meat of the letter and the readers will appreciate it.
3. Use the company’s language for the job
This means that when you want to highlight specific skills for the job needed, use the same terminologies as what the company is using so you have the same understanding. Use the terms of reference if it is available or check on the details of the job description to be more specific in linking your skills to that of what the company needs.
4. Be particular about the job title
This is quite important as the company may have a lot of job vacancy. If you specifically mention in your cover letter a particular job title, it would be an easy reference for the employer. Moreover, it is also a good idea to let the employer know how you have known about the opening. This will help them determine if their job postings are effective or not.
5. Make that perfect pitch
This simply means selling yourself. There are a lot of ways to do this but the most effective is to show confidence in the way you show your personality in writing. This would mean highlighting specific skills and experiences which are relevant to the job. Writing information beyond this is over boarding and would be a major turn-off. Simply stick to this line of thought and you will be engaging. Just strike a balance. Showing a loud personality is not the name of the game. Be formal, simple and straight to the point.
6. Make relevant content
This is where you can expound a little in terms of details in your resume. You can talk about a pertinent accomplishment that you have achieved, a successful project you have initiated, awards you have received or areas of expertise that you have. In this way, you can zero-in to the specific skills required for the job.
7. Check on the small details
Sometimes these things can be forgotten but are very much necessary in the cover letter. Check the spelling of the name of the person that you will be sending the application. Double check your reference if it is a Miss or Mister. Make sure the initial is right, the job title is correct, the name of the company is exact, its address and even the date and time.
8. Critique for grammar
It is always an intelligent idea to let someone read your cover letter so you will know if he or she understands the message that you want to convey. Find somebody who can help you check if you have written it correctly or not, if you have used appropriate words, followed the guidelines in letter making, punctuations and other important details in creating a good application letter.
Remember, a good cover letter can make or break your chances of selling yourself. This one piece of document is very powerful in making things happen. Get up and write that cover letter enthusiastically. You never know where this letter could lead you. Good luck.