When you apply for jobs,employers usually ask for a cover letter alongwith your resume (For a great resume building experience visit Resumonk). A cover letter is nothing but an introduction to your resume and should hence be organized,relevant,customized and nothing short of great. It basically tells the employer why he/she should read your resume, call you for an interview and subsequently hire you. While there are many sites out there to help you with the formatting and content of a cover letter, here are a few basics.
The cover letter usually consists of 3-4 paragraphs:
- The opening paragraph is the most important paragraph as the employer forms a sort of first impression of you by looking at it.Its a good practice to mention the place/person from where you heard about the job.It is,however,not a pre-requisite and should be done only in some cases.One should also mention the post he/she is applying for.The employer basically needs to know why you are writing to them.
- Next,you mention your relevant skills and accomplishments.Be careful not to make it look like a mini-resume. Write only about your most important skills,accomplishments and qualities.The employer will get to know about you in detail by looking at your resume,hence this is not the right place.
- In the final paragraph,mention why you think you’re right for the job.Try convincing the employer but be mindful of keeping it short and attractive.Conclude the letter by directing the employer to the enclosed resume and thanking him/her.
Things to keep in mind
- It goes without saying that cover letter (just as your resume) should be ‘relevant’.Refrain from mentioning any skill or accomplishment that is not related to the job you are applying for.
- Most employers don’t have enough time to read long letters and usually skim through the page(s).Hence try remaining as to the point as possible.
- Unless you are applying as an actor or some similar job,do not enclose a photograph of yours(unless asked of course).
It is,however,to be kept in mind that the above information is only a set of basic guidelines and there can be variations depending on the type of job you’re applying for as well as your form of application.For example,while applying through post one also has to be mindful of how/where to write the address,what kind of paper to be used and other such things.Even the slightest negligence on your part might cost you the job (Remember,when the number of applicants are large you don’t want to give the employer a reason not to select you). Hence research well and write the best letter possible.All the best!
This post has been contributed by Srishti Singh.