Job seekers are often baffled on how to write a cover letter. The inability to write one effectively has to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks for the average job seeker. Perhaps the reason why so many find it really difficult to learn and master how to write a cover letter effectively is because this requires creativity and good writing skills, unlike resumes that only list your qualifications in a good order.
The cover letter is an important tool when applying for a position. It is important to know how to write one correctly because it will tell your potential employer of your intention to apply for a position in their company.
When a person knows how to write a cover letter, he’ll be able to successfully convey not only his intention to become a part of the company but also why he is the best choice for the position. Your credentials, your qualifications and your work experience are among the essentials that you need to mention.
Keep in mind that your cover letter is your marketing letter. You need to be able to write it professionally and wittily. Here are some directions:
FIRST STEP – RESEARCH ABOUT THE COMPANY:
The cover letter has to be written and addressed to a specific employer only. Though it may help to reuse some of the sentences that you used in your other cover letters; it is still very important that it is written specifically for the company. Therefore, your letter should contain some references about the company.
Research on the background (like its history or vision and mission), their business, the transactions they make, the position you are applying for and your employer. You can reference to some of the data you collected in your letter. For instance you can mention a recent business venture of the company and then add how you can help with such a project in case they hire you for the position.
SECOND STEP – FORMAT THE PAGE:
You need to follow a very strict format on how to write a cover letter. The secret is to keep it as simple as possible. Use only 8″ by 11″ white or ivory paper. Ditch the papers with colors, patterns, borders and images. Unless you are writing for an absolutely creative job or position, never attempt to write a cover letter in creative format.
On the TOP RIGHT-HAND CORNER, write your address, your personal telephone number, email address and the date.
Then skip a line and type the name, the title, the address of the company on the LEFT-HAND MARGIN.
Avoid addressing the cover letter with the “Recruiting Coordinator” or “To Whom it May Concern.”
Skip another line then type “Dear…,” as your salutation. Address your correspondence with “Mr.” or “Ms.” Avoid using “Miss” or “Mrs.”
Type the body of the letter below the salutation. Then sign the letter below.
THIRD STEP – WRITING THE CONTENT:
Always remember that your letter has to be brief. Four paragraphs are enough to mention everything that you need to mention.
Here are the contents of each paragraph:
1) The first paragraph should contain why you are interested in the position and how you found out about the job opening.
2) List the qualifications that best suit you for the position. Avoid writing all your qualifications and never type verbatim from your resume. This is the time where you can add some of your researched information about the company. You can say, “I understand that the mission of this company is… my Professional License in… and [other qualifications]will be of asset to the company in achieving its goals and realizing its mission.”
3) The third paragraph should address some of the qualifications required for the position. If the company requires certain skills you can mention your special training. If the position requires for you to travel a lot, mention your willingness to go from one place to another.
4) The fourth paragraph shall close the cover letter. Tell them that you look forward to hearing from them and for the interview. Also say thank you.
To sign your letter, you may use “Sincerely,” then leave a space for your signature and type your whole name at the bottom.
Learning how to write cover letters effectively is a must for every job seeker. A cover letter says a lot about the applicant; therefore, employers put weight on how you write a cover letter. Just follow the steps above on how to write a cover letter and you’ll never go wrong!