Creating your resume can be a stressful endeavor – putting the right skills for each individual job you are applying for, tweaking everything just right so it matches the position, and hoping that your experience looks more attractive than the other applicants. Once you have the perfect resume, you are ready to submit it to the job of your dreams.
But, no matter how great the resume, it needs to be read, and that is where your cover letter comes into play.
What is a Cover Letter For?
The intent of a cover letter is to hook the employer quickly, making them interested in reading your resume and ultimately interviewing you. It demonstrates the reasons behind your interest in the position and showcases the skills that make you a good candidate for that particular job.
Because of this, your cover letter should not be a blanket template that you send with each application. Each letter should be written specifically for the company and position you are applying for. Explore the internet for examples of how to write a compelling cover letter. These will help you find the perfect wording to snag your next employment opportunity.
How to Write a Cover Letter for Your Resume
Some people mistake a cover letter for an opportunity to put everything on their resume in paragraph form. This is absolutely not the case. A standard cover letter will introduce you to the reader, explain why you are interested in their position, and draw them in with your skills that match the needs of the job. It is written in letter format complete with date, greeting, body, and closing.
Be sure that you include the following information:
- Your contact information – Include your name, address, phone number, and email.
- Their contact information – Include the name of the company you are applying to and any contact person(s) included in the job post.
- An introduction – What position are you applying for, how did you hear about it, what is your degree and area of specialty, and what are your career goals?
- Spotlight on yourself – This is where you are really selling yourself. Confidence is key, so don’t undersell yourself. What can you bring to the table that makes you the best candidate for this position? What skills do you have that will ensure you can do the job better than any other applicant?
- Conclusion – Also called a “call to action,” this is the part where you push for a contact. Ask for an interview, give them a time frame of when you will be in contact with them again, and always thank them for their time in reading your resume.
Because so many people neglect the importance of writing a cover letter, putting all of these bullet points together in an error-free format will increase the likelihood that the employer gives your resume a fair shot.
Cover Letter Samples and Examples
The goal of your cover letter is to grab the attention of your reader, so it’s important to make it stand out from the crowd of other applicant letters they receive each day. Researching online can give you excellent ideas for resume cover letter templates, but you should also include individual tweaks that makes yours truly unique.
Some examples of ways to make your cover letter stand out include:
- Show your excitement. Each applicant will have a different passion in life. Make sure your passion for the job you are applying for shines through in your cover letter. The manager or owner of a business obviously has a strong interest in their company, so seeing your eagerness to join their team and help them be successful is a good way to get their attention.
- Play up your skills. Do some research into the exact abilities necessary for the job position you would like, and plug your knowledge in those areas. Don’t be shy! Completing the job application is the easy part. Having the skills necessary to do it successfully is something lacking in many job applications, and highlighting your expertise in those areas will move you to the top of the interview list.
- Be creative. A bit of humor in your cover letter stands out from the mundane, rote letters that most people turn in with their resumes. A professional cover letter sample will show you how to put your information on the paper, but making your personality shine through is your responsibility. Find a way to integrate a little of your natural humor and creativity into your cover letter.
- Be error-free! The best resumes can quickly become garbage if a mistake is spotted on your cover letter. This tells the employer that you are careless or unknowledgeable. Many jobs have been lost due to a simple overlooked error on the cover letter or resume. Spending a few dollars to have a professional editor check over your cover letter and resume before turning it in is a smart idea.
Consistency is Key!
Even with the best cover letter and resume, you may not be what the interviewer considers the best fit for that job. Keep tweaking your cover letters, following the best resume and cover letter examples, and add your personal touch. Remember, there’s a reason why they are successful. Once you incorporate these tips into your resume and cover letters, that dream job will be yours in no time!