I like to keep things simple.Â I like to keep things direct and to the point.Â I decided to post this article byÂ Jimmy Sweeney because it goes to the heart ofÂ writing a cover letter at its most basic.Â Your cover letter should be a short, 3 (no more than 4) paragraph introduction of yourself.Â It is not a rehashÂ of your resume.Â It is not aÂ life story.Â It is not an in depth sales letter pitching yourself.Â It is simply:Â
- WhoÂ you are?
- Why you are writing?
- WhyÂ the reader should care?Â
- What should the reader do?
And that, as they say, is that.Â Â Â Â
Format of a Cover Letter
As must as possible, you want your cover letter to be effective. You can do this by following the format of a business letter. Just make sure that you are addressing these general issues:
The first paragraph must give the reason why youâ€™re writing. The middle paragraph informs the reader of what you can offer. The concluding paragraph tells how you will follow-up.
There are cases wherein you were referred to the possible employer by an acquaintance, friend of family member. Mention the mutual contact by indicating his name.Â Name dropping can be effective.
The person you mention need not be working in the company.Â He can be someone the reader respects. This encourages the reader to continue reading your cover letter.
If you are writing in response to a posting you read on the paper or online, you should indicate this. You can also express your interest and enthusiasm by indicating your credentials in accordance to the qualifications of the available position.
When youâ€™re responding to an ad, you should specifically refer to qualifications that are listed which illustrate how the experiences and abilities you posses can work on your favor. This alone will tell the reader that you are the person for the position. You can express your potential in fulfilling the needs of your employers.
This is always much better than concentrating on what the employer can do for you. You can give evidence that you have conducted your research on the company or the organization that you would like to work for.
It helps to emphasize on your achievements. If you can, try to mention how you solve problems. You can also tell your reader how your education and previous work skills can be applied to the position.
You can end the letter by restating your interest in the position. You can let the potential employer know the ways on how they can contact you. Include your email address and your phone number. You can also indicate that you will follow-up.
Once this is done, you can arrange for an appointment at a time that is both convenient for you and the employer.Â Â When the employer gives you a time frame when you can call, do this. Remember that it is “his time” and not “your time.”
There are some cases wherein the employer does not allow phone calls. There are also instances wherein you respond to blind want-ads which do not allow you to do follow-up. If these are the scenarios, then do whatever you can to get to the organization. Least you can do is check whether they were able to receive the materials you sent and the whole application process has been complicated.
If you are applying outside the geographic area of the potential employer, indicate which town you will be able to work and give a time frame that you can do the job. This will also be easier if you inform your employer when and where he can meet you.
You can also finish your letter by stating that your reverences are available upon the employerâ€™s request. If you can include your portfolio or some writing samples in order to support the qualifications stated on your cover letter, do so.
Jimmy Sweeney is the president of CareerJimmy and author of several career related books and writes a monthly article titled, “Job Search Secrets.” Visit our friends at Amazing Cover Letters for your “instant” cover letter today. “In just 3Â½ minutes you will have an amazing cover letter guaranteed to cut through YOUR competition like a hot knife through butter!” with The All-In-One Resume Cover Letter