Monday, July 22, 2019

Cover Letter Basics Essay Example for Free

Cover Letter Basics Essay A cover letter is an invitation for a hiring manager to read your resume. Hiring managers usually have an order to which they read your submitted documents. That order would be cover letter, then resume, and then any supporting documents. You want your cover letter to grab their attention and draw them in. After reading your cover letter they should want to learn more about what it is you have to offer their company. This can be your make or break introduction. First thing first, you need to be prepared. The majority of business’s that you will be applying for positions at, will have a website. Research the company. If not only researching for your cover letter, research the company for yourself as well. A company’s website can give a lot of information on how the company runs, events they hold, how involved they are in the community, etc. Take note of bits of information that you may be able to use for conversation purpose at the interview you are going to get, as well. Check out their company history page. This gives you an idea of how long the company has been in business. Is it a family owned business? Is it a couple of friends that started this business? How many locations do they have? Finding out as much as you can, about how the company got started, can only make you feel more confident and knowledgeable when writing your amazing cover letter. Your interest in the company and not just the paycheck they will be giving you can differentiate you from all the other applicants. Make sure to know the job you are applying for like the back of your hand. Print out the job description. Make a T chart on a sheet of paper. In the left column, make a list of your job skills, abilities, and achievements. In the right column, list the job requirements, duties, and responsibilities. Draw lines connecting the columns where your skills or abilities match up with their requirements (Gardner, 2012). This T-Chart will help you out when writing the body of your cover letter. In today’s competitive job market, companies’ often pre-screen applicants by running applications through a computer program made to weed out unqualified applicants. To make sure your resume is viewed, include critical key words in your cover letter and resume. Since you already have your job description printed out, highlight key words that you could use in your cover letter or resume. For instance, if the job description specifically asks that you be proficient in Microsoft Excel, you want to be sure to include the keywords, Microsoft Excel, instead of just using the word spreadsheets. If the company is specifying they need an employee who is proficient in Microsoft Excel, it is highly possible that those two words will be included in the computer program’s search on cover letters and resumes. Ask yourself what you have done that is similar to what the job requires like classes, work experiences, internships, and volunteering (The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2012). The layout of your cover letter should have one inch margins all around. The length of a cover letter is important. You want to be precise and to the point but include enough information to make the hiring manager curious about what your resume consists of. Ideally a cover letter should be around two-thirds of a page and contain two to three paragraphs (Newberger, 2009). Start your cover letter by including your contact information at the top of the page. Keep your font and font size consistent with your resume. Make sure your contact information entails your name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address. It is very important to have an appropriate email address, such as [emailprotected] Do not use an email address that would give the hiring manager reason to think anything other than professional thoughts about you. An email address such as [emailprotected] may cause the viewer of your cover letter to throw your resume out due to the thought of you getting injured in a race and not being able to be helpful to their company. It may be wise to create a whole new email address just for your job search. There is a lot of spam these days and you do not want to take the chance of missing an email from a potential employer due to having 101 new emails coming through a day. Your phone number should be the contact number where you are most available. Whether this would be a cell phone or a home phone, be sure that your greeting message is business appropriate and if you have a ringtone on your phone for people calling you, it would be wise to change to a normal ring during your job search. Again, you do not want any small detail to cause the hiring manager to think anything other than professional thoughts of you. After your contact information is complete, double space to type your potential new employer’s contact information. The employer’s contact information section should include the hiring manager’s name, if at all possible. It should also include their title, company name, address, city, state, and zip code. The reason you want address your cover letter to a specific person is because generalizing a cover letter shows a lazy approach to your job search and can be a turnoff to a prospective employer. This tells an employer that you either don’t care or did not take the time to find out a name, and may have the same attitude when it comes to your work (CVTips, 2012). If the job posting does not specify a name for you to address your cover letter and resume to, there are other ways of finding out. A lot of times company’s website will include a list of their staff, which you would be able to look up the head of the department in which you are applying for the job. If there is not contact information on the website, you can call the company and ask specifically for the name of who is doing the hiring for that certain department. If all the research leaves you without a name, then use Dear Hiring Manager of (include the specific department your potential position is in). This would go for the salutation, as well. The first paragraph will be called your introduction. These few sentences should convey why you are writing the letter. Briefly introduce yourself, state what position you are interested in, and how you heard about the opening. The attention grabber is next, the body.

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