By Paul Negron, Employment Specialist
In today’s job market, writing a cover letter that is detailed and personal can be the difference in getting you a callback for an interview. Every resume you send out should be accompanied by a cover letter. While there is much debate about the usefulness of a cover letter, it’s better to have one than to leave it out.
- Sales Tool/Sparks Interest
- Writing Sample
- Shows a Skills Match
Cover letters are your introduction to an employer and to your resume. You get the chance to sell yourself and your skills in a more personal format. Be sure what you write is 100 percent accurate and there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Most importantly, be sure that you explain why you are the right candidate for the job.
- 1 Page, 3-5 Paragraphs
- Font Size 10 or 12
- Address a Specific Person
Less is more! Your letter should be no longer than one page. Hiring manages don’t want to spend a lot of time reading a letter. In an attempt to show that you’ve done your research, include the name of the hiring manager to whom you are sending your application. It may be listed on the job posting or you can do some research on the company’s website.
- Specify Job & How You Found It
- Describe Interest in Company
In your opening, specifically state the job and where you found it. Then, describe what interests you about the company and why you would be a good fit. Be specific! You must do research on the company, its mission, and the people or community that you would serve if you were chosen as an employee. Referencing these things will show the employer that you’ve done your homework.
Body of the Letter
- Highlight Key Skills
- 3 Specific Examples
- Bullet Statements
Provide specific examples that relate to the skills an employer is looking for. If they require someone to have “excellent communication skills,” write out an example that shows how you exhibited those skills in your last job.
- Restate Contact Info
- Indicate Interest
- Ask for Interview
- Thank You
Close with a concise statement of interest again and provide your contact information one more time. The goal of your cover letter is to entice the employer to keep reading your resume and ultimately call you for that job interview!
For more tips, see the Byte Back Cover Letter Guide!