Whether you are an intern, fresher, or an experienced candidate, writing a good cover letter is your first shot at getting noticed. There might be many questions that arises in your mind when you think of writing a cover letter: Is it necessary? How is it different from a resume? How do I structure my cover letter? What should I include in my cover letter? Do I need to write a new cover letter for every job I apply? These questions and confusions are quite common and prevalent. So, to make your job simple follow these 5 tips to know what makes a great cover letter:-
Cover letter is NOT your resume put into sentences:
Most people let their educational qualifications, upbringing and schooling take more than half of the space in their cover letters. A cover letter gives you the valuable opportunity for letting the employer get a little more insight into the kind of person you are, what you want from the position you are applying to, why you are applying in the first place and most importantly what makes you different from the hundreds of candidates applying for the same job.
Most of the times you will be required to attach your cover letter with your resume which means by the time the employer gets to your cover letter, he has already gone through your resume.
Your cover letter is supposed to be creative and different in a way that it manages to leave an impression without being too informal. For example, when applying for a job in Fashion, drop a few lines about how trends have developed and diminished since the 80’s. Tell a story or an anecdote that resulted in the development of your passion towards fashion.
Keep it short
Remember, less is more. At first glance, paragraphs after paragraphs fused into one another can be a turn off. 70 percent of the employers are more likely to respond to a cover letter that is slightly less than a full page in MS word. Keep it informative and to-the point. Talking about your background in the first few lines is fine but make sure it is leading to something interesting.
Be specific and to-the point:
The employer is interested to know what you can bring to the organization and how your contribution can make a difference. Avoid being vague. Do not beat around the bush. Cite examples wherever necessary, especially while mentioning strengths. Everyone can have leadership qualities but following that up with a project you worked on as the lead will add substance to your claim.
Then again, everyone is hard working, eager to learn and ‘can do anything you need’. You need be much more than that. If you are web developer and are suggesting a certain upgrade to the employer’s website make sure your portfolio includes a history of work on websites.
Finish with a call of action. You’ve spent the last few paragraphs talking about how perfect you are for this particular job, now spend the remaining lines in drawing a positive pen-picture of yourself in the employer’s mind. Be appreciative of the opportunity and of the organization as a whole, but don’t overdo it. Sounding desperate is the last thing you want to do.
Specify your contact details that include an email address and a phone number you’ll be readily available at. Mention the timeline within which you’d expect a response. Thank the employer for their time and consideration.
The most important and very often overlooked mistake is not taking a second look at what you write. Correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and sentence structure is as vital as your content. Get a second opinion if necessary. Follow a format that is pleasing to the eye. Divide your whole cover letter into paragraphs of utmost 5 lines each. In case you’re not personalizing your cover letter, check twice to ensure you address it to the right person and organization.
Any important tip that you would like to share? Comment and let us know