A cover letter is just as important as a resume for a job application; it gives job seekers a format to showcase to potential employers the reasons they are the best candidate for the job.
Writing a cover letter is challenging, and before you begin you’ll want to understand the dynamics of the company, the challenges and trends they might be facing, and how your knowledge and skills as an employee will bring value and enthusiasm to the position.
To get you started, let’s go through the entire document and review the beginning, middle and end of an effective cover letter.
Crafting an Effective Cover Letter
As obvious as it sounds, start at the top. If you know the name of the interviewer, address the letter directly to them. Otherwise, stay away from the generic “to whom it may concern” bid. Then, create an attention grabber, but don’t waste your words with things the reader already knows, like “I am writing in response to your ad.” Instead use words to establish your credibility, such as, “I have 10+ years of accounting experience” or “I worked for 5 years as a home health care aide,” to create a positive impression.
Don’t get carried away with the fact that this is a substantial part of the letter. Stay focused on the message you are trying to convey and keep it concise. Highlight the specific assets and qualities you bring forth and explain precisely why they make you the most qualified person for the job. Whether information is conveyed in traditional paragraphs or by using bullet points, you’ll always want to craft the message to explain why they should consider you for this specific position.
Use the end of the cover letter to land that interview by making the reader believe your skills and qualifications make you the best candidate for job and that you’ll fit the company culture. To do that, don’t end on a passive note; maintain a solid close with a clear call to action. Communicate that you look forward to discussing your qualifications in person and how your experiences will help the company succeed.
Remember to keep your cover letter to one page and proofread it a couple of times before you hit send. One little grammar or spelling mistake can cost you the chance at an interview.
For more information about writing an effective cover letter, or for help in your job search, give us a call. Josephine’s Professional Staffing can help!
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