Finding a job is difficult, and even getting a job interview can sometimes seem like an impossible hurdle. The key to getting an interview is having a great resume with a great cover letter, so you can at least get your foot in the door. The following tips can help you write a letter that will score you an interview and prove your qualifications.
First, it is important that you keep the letter short. One page is perfect, and keep the paragraphs short and sweet. The manager doesn’t have a lot of time, and keeping the cover letters trimmed down can show him or her that you respect their time. Remember that they’ll be skimming your letter for important information, so avoid fluff or flattery. Always start the letter off by addressing the hiring manager by name, so they’ll know you actually bothered to read the job description and do a little research on their company.
In your cover letter, you should reference the job which you are applying for. This shows that you aren’t just creating a cookie cutter cover letter for every job. Some companies even require a personal response to show that you can follow simple directions. Let the manager know that you understand what they want from you and what they want for their company. If you blatantly haven’t read the job description, this will show in such goofs as sending your resume as an attachment when the application plainly states that they don’t accept attachments.
You must also let the hiring manager know why you are the right candidate for the job. Make sure that you have done your research on the specific industry and job for which you are applying. Mention why your qualifications make you the perfect choice for the job, and what makes you stand out from the dozens or maybe even hundreds of other applicants who may have applied through job agencies or other such job brokers.
A cover letter isn’t complete without asking for an interview! Create a call to action that the hiring manager can’t avoid, and make them want to know more about you. For instance, “I am available for interview immediately, you can reach me on my direct phone line at (phone number)”
Another good tip is to avoid starting all of your sentences with the word “I”. Make it about their company and what you can do for them. It might also be advantageous to add a quote about yourself from a former employer, in the form of a reference or commendation.