A Great Cover Letter
There is nothing that can compare to a great cover letter. If you want to get a prospective employer's attention, this single piece of paper becomes a vital piece of your personal marketing efforts.
The cover letter is the first thing that an employer is going to notice.
It is the prelude to the resume. If the cover letter does not command the attention of the reader right away, then you may lose an opportunity to highlight your qualifications. Sure, the resume will outline your educational and experiential background, but it doesn't afford the flexibility of a well-written cover letter.
A great cover letter gives you an opportunity to tailor your credentials in a way that the resume does not. You are able to explain situations rather than simply state them. You can expound on a specific skill set. You can relate an anecdote that shows the employer how accomplished you are. There is so much more that a great cover letter can do.
Review this Cover Letter Guideline. It outlines what each paragraph of the cover letter should contain. It is an excellent guideline, but it is not set it stone. Make whatever changes you feel will best highlight your qualifications.
Map out the information you want to place in each section, then go back through and fine tune it. Don't try to write brilliantly from the salutation to the signature in the first draft. Revise it each time you go through it.
Writing a great cover letter
entails thought and time
Remember that a cover letter is short and to the point. If it is more than one page in length, you stand the chance of losing the interest of the employer. If at all possible, keep the cover letter to one page.
A great cover letter is also tailored to the employer's needs. If the ad you read states that the employer is looking for someone with 2 years of experience, then you need to include something in your cover letter that reflects you have 2 years experience or more. If you do not have that much experience, show the employer how much you have learned in the past and how quickly you learned it. Also, point to other professional skills that you possess which satisfy or complement this requirement. Let the employer know that it will not be an obstacle to your success – or the company's success.
Once you have completed your cover letter draft, proofread it, spell check it, grammar check it and then do it all again. Have someone you know look it over, too. You can say everything an employer wants to hear, but if your cover letter is laden with spelling and grammar errors, you will never get past that initial reading.
The cover letter is such a great opportunity for you to "talk" to the employer in a way that you cannot do so with a resume. It's more personal. Use it to your advantage. This certainly requires some time and thought up front, but the payback is that you are offered an awesome job doing exactly what you want to do.
If you are finished reading "A Great Cover Letter", click here to review an awesome Cover Letter Checklist
Here is a list of excellent Cover Letter Tips