A cover letter is a document that is attached to the resume. It describes how you are suitable for the job and explains how your skills complement it. However, a cover letter differs from a resume. It contains details about why you are the perfect fit for the position. It is written explicitly for one job keeping in mind the requirements. At times, recruiters differentiate between two applicants having the same qualifications by assessing their cover letter. Therefore submitting your cover letter is as important as sending your resume. You must always attach a cover letter with your resume to make an impression in the eyes of the recruiter. Cover letters can be optional, but it is still good to submit one unless the company strictly mentions not to do so. A few things need to be considered while building a perfect cover letter.
Length of the letter:
Always keep in mind that a cover letter should never exceed one page. You should be aware that a cover letter is just the first page to your resume. Recruiters read your cover letter to get an idea of your professional background and why you are the best fit for the Job. The resume gives a detailed picture of your skills and capabilities. Hence, a cover letter should be small and to the point without any exaggeration. The ideal length of a cover letter is half a page. If you are not able to cover all the details in that length, you can extend it up to a page. Being aware of the range of the letter, let us now look into the elements that need to be entered to make it extraordinary.
The first paragraph of your cover letter needs to be the most impressive. You need to get the employers attention and make him/her want to read further. The first element of your cover letter should be your details. It would be best if you start by introducing yourself to the employer, followed by a sentence or two about your skills which are relevant to the job. Your contact details should be in the top right-hand corner of the letter. It should contain your phone number and email address. Also, write the date of your note below the contact details.
Addressing the right person is as essential as attaching a cover letter itself. Try avoiding “To whom this may concern”, as cover letters need to look as customised as possible. You should know whom you are addressing the letter. Do not just call them “Sir/Madam”. Do your research and address the letter to that particular person. Mention the name of the person, their position, the name of the company and their contact details. If you do not have the details in advance, you can always call the company and ask whom to address the application. It is still better to know who will be reading your letter to write it more specifically.
Details of the job you are applying for:
You need to have a clear understanding of the role you are asking. Hence, you need to thoroughly go through the job description before you list out any of your skills or strengths. Once you have a clear idea of the role and know that that is the role you are looking for, you can pin down your abilities. The recruiter needs to have clarity on the position you are applying. Therefore, mention it at the beginning of your letter. Either it can be in one line or a small paragraph. You must read the job description carefully to understand the requirement for the vacancy. The second paragraph should explain why you are perfect for the job. You need to read in detail the condition and write in a way that makes the recruiter think that you are ideal for it.
Skills you possess:
This paragraph is to convey to the recruiter your experience and skills. You can list all your strengths. You can also share how your experience has enhanced your skills and has prepared you for this role. Make sure to link your skills with the requirements listed as it increases the chance of getting you through the screening process. You can add both hard skills and soft skills keeping in mind the job description. However, please do not overdo it as it may affect the length of the letter. Make sure you have added the most prominent skills and have provided sufficient details about it.
When you apply for a job, you need to make sure you are doing it for a definite reason, and when you are doing it, you must do it right. If you apply for a job you are interested in, you need to sell yourself to the company and present yourself in a way that they find no reasons to reject you. After going through your skills, the recruiter will know what you about your strengths. The second task is to convince them that you are the definite person for the job. It would be best if you wrote in such a way that it ticks off all the qualities required for the job. Read their job description carefully to understand and know how to convince them. Make sure to add a few lines about their company, stating their position in the marketplace. Include all the points to make it more impressive. You can also write a statement of assurance on how committed you will be towards your work.
Match your cover letter with job description:
Your cover letter needs to be a reflection of the described role. You must prioritise your qualifications and write them down accordingly. You need to mention your strengths and skills in such a way that it matches their requirement appropriately. It needs to convince the employer to take your resume to the next level and give you a chance to prove your abilities. Everything about your letter needs to make a point and satisfy all needs for the job. Usage of good vocabulary in the message can fetch you extra points as it makes the letter look impressive. You need to customise every cover letter that you send according to the requirement of the organisation.
Tell them to read your resume:
A cover letter is a small document giving minimum and prominent details about you that a recruiter reads before looking at the resume. Your request of reading the resume to the recruiter might balance out your moderately written letter, which means, even if your cover letter is not that great, telling them to go through your resume will have a positive impact on your application. A resume provides a detailed description of your career. A cover letter is a brief description of you, your work experience, and your skills. After all the details, you need to notify to the recruiter to read your resume for more insight on your profile.
Complete with a call to action:
The purpose of a cover letter is to get you an interview; this can happen only if you complete the message with a call to action. After all the details are covered in your letter, you need to request the employer to read your resume and ask them to contact you for an interview. The closing paragraph needs to end on an energetic and enthusiastic note to leave a mark on the recruiter, making them feel like you could be the perfect fit for the job. A single line requesting a callback or an interview will show the recruiter your interest in taking up the position, thus increasing the chances of getting an interview. Also, do not forget to thank the employer for reading your letter.
Now, you can evaluate the importance of a cover letter. A cover letter is a document that highlights your accomplishments and gives the employer a thorough idea of your potential. A resume should always come with a cover letter to make an impression. It informs the recruiter about your expectations and the type of role you are looking forward to. A cover letter also explains how your strengths and skills suit the role you are applying.
A resume without a cover letter is of limited value to the recruiter. A cover letter explains situations like a significant gap in your career or career change in a positive way. Cover letters can make or break the deal, which means that, if your message is not written correctly, you might get rejected in the screening process itself. However, a great letter can get you an interview with the employer. In the end, a cover letter that is written well can almost land you in your dream job. Hence, keep all the rules in mind and write a perfect cover letter as it is going to make a huge difference in the process of your job search and your employment as well.