Making a strong impression on a prospective employer and persuade him to read the enclosed resume is the main reason of writing a cover letter. Mostly, a cover letter gets read before a resume and serves as a primary introduction of a candidate to the prospective employer. Many recruiters take one look at a cover letter and decide if it is worthwhile to read the accompanying resume. Since companies receive hundreds of resumes for a single position, it is often very difficult to decide which ones to read first. A cover letter can help an employer make this decision.
Cover letters are not just a formality – they serve an important purpose which is to provide employers with information about candidates’ skills and how they will be able to use these skills to perform work duties. One might argue that cover letters repeat the information in a resume; this is not true – if a cover letter does this, it is not a well written one. In fact, a cover letter must not reiterate information in a resume – it should only complement the information provided in a resume.
So what does a good cover letter needs to possess in the years 2015 and 2016? If you research well, you can find many cover letter templates that can be customized to meet your needs. But, there are certain protocols that one needs to follow when looking for a good cover letter template to use.
As a rule of thumb, there are four basic parts of a cover letter i.e. salutation, opening paragraph, middle paragraph(s) and closing paragraph.
The salutation is very important as this is where a candidate connects with a prospective employer. Research the name of the person who will be reading your cover letter so that your letter has a professional ring to it.
Provide the reader with information about how you came to know about the position you are applying for. You may mention your source as the advertisement i.e. internet, newspaper or a personal referral. Mention 3-4 of your core qualifications which make you eligible for a specific position.
The middle paragraph(s) holds a lot of importance as they contain information about your past experiences, skills and talent. It is recommended that you write information regarding your major accomplishments in this section as this will provide the reader with a solid reason to pick up your accompanying resume.
Close in a way that the reader does not forget you! You must talk about your availability for interview, how you can be contacted and indicate your anticipation for a response.
Once you have signed off your cover letter, you must proofread it.
Remember that we are living in an extremely competitive world and you cannot pick up just any template from the internet and use it as your own. The years of 2015 and 2016 are expected to be much tougher than ever before as this competition increases. So it is up to the candidates to understand how they need to portray themselves through a cover letter.