A cover letter accompanies your CV or resume when you submit your job application. It is your personal and professional introduction with a prospective employer. It highlights your interest in the advertised job and briefly relate your skills and qualifications to the needs and demands of prospective employer. Keep in mind that a cover letter is not a summary of your resume – it is an invitation to your prospective employer to read your resume.
When writing your cover letter for any position, adhere to the following effective tips in order to make it an attractive piece of writing. Don’t be so assertive as to appear anxious, but do be self-confident in initiating an interview.
• Do not over-stuff your cover letter with the pronouns “I”, “me” or “my”.
• Whenever possible, address your cover to a named individual who has the power to hire you.
• Emphasize on future, not past i.e. the expertise and capabilities you would bring to the prospective employer.
• Never repeat the same idea. Change the structure of every sentence to a great extent.
• Edit and rewrite your letter at least 3 times to create a refined version.
• Articulate your unique personality while adhering to a business-like approach.
• Carefully address any kind of red flags such as gaps in jobs or education and reasons for a career change.
• Keep away from any kind of negativity. Do not talk badly about your previous employer, coworker or work environment.
• Do not use too-informal language or abbreviations.
• Do not exceed the length of your letter to one page – writing a long cover letter means that you are trying to hide some negative fact.
• Email cover letters do not require headings, date and addresses.
• Don’t forget to sign your letters immediately above your typed name.
• If you have enclosed a resume, references or transcripts, type “Encl” after two lines of your signature and name.
• Keep a soft copy of your cover letter for future references.
• Always have some friend or family member proofread your letter to identify any typos or misuse of words which might not caught by a spell checker.
• Use a laser printer and print on a high DPI.
• Make use of a high quality paper on standard-size (8.5″ x 11”).
• Choose white or off-white paper which must match with the paper of resume.
• Send your letter in a manila envelope to keep away from folding (The manila envelope is a special envelope made of thick, durable paper and sized so that full sheets of cover letter and resume can fit inside without being folded.)