Writing a cover letter and building my resume are two things I dislike more than anything. I understand the importance of both and yet I still continue to dead the process. A cover letter is the best way to allow the hiring manager an inside look as to who you really are as a person and as a potential employee. Lisa Hutchins wrote a very insightful article on writing an irresistible cover letter.
It takes just five easy steps to create an awesome cover letter. But sometimes they are easier said than done.
1. Research the company.
Knowledge is key. Being unfamiliar with the company you are applying for shows lack of interest and motivation. It is important to know the main concepts of the company as well as what they stand for.
2. Put thought into content.
A mistake I have commonly made is waiting till the last minute to write my cover letter and tailor my resume to the job I am applying. Plan accordingly so you are not trying to cram. It will show if you just throw words on paper just to make a deadline.
3. Follow directions.
It’s easy to get off task. Be sure to follow the company application process to a T. Make sure to cover every topic they are looking for. Be clear and concise.
4. Never send an attachment.
A great point is made in this article. HR’s receive tons of emails, especially when a lot of people are applying for the same job. They don’t want to have to open a billion attachments to read a cover letter, so make it easy for them and put it in the body of your email.
5. Always explain why you would be best suited for the position.
This is where I tend to struggle with each cover letter I write. Be confident and let your skills be known. Don’t ramble, but let employers know what you have to offer and why you will offer these things better than anyone else.
Have a friend, co-worker or family member check your work. Don’t stress out too much. Practice makes perfect when writing a successful cover letter.