What exactly is a cover letter ?
If you can think of your job search resume as the “dinner” of the job search meal, then your Cover Letter is your résumé's “appetizer.” A cover letter’s primary purpose is to act as an employer’s introduction to your resume. Put simply, it is a brief outline of your career objectives, a summary of your previous work experience, and a list of some notable career highlights. This letter is all about who you are and what you do. The idea is to make this introductory top sheet interesting and so well written that, after reading it, the employer’s interest will be piqued enough to go on to read your resume.
It is always a good idea to send a cover letter with your resume — regardless of whether the employer requests one. It is proper business etiquette to send one, and it affords you another opportunity to sell yourself in addition to your resume. The main purpose of resume cover letters is to tailor your application to a specific job. Your resume acts as a general advertisement about yourself and the cover letter explains why your skills and work experience are applicable to the specific job. The resume cover letter also gives you an opportunity to show your personality, so use it.
If at all possible, you should address your resume cover letter to a specific individual within the company. Otherwise, your resume is more likely to get lost in the shuffle. Conduct a little research about the company or call them and ask who to send it to if a contact name is not overtly supplied.
In the standard resume cover letter format, the introduction should clearly state what position you are applying for. This should not only be the focus of the opening paragraph, but it should also be the focus of the opening sentence. One sentence should be enough for the opening paragraph of your resume cover letter, but you may want to consider using an additional sentence to mention the name of a personal contact within the company who recommended the job to you or to briefly mention your qualifications for the job.
The body of your resume cover letter should contain your sales pitch. Use several sentences to mention the specific job skills and accomplishments that make you the ideal candidate for the open position. Elaborate by using brief examples to explain why your unique job skills make you the right person for the job. Don't painstakingly list all your wonderful qualities; just stick to the qualities that are relevant to the open position.
Generally, a well written cover letter should provide answers to what the employers want to know:
Rule for an effective cover letter:
After this, don't forget your signature.
In the conclusion of the resume cover letter, state your desire to meet with the company recruiter or hiring manager in person. To facilitate this, provide your preferred contact method and invite the employer to contact you at anytime to set up the interview. Close the paragraph by thanking the employer for considering your application.