When customizing your CV is not enough to help you stand out in the resume screening stage, adding a cover letter could be a good way to make the difference. Cover letter gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself to an employer in a professional way, express your strong interest in a desired position and impress the employer with your communication skills and the amount of preparation you have done for applying the job.
Reiterate your strength but don’t repeat your CV.
Your cover letter should include information on what position you are applying for, why you think you are the right candidate, and how your skills and strengths match the criteria listed in the job posting. Remember, you are interpreting your resume, not repeating it.
Get personal but never be too personal.
Cover letter is an effective networking tool for the employer to learn more about you, including your business-related personality, strength and passion for the job. However, disclosing too much personal information in cover letter is a taboo. It would make you look unprofessional, and may distract the employer from making an objective judgment on you.
Make it easy to read.
A hiring manager won’t have too much time to read a lengthy cover letter, so make your key points in striking and orderly ways. Use bullets to break up the text could be a good choice when explaining your strengths and skills that match the position one by one. Avoid using large blocks of text, ornate or gaudy fonts, emoticons, inappropriate e-mail addresses and expired contact ways, so as to make your cove letter easy to read and understand.
Customize your cover letter.
It is easier to start with a cover letter template to make sure all the key points are included, but do remember to customize your cover letter to show your uniqueness, otherwise there is no need to write such a thing. If you have a contact person for your letter, be sure to include their name in your letter.
Do research in advance.
Before you write, find out as much as you can about the company and the hiring manager, and then you can start your cover letter with“Dear Mr Green/Ms Flower”to address it to the individual responsible for hiring. Check the recruitment rules of the company to make sure you send the cover letter in right format (attachment or text).
Explain your employment gap.
Some job applicants may have recent gaps, such as being laid-off and unemployed for half a year, or being a full-time mother for three years. Cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain an employment gap in a sincere and honest way.
Your cover letter is your first and best chance to make a good impression, so be polite. Don’t forget the salutation opening and complimentary close parts. You may conclude your cover letter by“thank you for your consideration”,“looking forward to hearing from you”and“Respectfully/Sincerely/Courteously yours”.
Finally, take one more minute to check spelling mistakes or logical flaws of your CV and cover letter before you send them out. Good luck!