Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How to Write a Cover Letter That Makes Your Application Stand Out

Cover Letter Writing Tips

Remember these rules apply to email cover letters as well as ones on paper - don't let the casual nature and informality of e-mail destroy your chances right off the bat.

  • Be sure to proofread the cover letter for spelling and grammar.
  • Include all the information asked for in the job announcement such as references, salary requirement, etc.
  • Address the hiring manager directly, and include the name of the company and the open position. You can often find this information on the company web site. It's a small detail - but it really does make a big difference in how you are perceived.
  • Make it easy for the hiring manager—Use your name and the word "resume" in your e-mail header so it's easy to identify.
  • Use a simple, easy-to-read font.
  • Remember, there is intense competition for good jobs. Any and every detail could be a reason for the hiring manager to dismiss your application in favor of one that's error-free.
Additional Cover Letter Writing Tips
  • Always address the cover letter to a specific person by name and title. Even if responding to a job that states "no phone calls," consider calling to politely ask the name of the hiring authority. If not possible, send the letter to the title of the hiring manager: e.g., "Production Manager," "Maintenance Supervisor," "Office Manager," etc. Never use the term, "To Whom It May Concern".
  • Sign the cover letter in blue or black ink. This signiofies that the letter is original.
  • Keep it brief, usually no more than three to five paragraphs on one page. This shows you understand the value of the reader's time.
  • The paper and style of your cover letter should compliment your resume. Use the same paper stock for both your cover letter and resume.
  • Whenever possible, research each employer's organization and then personalize the letter. When you indicate that you know something about the organization, it shows that you are seriously interested in the employer. This approach is much more effective than sending out hundreds of identical form letters.
  • Highlight one or two of your most significant accomplishments or abilities. This draws immediate attention to your most impressive skills. It also demonstrates that you are an above average candidate, which increases your chances of being remembered.
  • Don't just describe your background - your resume takes care of that. Be clear about your objectives and make the employer want to take a closer look at your resume.
  • The cover letter should be written in a very clear and positive manner.
  • Do not add details about yourself, your past experiences, or your education that may call attention to your weaknesses or raise questions about your confidence or ability to do the job.
  • By using the active voice, you will grab the reader's interest and convey a sense of energy.
  • Organize your information for the reader. Group similar items together in paragraphs and then organize the paragraphs so they relate to each other logically. Avoid writing that lumps together unrelated information without a strong topic sentence.
  • Avoid jargon and cliches. It is tempting to use ready made phrases such as "self-starter," "proven leadership skills," "excellent interpersonal skills," but using today's buzzwords can suggest parroted formulas rather than original thought.
Source : http://www.jobgoround.com/

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1 comment:

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