A cover letter is the document that you send along with your resume, to introduce yourself to prospective employers. Many employers will choose to skip over resumes because of the lack of a well written cover letter.
No matter what type of job that you are applying to you need a well written cover letter.
You can look at a cover letter as someone introducing you to speak in front of an audience. It is one short page to introduce yourself and give a brief highlight of your skills. This is the place where you can convince the prospective employer to look over your resume.
Many job hunters choose to write one cover letter and use it for every job that they apply to. This is not in their best interest to land the job. A form cover letter will read just like a form letter.
The hiring manager at the company that you are applying to, will not like the same cover letter being sent to every job opening. They want to see effort and creativeness put into the cover letters that they receive.
That having been said. You can use a cover letter template and then customize each cover letter to the job that you are applying to. This will set your cover letter apart from the rest and get you the job interview.
To be able to customize a cover letter template you are going to need some basic information about each job. One of the best practices of job hunting is to keep a copy of the help wanted ad that you are applying to. This will be a vital piece to refer to often as you prepare to apply to the job.
One of the pieces of information that you will want to have is where you saw the company’s ad and when. Many employers want to know which of their recruiting techniques are working.
Another piece of information that you will need from the help wanted ad is the list of qualifications. You will choose one to two of the qualifications that you are going to focus on in your cover letter. In the letter you will point out how your skills match these two qualifications.
The third piece of the cover letter information that you need is the name of the position that you are applying for.
This company may have many job openings that they are recruiting for. Make sure that they know what position that you want to be considered for.
If there is the name of a contact person on the help wanted ad, you will want to note this. It is better to address your cover letter to a specific person when you can. This will help to give your cover letter the feel of being individualized.
After you have used all of the information that you have gotten from the help wanted ad to write your cover letter, there is one vital point left to make.
You need to ask for an interview. This may seem like it is something that goes without saying.
This is not true. You need to make the point of asking to be called to set up an interview.
Make sure that you give contact information in your cover letter. The times that you are available to take a phone call is a great way to help the prospective employer get in contact with you.
You will also want to list your phone number in the cover letter as well.
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