Writing a good cover letter to be sent with every resume is expected; it is a sign of being inattentive to details sending a resume without one that caters to the specific company and opportunity you are pursuing. Whether you are relocating or thinking about a career change...regardless of the situation -- the cover letter is important.
You need to remember that employers and recruiters must screen hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of resumes for every job opening. Use this opportunity to start building your personal brand.
During the first pass screening they look for reasons to trash resumes, after all, they need to narrow down candidates...and poor cover letters or poorly written resumes, regardless of your qualifications, will just get trashed!
In its basic form, it is a letter of introduction that accompanies a resume or curriculum vitae (CA). It formally introduces you to recruiters or prospective employers and expresses your interest in the company and position.
It allows you the chance to show the recruiter or hiring manager how thorough you are...do your research of the company and tell them why you want to work for them, how you can fill the need and solve their problem, and why you can contribute and be an asset to the organization.
Stand-out from the crowd...don't give generic text-book answers, it's insulting and not very thoughtful.
Use this simple cover letter to get you started.
Writing a good cover letter highlights and amplifies what is in the resume, and explains why you are excited about the job and why you would be of value to the employer.
It also highlights any noteworthy special items of interest such as your availability, education, certifications, special skills or other qualifications that are of importance to note, before reading the resume
I can not stress this enough PROOF READ, and then have someone proof read you; you only have that ONE chance to impress, why blow it on a silly grammatical error!
Laziness tends to go right along with the summer, doesn’t it? After a long day in the hot sun, it is easy to forget that this “thing” on which your life depends may need some attention when you would much rather head off to the beach, a pool party or grab a frozen drink. BAD idea!
Think of it this way.
Laziness when hiking can be disastrous. Not getting everything in-order, trying to
account for every possible scenario, before you do take off into the deep woods,
can turn a very enjoyable activity into a bad nightmare.
Not getting everything in its proper place, accounting for all the food, water and other essentials needed for every encounter you may come across out in the wild. Not paying close attention to your upcoming adventure, only leaves you open for bad things later on.
Things that you will probably regret…perhaps its that once in a lifetime photo you missed because your batteries were not fully charged, or your faced with not enough water, because you failed to properly prepare for the heat and extra water loss your body would experience from the hike in the heat?
There are countless other things that could happen if you’re
not properly prepared or have spent enough time focusing in on the task at
hand. As mentioned, laziness means lost
I am always shocked at the casualness that people put into writing a good cover letter. I still can’t believe that there are so many that fail at this basics task because of laziness.
It is also hard to believe how many people don’t have enough common sense to rename files they send with their name – “MGhibaudi.doc” and not “resume.doc”.
Like being out in the wilderness, a job search is a time when you are out from your usual comfort zone and normal securities. There are frequently no safety nets of an administrative assistant to correct your spelling and check your grammar.
No, all of the details are now in your hands.
So, don’t get lazy on yourself. Your fate is in your hands, and EVERYTHING that comes from you will ALWAYS be a reflection of you, and the quality of (or lack of) your work.
If you have failed to take the time to write “Dear Mike” or “Dear Mr. Ghibaudi,” shame on you. “Current occupant” or “Dear Sir or Madam,” when you should know the difference, doesn’t reflect well on you or your candidacy.
Make the commitment NOW in writing a good cover letter, one that will make them WANT to call you!
Employers want an individualized, but thoughtfully written cover letters to screen applicants who are not sufficiently interested in their position or who lack certain skills. Sorry, cookie cutter template formats won't cut it; they only show laziness, and lack of attention...and are BORING to read.
Writing a good cover letter is your chance to send a personalized message to the recruiter or hiring manager and demonstrate why they need bring you in and talk to you; think of a TV commercial and how it motivates you to action. Your cover letter needs to do the same, it's NOT just a formality...it shows your interest, professionalism and attention to detail!
Your cover letter should address why you are best suited for the position. Take time to think about your personal brand — the unique skills and strengths that make you attractive to an employer. Convey your brand in your letters.
Writing a good cover letter serves the purpose of trying to catch the reader's interest. It is to a resume or CV (Curriculum Vitae) what a headline is to a book or article. Write a bad one, or worse yet, not one at all, then no matter how well written your resume is, the recruiter, hiring manager or potential employer will never see it -- because it will be tossed in the trash can!
Writing a good cover letter will give you yet another chance to highlight how much of an asset you will be to a potential employer. What you have to contribute and why the recruiter or prospective employer needs to read your resume.
A good one introduces your resume to the company or organization (see our examples here). It will emphasize why you want to work for that particular company and why you would be a good fit. An effective cover letter engages the reader and encourages him or her to invite you for an interview.
You want the letter to demonstrate in both form and style that you are neat, organized, efficient, and intelligent.
What you NEED include:
Also, when writing a good cover letter let’s not forget those of us that are dealing with the added challenge of age, the cover letter allows us to highlight our strengths and minimize the age factor. Emphasize results, accomplishments, and achievements. When writing a good cover letter list accomplishments that set you apart from other job candidates...this will be a BIG advantage you will have over younger applicants.
Things to AVOID at all costs:
Also when writing a good cover letter tone down past job titles so you won’t seem overqualified. Instead of “vice president, say “senior manager”, or "experienced senior executive"
It's also important to show that you are eager and willing to invest in yourself to stay relevant, and keeping yourself up-to-date...so make sure you to highlight any courses or professional-development activities that proves this point. Too many of us let our skills fall behind the times...so keep-up with the times and invest in your skills and industry knowledge if you have not been doing so -- stay relevant!
When all is said and done...the final test is to honestly ask yourself if your letter makes the reader want to know more about you? If not, revise it, then revise it again until you have highlighted all the things that make you the best candidate for the job. Remember that 30 second commercial and book cover analogies!