Have you ever wondered why cover letter with resume is particularly important? Should it be sent with the resume even when it is not asked by company?  Do you really need a cover letter while applying for a job? These are few questions which come to mind while sending an application for a job opening.  If you are still unsure about it, learn here the importance of cover letter and how to write an effective one.

First of all, what is a cover letter? Cover letter is a document which you send with your resume to provide additional information on your skills and experience. It basically provides detailed information on why you are fit for the particular job and reasons for your interest in specific organization. It is an opportunity to prove how your skills and experience match with the potential employer’s requirement. Mostly employer receives hundreds of application in response for an open position and a well-written cover letter with resume will distinguish your application.

Your cover letter should be concise but say enough to make a good impression on a prospective employer. It should be one page containing three or four paragraphs. State clearly in your opening sentence the reason for writing the letter. Then use the rest of the letter to support your candidacy. It’s an opportunity to showcase to potential employer why you are a strong candidate and how they can benefit from hiring you by mentioning about your qualifications and achievements, giving examples of work experiences to support your claims and mentioning knowledge of the organization. You should always try to write to a specific individual and include their job title. Do not address your letter to “Dear Sir or Madam.”

It is important to ask somebody to check your grammar, spelling and style as reader will view your letter as a sample of your writing skills.

Here is the general guideline for a cover letter

Your Name
Complete Address
Date
 
Ms Employer’s Name
Vice President
XYZ Company
Complete Address
 

Dear Ms Employer (Address it to a specific Individual)

First Paragraph: Tell why you are writing, name the position or field, in which you are interested, and how you heard of the open position or organization. In a sentence or two express how this position fits with your current career goals or how your unique skills or experience can be beneficial for this open position.

Second Paragraph:  Explain why you are interested in the company (mention some facts about the company) and mention reasons for your interest in this particular job profile. If you have related experience, education or specialized training make sure to highlight it. If you are applying to an ad, it is recommended to use key words (skills, abilities) mentioned in the job description. Emphasize on specific skills, abilities you have with examples that relate to the job. Refer the reader to the enclosed resume, which will give additional information of your qualifications and achievements.

Last Paragraph: Make sure your closing is not passive. Mention about your desire for an interview and you may write that you will follow up in a week or so to request an appointment. Pave the way for a specific action from the reader likely.

Sincerely

Your Name

It is important to do some research on the company before you start writing your cover letter. Many companies on their website have a section ‘Our employees’ or a similar one. In this section they demonstrate the values their employees have and the culture of the company. Among those values, look for the ones that you have and try to demonstrate them in your cover letter. It’s important to personalize your cover letter specific to the job and company you’re applying to and try to make the best use of cover letter by describing additional details which have not been mentioned into single page of your resume.

Reference: Career Development Handbook- MIT

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