Friday, October 21, 2011

6 Tips To Structure Your Cover Letter

Every job application includes different things, save for two: The resume and cover letter.  Both of these documents are challenging to put together, but the cover letter can prove the most difficult.  Whereas resumes have a standard form, application cover letters gives the job seeker room to be creative.  This free-reign can pose problems if you don't have guidelines to keep your letter structured.

  1. Keep it short and sweet.  Job hunters have a tendency to think they have to include every single detail about themselves in their cover letters.  Employers simply don't have the time to read your life story, make sure you stay on point.  Only include details that are relevant to the position for which you are applying.
  2. Bullet points are your friend.  They help draw the reader's eyes to the most important information.
  3. Pad your credentials.  Don't just say you are the most qualified candidate for the job: Prove it to them.  Tell specific stories from your previous jobs that drive this point home. 
  4. Include your contact information.  This seems like a no-brainer, but it doesn't always happen.  Make sure you list every way to reach you (phone, e-mail, etc) at the very top of your cover letter.
  5. End with class.  Your cover letter closing statement should express your gratitude for being considered for the position.
  6. Proofread!  Don't ever send your cover letter out without looking it over.  It is very easy to miss even the smallest mistakes.  You should also have a friend/family member read it over as well.  Outside eyes can often spot things you could miss.

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