You’re organized. You’ve got a strong resume. You’re ready to move onto the next step – the Cover Letter.
Most employers will ask for a cover letter, but many people have no idea what a cover is really for or how to develop an effective one. We hope to answer any questions you may have and give you an idea of why employers ask you to submit a cover letter.
The cover letter is a tool that introduces you, informs the reader that you’ve attached a resume, and explains your purpose for applying. Remember, your cover letter is the first impression you will make on the reader, and first impressions can make or break your chance for an interview. By the way, a cover letter also lets the hiring manager and/or employer know how strong or weak your communication skills, writing ability, and attention to detail in spelling and grammar are. These things create a image for the reader, and impressions of who you are develop quickly. You want to grab the attention of the reader… in a positive way! Let your personality come through! The cover letter should be concise—approximately 3 short paragraphs.
Here are some tips that can help:
- Do whatever it takes to find out the name of the person who will be reviewing your cover letter and resume. If that proves to be impossible (it almost never will), simply state “Good Morning,” never “To Whom It May Concern,” or “Hiring Manager.”
- Don’t just regurgitate what is in your resume into a cover letter. A cover letter should reinforce your overall skill set and personality, letting the reader know that you are the right fit not only for the position, but also for the culture of the company, organization, or facility.
- Highlight your strengths that apply directly to the requirements and responsibilities of the position.
- Request an interview to further discuss the position and what else you can bring to the job.
- Never use closing phrases like “All the Best,” or “Truly Yours,” the most logical closing is “Sincerely.”
- In your last paragraph, include a thank you and the fact that you are looking forward to meeting with this person personally.
- PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, AND PROOFREAD!!!!!
If you are not confident with your writing skills, ask your MCC go-to to help write or review your cover letter.