During your time as a college student, and especially once you leave full time education, you may find yourself in a position where you are applying for a job or internship. In this situation you will need a cover letter to send off alongside your application or resume. The following tips will help teach you how to write a strong cover letter that will get you noticed!
Tips to Remember About Your Cover Letter
There are a few things that you need to know about cover letters before you actually start writing one. The first piece of advice that you should remember is that most employers are only going to skim your cover letter. That means that it should be concise and on point. You want it to make you stand out from other applicants, since this skim read of your cover letter is what will help the employer decide whether or not they read your resume or simply discard it!
What to Include in a Cover Letter
A good cover letter needs to include certain things in terms of the content. These are outlined below.
- Contact Details - It is important to include full contact details in your letter. This includes your name, address, phone numbers and email. All of these should be prominently displayed at the top of your cover letter.
- An Addressee - Whenever possible, your cover letter should be addressed to a specific person. If you are applying for a job then the relevant contact's name is usually included in the advertisement. If you are simply enquiring rather than responding to an advert, then you should do some research to find the name of the manager or recruiter. This may require phoning the company and asking for the appropriate person's name.
- Introductory Paragraph - The first paragraph of your cover letter saves as an introduction. In it you should state the job that you are applying for using the same title or reference in the advertisement. You should also offer one solid reason why you would be a great asset. This may be the only part they read, so make it count!
- Additional Paragraphs - In the second paragraph you can go into more detail about why you are interested in the role and why you believe you are a good fit. This is a good opportunity to demonstrate that you have knowledge of the company. You can also highlight key qualifications or link to an online portfolio if it is appropriate.
- Closing Paragraph - In the closing paragraph you will once again state your interest in the role and mention that you are free for immediate interview if required. You can also note availability at this time -ie if you are available for immediate start or require a notice period.
- Signing Off - It's good practice to close your cover letter by saying how much you look forward to hearing from them. If you have addressed your letter to a particular person then you should sign the letter off with 'Yours sincerely'. If you have not names a recipient (Sir/Madam) then the appropriate sign off is 'Yours Faithfully'.
Important Mistakes You Must Avoid
When you are writing your cover letter, there are a couple of very common mistakes that people make. However, when you know what these mistakes are it is easy enough to avoid making them. These are the things that you must remember to avoid when it comes time for your to write a cover letter:
- Proofread Your Letter - Poor spelling and/or grammar are certain to put people off. That is why it is important for you to spell check and proofread your letter before sending it off! You may even want to ask a trusted friend to look over it too just to be certain that you have not made any mistakes that might give the wrong first impression.
- Don't Ramble - Cover letters should be as concise as possible, so try to avoid writing too much. A brief introduction is all you really need - not a full biography! As a general rule of thumb keep your letter to a single side of paper.
- Use an Appropriate Tone of Voice - It is important to use the right tone in your cover letter. In the majority of cases that means a formal and professional one. You should avoid casual tone unless you are absolutely certain that it is appropriate.
Crafting the perfect cover letter takes time and practice. However, with these tips you will soon learn how to write a strong cover letter. But in case you are still lost, you can always check out these services at http://acewriters.org/services.html