A Cover letter is a very good way to introduce yourself, it is usually sent along with resumes, and also is a very good way to leave a really good first impression, here you will find a lot of information about how to write a cover letter, the format, their function and what to write on them, remember to always write a new one, or at least modify your basic template according to the company's requirements.
The main function of this type of letter is give a really first good impression of the applicant, you write about yourself and your interest of being part of the company, so make sure you do this properly. Other functions it may have are:
- Explain the reasons why you are sending your resume: you must be specific, write if you want a summer job, a permanent job and so on.
- Convince the interviewer or the person who reads it to review your resume.
- Reflect your personality, enthusiasm, skills and so on.
What to write
First of all, cover letters are usually one page long, so try to be concise, about what to write, you should try to extract the employer's requirements and match them to your skills, this way you can prove that you are the indicated one for the job, you can also write about the company demonstrate the knowledge you have about it.
It is very important to keep in mind that your cover letter is not a copy of your resume, it is supposed to complement it, so here you can explain your interest on the position you are applying for and your interest in the organization, never use the same cover letter for two different jobs, try to rewrite or modify each one of them according to the requirements.
It is also important to avoid grammatical mistakes and jargon, also try to show confidence, maturity and availability as well as respect and professionalism, let the employer know that you are interested in the job and remember that a cover letter can be difference between getting an interview or not.
About the format, there are three very well defined, the header, body and closing.
The header consists in the sender and receiver's information, in resume cover letters you must put the information of both, but sometimes on e-mail versions you can only write the receiver's. About the style and alignment, the information is usually located at the left, and the font style must be simple, times new roman will be fine.
Here you will see a list of the info you should put in the header:
- Your address.
- City, Zip Code.
- Telephone number.
- The current date, month, day, year
- Mr, Ms, Dr. First name, Last Name
- Title or current position of the receiver.
- Name of Company.
- Company's Address or PO Box.
- City, Zip Code.
Some people like to add "subject" too, but it is not totally necessary, you will explain the reasons of the letter on your introduction anyway.
The body is the most important part of the letter, it basically has 3 very important parts:
- Introduction: It contains the reason why you are writing this letter, how you know about the company or the job opportunity, some basic personal information and of course he position you are aspiring to, this part should be attractive, so keep in mind the requirements of the employer.
- Second Paragraph: Explain the reasons why you are interested in the desired position, write about specific skills that may be needed by the employer, focus on the things you can do for the company.This place is perfect to explain a little better some important parts of your resume, for example some degrees that may be really useful for the organization's requirements. Remember that "second paragraph" does not mean that you must write all the information you consider that should go on this part in just one paragraph, it is just a part of the proposed format.
- Third Paragraph: Here you indicate that you will like an interview, let them know that you will be happy to provide any additional information and if it is necessary, indicate that you will follow up your letter and you will contact them within two weeks to know about your opportunities and to answer any question they may have, also indicate your availability in case they need to contact you sooner and of course thank for the employer's time.
This part generally starts with "Sincerely", then your handwritten signature and your full name. At the end you can also add "Enclosure" to let them know you added your resume or any other document.