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In this technology savvy world, some may think that writing a cover letter is tedious and unnecessary. But experts agree, unless a potential employer has specifically asked you to not submit a cover letter, you should always write one. The trick is to write a cover letter that adds value to your resume, without just simply repeating the content. You can use these letters below as a template or read on to learn how to draft your own cover letter.
How to Write a Cover Letter
Writing a memorable cover letter can take some time, but a well-written letter can make a huge difference.
Prove your worth: Add value to the company and present yourself as an asset to their organization, as opposed to just listing qualifications.
Captivate your reader: Start your letter with a hook, something that adds a value proposition that will make the employer want to interview you. Try combining several accomplishments into one powerful sentence: “For the past three years, I have led a successful sales team while remaining in the top 3% in overall sales.”
Showcase your network: If you were referred to this position by someone who already works at the company, remember to list this connection in your cover letter. Employers and recruiters are always looking for personal references, but make sure you check with your friend or acquaintance before listing them.
Thank your readers for their consideration: If your cover letter is being read, you’re being considered for the position. Show respect by thanking your readers for their consideration.
How to Format a Cover Letter
While you may want to list all of the unique traits that make you different (like your collection of bow ties), your cover letter should not be more than four succinct paragraphs that are strictly about the features and benefits of hiring you!
Your first paragraph should include a value statement about why you’re interested in the position, and a nod to the person who referred you. The second paragraph should tell the employer why you would add value to the position being offered. Your third paragraph should be a brief summary of any accolades you’ve received from past employers. Awards, achievements, and honors are all acceptable in this paragraph. The last paragraph should thank the company for their time and consideration. Close your letter with a date and time that you will follow up with the employer.
Common Cover Letter Mistakes Ñ Don’t be “That Guy”
Rambling man: Your cover letter is a brief description of who you are and what you can bring to the company. Anything more than four short paragraphs is too much.
Miss Speller: Grammar is important, and misspelled words or incorrect punctuation is a major red flag to every potential employer.Have someone proofread your cover letter before you send it to anyone.
Awesome McAwesomness: Employers want to know what you can do for them, not read what they can do for you. Let them know how you would benefit their bottom line, rather than what you expect because you’re so cool and qualified.
You’ve Written Your Cover Letter Letter. Now What?
After you send your cover letter and resume, remember to set a reminder on your calendar to follow up with them when you said you would. You can call, but sending a quick email that says something like, “I wanted to be sure you received my application,” is perfectly acceptable. Good luck!