Figuring out how to write a cover letter can be tough. There are many sources out there for advice and information, but often job seekers have no idea where to even start. Of all the frequently asked questions about cover letterr, here are the most common. Follow these tips, and you'll be well on track towards landing the perfect job.
1. How long should my cover letter be?
Most cover letters should be one page in length. The cover letter should provide a brief introduction to your resume and a summarization -- in the form of a compelling story -- of your experience or related experience in the field. Keep it long enough to be comprehensive, but short enough so that the hiring person reading it isn't intimidated by the length and tempted to skip it.
2. What should my cover letter cover?
Employers want to know a few main things which they will expect to ascertain from a brief glimpse of your cover letter. First, they will want to find out how you heard about the job.
Then they will expect to see from your cover letter if and how you meet the specifications that they are looking for in a candidate. Do you meet the requirements for the job? Does your experience relate to their field of interest?
Thirdly, they will want to know why you're interested in the job. Are you simply applying because you can't find anything better, or are you genuinely interested in the work you'll be doing there? Employers want to hire applicants who are not just qualified, but who are really interested and motivated to excel.
Lastly, they will glean from the overall tone of your letter whether or not you will be likable and easy to work with. Is your tone upbeat, friendly and optimistic?
3. Should I include salary information?
A frequently asked cover letter question is whether or not salary information should be included. There are a couple of schools of thought on this.
Some say you should include this information as it will signal to the requiters that you are upfront and responsive. Others say not to include the information, as most candidates that meet the interests and needs of the company will be interviewed regardless.
So when it doubt, leave it out -- most people do leave it out these days. If the job ad calls for you to state salary requirements in your cover letter (or resume), do include them.
4. Should I follow up after sending?
You can if you want, but do wait around 5 - 10 business days before doing so. Most recruiters and hiring managers are buried in resumes and cover letters for any given job -- you're likely not being ignored if you don't hear back from someone right away. If you follow up, don't call -- just send an email.
5. Should I mention why I'm on the job market?
Whether or not you should explain why you're on the job market is a frequently asked cover letter question. There is no specified requirement to give an explanation for your current status as a job seeker. If you parted with a company for reasons that are perfectly acceptable, such as a business closure, then including that information can send a positive message.
A well-written cover letter can put you miles ahead of the competition. Check out the skillfully crafted Cover Letter Templates that LiveCareer has to offer, and create an impressive cover letter that will effectively communicate your valuable assets to potential employers. You can also consider using the LiveCareer Cover Letter Builder, or learn How to Write a Cover Letter from top to bottom.