Important Aspects of an Interview Cover Letter
If you're preparing for interviews, you've probably spent hours working on your answers to common interview questions. You know it's important that you give a good first impression. You've researched the company, and learned about their values. You may even have an outfit picked out. But are you as focused on the written aspects of an interview? Do you have an interview cover letter yet?
The written parts of an interview are just as important as the oral factor. You want to come across as professional and well-written. This is a chance for you to show-off your written communication skills. There are a number of letters that you may choose to write during the interview process. There's a letter to schedule an interview, the cover letter, a thank you letter, and an exit letter. These are all common letters associated with interviews.
An interview cover letter is normally attached or sent with your resume. This type of letter can be sent before you know if you have an interview, sent while you're trying to get an interview or brought along during the interview. The importance of this type of letter lies in its content and format.
Content and Format of a Cover Letter
The format of a cover letter is similar to most formal letters:
- Your name, address and contact information; normally in the top right corner
- The date; normally below your address
- The name of the person you are writing to, the company name, and the address; normally on the left side below your address
- Greeting; left side
- Content; left aligned
- Ending salutations; also on the left side
- Your signature; below the salutation
- A printed version of your name; below the signature
- Enclosed; below the printed version of your name
The format of the letter may vary slightly, but this is a common formal letter format. You want to make sure to let them know that you are enclosing your resume, so that they know to look for it.
This isn't the only bit of content you want to make sure to include in your interview cover letter. If you know the name of the person that is in charge of hiring for the position you are looking to get, you want to make sure to address it directly to that person. However, if you don't know the name you can still write the letter. Simply address it to the head of HR or the head of the department you are interested in. Do your research, so you can send it to the most applicable person.
In the first paragraph of your letter, you want to be sure to put the reason for the letter. Let them know right away what position you are trying to get. After the first paragraph, you can include a few highlights from your resume. Remember, you don't want to give them your life story in this letter. You want it to be a brief highlight of what makes you a great fit for the position.
In the last paragraph, you want to be sure to tell them what you are planning on doing next. If you are sending this letter as a precursor to an already set interview, let them know you are excited to see them at your interview. If you are sending this without an interview, let them know that you are going to follow up soon to see what they think. No matter what you put, make sure to do what you said you would.
Send with Confidence
You want confidence to be imbued in every part of the interview process. This means that you may have to review the interview cover letter a few times before it is perfect. Make sure not to use a generic cover letter. Write it specifically for the job you want. Feel free to bring a copy of the cover letter to your interview, even if you have already sent one in. You may want to update it a little bit, but this will give the interviewer something to look at along with your resume.
Remember, every part of the interview is important. Prepare for each aspect, and you will do great.