Taking the time to write a compelling letter tells the employer you are willing to go above and beyond; not just simply slap a resume in an envelope and mail it.
The competition is intense in the job market these days and so it has become very important to have the benefit of an eye catching cover letter.
Not All Resume Cover Letters Are Created Equal
No two letters should ever be the same; each one should be uniquely tailored to the job for which you are applying. A generic cover letter resume is insulting to an employer and will quickly find its way into the trashcan.
When writing cover letters keep the following tips in mind:
Address resume cover letters to an actual entity, not just a generic “To Whom it May Concern” or “Personnel Director.” If you are not sure who to address, find out and then make sure you spell their name correctly. Do not just assume.
State who referred you or how you found out about the job opening. “Linda McCain mentioned that you might be hiring a new computer programmer soon.” or “I learned about your opening for a Sales Associate from your posting in the San Francisco Sun and would like to discuss a few ways I can contribute to your team.”
Resume cover letters should discuss how you can help the employer, not about why you need the job. The employer has posted a job opening because they need that position filled and they need the best candidate to fill it. Convince them why you are that person.
Do not just repeat what is written in your resume. The cover letter is meant to compliment it and not simply restate what is already written in your resume.
Make Yourself Stand Out from the Crowd
Demonstrate you know something about who the employer is and what they do. If you don’t know anything about the company, find out what products or services the company offers, their competitors; any recent or upcoming changes. Employers will be impressed with your knowledge, especially if their company services a specialty niche that isn’t well known.
Do not discuss salary requirements in resume cover letters
If the job posting requests that you respond with salary information, simply state in your cover letter “I would be pleased to discuss my salary history in an interview.” Then quickly move on to what you can offer them in terms of your talent and skills.
Give an exact date when you will follow-up to discuss an interview. Don’t depend on the employer to follow-up with you.
Keep it Short and to the Point
Do not say ‘enclosed please find my resume.’ This wastes valuable space which you can devote to highlighting why you are perfect for the job.
State what you need to, but don’t draw it out. Keep resume cover letters to one page, preferably about four short paragraphs.
Do not underestimate the importance of cover letters.
Proofread your cover letters and then ask someone else to proofread as well. Don’t eliminate yourself from the candidates called for an interview because of a simple typo or misspelled word. Don’t rely on your computer’s spell check. It does not always catch everything.
Make sure your letter is neat. If at all possible, spend a little extra and print it on nice, professional paper. Make sure there are no wrinkles, folds or smudges.
Following a few simple rules can help your resume cover letters stand out from all the rest and get you in the door for an interview and on your way to that great new job!
Samples can be quite useful to use as a template in assisting you to compose your own unique cover letter. There are however a number of costly mistakes you should avoid if you use a sample cover letter.
The following five samples represent the most popular types in use:
- Free Cover Letter – Advertisement
- Free Cover Letter – Referral
- Free Cover Letter – Broadcast
- Free Cover Letter – Recruiter
- Fax Cover Letter
Take a look at our job specific sample cover letters
Always remember to let the hiring manager know how you got to hear about the vacancy … Accountants Cover Letter
Make your strong points stand out so that you get noticed by the recruiter … Farmers Cover Letter
If some mutual acquaintance told you about the job, then always be sure to name the person in your letter … Architect Cover Letter
Give your reasons on why you believe you are the best person for the position … Chef Position Cover Letter
Experience and skills that are particularly important to the vacancy should always be displayed clearly where the employer cannot fail to see them … Pilots Cover Letter
A good technique to encourage the hiring manager to read your resume, is to make specific reference to it … Bank Managers Cover Letter
Always try to use the buzz words that are specific to the occupation you are in … Bank Tellers Cover Letter
It’s not always possible to include everything you want in your resume, but you can discretely slip in some important facts into your covering letter … Cocktail Mixers Cover Letter
If the job requires you to be creative, then it’s an excellent idea to display your creative ability in your letter … Movie Star Cover Letter
Try and tell your prospective employer in a positive way why you left your previous job and want this position … Chiropractic Cover Letter
How Beneficial is a Sample Cover Letter ?
You can benefit from sample cover letters as they can help you learn about the constructs of a high quality cover letter
However, there are some dangers in doing this …
If you have been sending out tons of resumes and cover letters and are not getting interviews you are probably wondering why. After all, you have the requisite education and work experience required in the job posting. You are sending in both a resume and cover letter as requested, so why aren’t you getting any calls for interviews?
The answer to this probably lies in the type of cover letter you are sending.
A lot of job seekers believe it is quite acceptable to copy and paste a sample cover letter and insert their name. There are certainly innumerable sites on the internet that can provide you with a cover letter example; however there are a few things you should consider before you simply cut and paste a sample letter and make it your own.
The Purpose of the Sample Cover Letter
The purpose of a successful cover letter is to make the employer want to know more about you, to feel the need to meet you in person and discuss the job opening, to get you an interview!
A cut and pasted sample resume cover letter will not highlight your unique skills and experience
In fact, a sample cover letter simply inserted with your name and address can have the appearance of a ‘canned’ letter. Prospective employers can spot a cut and pasted cover letter and it often ends up in the trash instead of the ‘call for an interview’ stack.
What a Sample Cover Letter Can’t Do
You do not have much opportunity to give any hints of your personality in a resume; after all it’s just a recitation of your education and work experience. In today’s competitive job market, many people share similar certifications and occupational backgrounds; what sets them apart is their work ethic, personality, and yes; even passion for the job!
Before Your Interview
Prior to the interview, your unique qualities can only come through in the cover letter. A generic sample cover letter just isn’t going to give the employer an idea of what sets you apart from the hundreds of other job applicants vying for the same job.
Sending out multiple copies of the same tired cover letter gives the impression that you are lazy and are saturating the job market with the same sample cover letter. What employer wants an employee who is lazy and doesn’t have an original thought in their head? Not many.
The Benefits of a Sample Cover Letter
But what if I’m not a creative type of person? That’s fine. Not everyone is. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and there are some benefits to using a resume cover letter example.
Using a sample cover letter can give you a foundation to create your own; insuring you stay focused on the task at hand. However, the wording should be your own. A sample cover letter gives you the correct recipe; it’s up to you to add the ingredients.
If you feel as though you truly need a template use the following hints:
- Address your letter to a real, live individual.
- Avoid the trap of the “Dear Sir/Madam’ that is so common in many sample cover letters.
- Specifically state how you found out about the job or who referred you. This will help to liven it up.
- Mention something unique about the company you hope to employ you.
- Don’t use canned wording like ‘your successful track record’
Take a Look at This Cover Letter Example
Ronald G. Ehrenberg
103 Lancaster Ave, Apt 401
Rosemont, PA 19010
January 20, 2005
Mr. Tom Watson
Nova Vision Corporation
620 East 17th Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
Dear Mr. Watson:
I am applying for a financial management position at the Nova Vision Corporation. I am a graduate from Princeton University and I have several years of experience working in several different areas of the financial and accounting discipline.
I am very interested in working for this prestigious and well reputed company that is forecast to grow rapidly in the coming years.
I would like an opportunity to discuss the career opportunities at Nova Vision Corporation. I have an extensive experience working on financial and accounting software such as Lotus and Quick Books.
I am confident that my experience performing audits and managing financial statements make me a strong candidate for a financial management position at your company.
Thank you for your serious consideration of my resume. I am hoping to hear from you soon to schedule an interview at your convenience.
Ronald G. Ehrenberg
More Resume Cover Letter Examples
There are several websites dedicated to career related issues which can help you build an impressive cover letter. They also provide sample cover letters and examples of other letters related to the job search process.
If you want to see some other sample letters, take a look at these:
Mistakes You Should Avoid When Writing a Cover Letter Resume
Your cover resume letter will be the employers first contact with you. When he first holds the document in his hands and takes a look at what you have written there, it will be the first time that he will have heard about you.
If you have taken the time and written your cover letter resume in a proper manner, you have great chances that the first time is not the last time, too. This is why you will have to gather all your writing skills and put together a professional and well-written cover letter, which will impress even the most exigent employer.
Make Each Cover Letter Unique
In order to make your cover letter resume very competitive, you will have to avoid some common mistake, which may make a bad impression on the employer. The mistake most people tend to do is not writing a cover letter resume for each and every job they are applying.
This is one of the worse things you can do, as each and every job has its requirements and if you write only one resume and one cover letter resume for more than one job, you will not be able to highlight your skills properly.
Instead of using one cover letter for all the jobs you are applying, regardless of their type, you should make personalized cover letters in which you will show your employers the reasons why they should pick you for the job, and not somebody else.
Research The Position
Also, make sure that you make a thorough research of the job before actually writing your cover letter. This will enable you to display you best skills and qualities which may help you get the job. You have to know that employers look for those persons which can help their company progress.
If you think that you are that kind of person, make sure you let them know. You will certainly be called and asked to come to the interview. Your cover letter resume is like a mirror of you in front of your employer, this is why you will have to write it in such a way as to show how great you are.
Tips For Writing Resume Cover Letters
Don’t fall into the same trap that the majority of job seekers fall into!
It’s amazing how many applicants do not include a cover resume with their resume or at best send a copy of one they seen elsewhere.