Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tips to Write a Cover Letter

An aspiring candidate’s job application can be crushed literally in 10 seconds due to a poorly written cover letter. Most busy hiring managers have no tolerance for cover letters written in a manner that clearly indicate the aspirant is not serious about getting the job. Thus, a cover letter represents the primary contact point between you and your hiring organization.  Smart people take this as an opportunity and write a stylish and rich cover letter that helps engage the hiring manager and also represents one as a strong candidate.

Get your Basics right
A significant thumb rule applicants must never forget when sending cover letters is to send one with their resume. Also, one must ensure mentioning noteworthy things like why they are applying for the particular position. The hiring manager is likely to scan hundreds of such letters, so you must make sure that yours is remarkably concise, to the point and stands out in the crowd.

Goal of a cover letter

Naturally, the goal of every cover letter is to establish the writer as a compelling potential candidate. Common pitfalls that your cover letter must avoid including:
  1. Giving too much irrelevant information
  2. Not giving enough relevant information
That brings us to the next section: parts of a cover letter.

Parts of the cover letter

Every economical cover letter has three main sections:
Section 1: Who are you and what do you want? This is the section where you introduce and connect with the organization’s mission. In this part, you primarily explain why you are applying to this particular firm and if you were referred to the particular position by an employee of the company or received the information about the job posting from your job boards. Always mention the specific position in which you are interested.
Section 2: Why do you deserve the position? This is where you mention a summary of your skills and as well as the background that is relevant to the particular position. Here, you fundamentally let the hiring manager know that you are interested in the organization and the reasons why they should hire you.
Section 3: Reaffirming and thanking the hiring coordinator/ manager: This is where you mention your contact details, and you may also want to re-affirm your enthusiasm for the position.
Cover Letter Sections
Now, we will discuss all the three sections in detail.
Section 1- Opening section
It is pertinent to personalize the opening since this is the part that can demonstrate your uniqueness to the hiring manager. If you use a “one-size fits all cover letter”, the chances of landing it at the bottom of the hiring manager’s pile are quite high.
In fact; many potential candidates are unsure about whom to address the cover letter. Experts recommend personalizing this opening as much as possible. Avoid terms like “Dear Sir” or “To whom so ever it may concern”
It is a brilliant idea to research the company’s website to get the name of the exact contact or hiring manager. The contact may be in the HR department or may even be the director of the department in which you are interested to be employed. This will indicate that you took the time to examine and find the right contact person rather than simply opting for an impersonal greeting.

Once this opening section has been taken care of; you can start explaining why you are passionate about the organization’s mission statement. Try to make use of statements like “I personally believe” and so on, as these are more compelling sentences that ensure your cover letter is read thoroughly.
Section 2- Connecting the parts
The second section must provide the vital connection between your qualifications/skills and the exact job requirements. It is essential that you analyze the job requirements clearly and critically to write this section well. Try to determine what the organization is looking for in a candidate. Once you have established this; ensure that your cover letter demonstrates how your skills and experience can be utilized for this purpose.
The second section must also contain your personality attributes and traits such as leadership teamwork, organizational skills, hard work, versatility etc. These values are sure to be valued by all organizations.
Experts also recommend stressing upon your openness to diversity so ensure mentioning your multicultural experience, or pointing out to your ethnicity, etc. Ensure that doing so helps you fit in with the company’s culture. Today, many organizations are known to value such traits.
Section 3- Conclude the cover letter in style
Conclude your letter with elegance and style; thank the organization for taking the time to consider your application. This is the part where you reiterate your enthusiasm for the organization’s mission. In this section, you may also provide the hiring manager with means to get in touch with you, so mention a phone number and email address. Make sure that you have already created a professional email account for this purpose. Give the same email address in the cover letter and resume.
Before sending the cover letter
Make sure that the job description does not have any specific instructions like including some valuable information etc. Many organizations are quite particular about how the cover letters are received.
Always proof read your cover letter; if you do not have the editing skills, ask the best writer you know to check it for you. There should be adequate variations in the sentence constructions, and you must ensure that not all sentences are beginning with “I have”, or “I am” etc.
Cover letters are crucial to let your potential employers know about your academic qualifications as well as your past work experiences. A thoughtful and well written cover letter is expected to be taken sincerely by the organization. A good cover letter will get you to the next stage while a poorly written one is a sure means of ending your candidacy. Every candidate must take it as an opportunity to create a favorable impression.

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