Job Search Skills - Cover Letter

The main purpose of a cover letter is to convince an employer to know more about you and check out your resume. It is as important as your resume.

What is Cover Letter?

Cover letter is an introductory remark that generally accompanies the resume. It captures the recruiter’s/employer’s attention. So, it is an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd and fascinate the employer to call you for an interview.

Features of a Cover Letter

Following are the salient features of a cover letter −

  • Personalized − Necessarily address a specific person in your letter. However, if you do not know whom to address, then research about the company/organization and find the concerned person.

  • Relevant − Research the company thoroughly and collect the information so that you can co-relate your experience and qualification with the company’s work and vision/mission. And, understand the role well that you are applying for.

  • Persuasive − Convey how your acquired skills, experience, and qualification distinctively qualify you for the position. Explain why and how you fit the profile and commit how you could be beneficial for the company.

  • Brief and Precise − Your cover letter should be brief and clear. You should limit your cover page to one page (roughly 300 to 350 words). While doing this, also ensure that you maintain the professional pitch in your language.

  • Reviewed − Even a minor error can spoil your all efforts. Therefore, before you click on ‘send’ do not forget to proofread it twice or thrice. Ensure it is free from grammar and spelling errors.

Elements of a cover letter

  • The Heading − It includes the return address and date.

  • The Inside Address − Name of the person to whom you are writing and name and address of the company.

  • Salutation/Greeting − Preferably, address by a particular name. Remember, do not use the first name rather use the last name. For example, if the name is Richard William, then address like Dear Mr. William.

  • The Body − Start with the position you are applying for and how you came to know about it. And then describe yourself such as your qualification, experience, and other skills and achievements. Further, write the relevancy of your expertize and company’s requirements.

  • Closing Paragraph − Inform the employer about your availability for a personal interview. Remember, always close your letter by thanking the addressee for his/her time and consideration.

Format of a Cover Letter

Following is an ideal format of a cover letter recommended by “American University −

Format of Cover Letter