Write a cover letter specific to each job to which you are applying. This takes extra time to do and makes the task of applying for jobs more burdensome, but when a hiring manager sees that you addressed a letter directly to him/her for a specific job, it shows him/her that you are more serious about having the job than other applicants.
It shows that you are exceedingly interested in the company and that you are willing to put the time and effort into knowing what they need in the job position for which they are hiring. It shows them that you care and are more knowledgeable than other applicants. It is critical to make these letters personal and specific to each job position for which you apply.
Start off the letter with your information. Write your full name, mailing address, email, and phone number. Then, write the date below that. After the date, address the cover letter to a specific person if possible. Use his/her full name, position, organization/company name, mailing address, email address, and phone number. Finally, you can begin to start writing the cover letter. If you cannot find an individual to whom you should address the letter, write, “Attn: Human Resources Director.”
First M. LastName
123 Street Rd
City, AL 12345
January 1, 2016
First M. LastName2
456 Street Rd
City, AL 12345
Attn: First M. LastName2
According to Drexel University’s Steinbreight Career Development Center, there are four paragraphs that should be written in a cover letter, which are the following:
The first paragraph of the cover letter should address the individual to whom you are writing the letter. State your full name and position for which you are applying. Then, write about anyone that you know who connected you to this job position and told you to apply. You are 50% more likely to get an offer from an employer if you know someone who works in the company. If you do not know someone who works there, that is okay. Simply continue writing the first paragraph, explaining your educational and professional experiences with brevity. You want to gain the hiring manager’s attention in this paragraph.
The second paragraph shows your enthusiasm for the position. What do you know about the company? Show that you have gone on a fact-finding mission on their websites, through their social media, and in the press.
The third paragraph should bring down the hammer on information. A great way to start out this paragraph is, “My skills can be previewed in/by…” State the skills and experience you have in detail, explaining how what you found out about the job and company in paragraph two will fit your background perfectly.
The fourth paragraph should bring it all home. Thank them kindly for taking the time and putting in the effort to review your qualifications. Do not be afraid to make a bold statement here (e.g., “Put simply, I believe I am the person you are looking for in this position.”).
Sign the cover letter with a valediction (e.g., Kind Regards, Sincerely, etc.), your written signature, and your full name typed below it.
Congratulations! You, and Nancy from Part One, have finished your resume and cover letter. These are huge steps to take in your job search. These are the tools you will need no matter what job you are after. It does not matter how you find the jobs; these two documents will be essential to your applications.
To take your job search to the next level, check back next week for, “Part Three: Create Your Own Network.” This will show you how to get the perfect leg up in finding your ideal job.