Cover Letters – Opening the Door to an Interview
A cover letter is a way to introduce yourself to a prospective employer. It’s a businesslike way to introduce your résumé or application form when you are not applying for work in person. Whether you are applying for a job by regular mail, fax or e-mail, the content guidelines for your cover letter are the same. However, the format guidelines are different.
If you have never met the employer, your cover letter will create that all-important first impression of your qualifications. To be effective, your letter must:
relate to the employer’s needs
highlight your most relevant skills, experience and accomplishments
Clearly identify the job you are applying for and state how you learned about it (for example, “Joe Davis, your Manager of Customer Service, suggested I write to you about…”). If you are responding to an advertisement, refer to the ad and note the job competition number if there is one.
Tailor your letter to the requirements of the job. Show your awareness of the company’s objectives and activities, and show how your skills relate to the employer’s needs. Form letters and photocopies are not acceptable.
Be brief and to the point. Your letter should be no more than one page long. Use simple and direct language, even if you are applying for a technical or professional position (applications may be screened by people who do not work in your field).
Let your letter reflect your personality, but avoid appearing pushy or too familiar. This is a business letter so humor is generally out of place here.
Anticipate any questions the employer may have, and answer them. Describe where or how well you would fit into the organization.
Close by saying that you are available for an interview or to discuss other opportunities. If appropriate, set a date after which you will call the employer to follow up.
Check your letter very carefully for any spelling, punctuation, grammar or typing errors. Ask a friend to check it too if you are not sure.
Jobseekers should take advantage of what the objective can do for them, and how it can boost them into the interview pile. Remember your objective isn’t designed to just be self-serving for you. It should also show the hiring manager what you will do for the company – what you bring to the table.
Creating a Resume Objective
Self-Serving “To obtain a challenging position where I can learn more about the accounting field and where there are opportunities for advancement.”
Mutually Serving “To bring my skills to the company where I can play an integral role in the growth of the company and where I too can grow, while facing challenges and implementing solutions along the way.”
While it’s important to be honest, it’s also important to present a well-rounded objective that benefits both you and the company involved.
The following are various examples of career objectives; they are not meant to be cut and pasted.
Obtain a position at ABC institute where I can maximize my training experience and program development skills for the betterment of the company.
Seeking a position that will benefit from my sales experience, positive interaction skills and industry contacts where my twelve years’ experience can improve the sales results.
Sales manager position where my skills and experience can be effectively utilized for increased profitability and product sales volume by developing a dynamic team.
Seeking a position in an office environment, where there is a need for a variety of office management tasks including – computer knowledge, organizational abilities, business intelligence and database program use.
Obtain a position as a team-player in a people-oriented organization where I can maximize my customer-service experience in a challenging environment to achieve the corporate goals.
To obtain a position as an office assistant in which my computer knowledge, and organizational abilities can be fully utilized.
To obtain a position as a software program designer in a challenging environment that utilizes team-work effort for researching, learning and developing new high-tech products.
Customer care representative position where my customer relations experience can be fully utilized to improve customer satisfaction and enhance the company brand name.
Create business strategies and develop existing customer sales, marketing tools and product launching.
To obtain a human resources management position where I can effectively utilize my expertise in employee relations and staff recruitment.
To obtain a position that will enable me to use my strong organizational skills, educational background and ability to work well with people.
To solve problems in a effective/creative manner in a challenging position.
Seeking a position with an opportunity for professional challenges in the field of ABC.
To build a long-term career in ‘your profession’ with opportunities for career growth.
To gain employment with a company or institution that offers me a consistently positive atmosphere to learn and implement new technologies for the betterment of the organization.
To use my educational skills in the best possible way for achieving the company’s goals.
To bring my strong dedication, responsibility, and motivation to achieve the corporate goals.