A cover letter typically accompanies each resume you send out. Employers use cover letters to shortlist applicants for available jobs and to determine which candidates they would like to interview. In cover letter you provide additional information on your skills and experience. The letter provides detailed information on why you are qualified for the job you are applying
Types of Cover Letters
There are three general types of cover letters. Choose a type of letter that matches your reason for writing.
• The application letter which responds to a known job opening ,
• The prospecting letter which inquires about possible positions ,
• The networking letter which requests information and assistance in your job search.
Cover Letter Contents
A cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences. Determine relevance by carefully reading the job description, evaluating the skills required and matching them to your own skills. Think of examples where you applied those skills, and how you would be effective in the position available.
What to Leave off Your Cover Letter
The letter is about your qualifications for the job, not about you personally. There is no need to share any personal information about yourself or your family in it. If you don’t have all the qualifications the employer is seeking, don’t mention it. Instead, focus on the credentials you have that are a match. Don’t mention salary unless the company asks. If you have questions about the job, the salary, the schedule, or the benefits, it’s not appropriate to mention them in the letter.
One thing that’s very important is to not write too much. Keep your letter focused, concise, and a few paragraphs in length. If you write too much, it’s probably not going to be read.
Each cover letter you write should be customized to include:
• Which job you're applying for (include the job title in your opening paragraph)
• How you learned about the job (and a referral if you have one).
• Why you are qualified for the job (be specific).
• What you have to offer the employer and why you want to work at this specific company (match your skills to the job description, and read up on the organization’s mission, values and goals to mention in your letter).
• Thank you for being considered for the job.
Well-written cover letter will help get your application noticed and help you secure an interview. Take the time to personalize it so it shows the employer why you're a solid candidate for the job.
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