Job hunting is a task that most people dislike. So much so, that they will take shortcuts when it comes to submitting resumes and cover letters. Writing is a challenge for most, and writing an effective cover letter, is by far the hardest thing most people struggle with. In fact, the majority of resumes submitted, do not even contain a cover letter.
There is a lot of contradictory advice when it comes to whether to include a free resume cover letter, and what to include in that cover letter. With our technology driven world today, many question whether they even need to include a cover letter. The short answer is, Yes! Your cover letter should be written to reflect you as a person – your personality, your curiosity, your passions, your interest in the position. In a sea of candidates, your cover letter may be just the piece that distinguishes you from the rest of the fish. For reference, you can easily find resume cover letter samples online so you will get an overview about how to create a winning resume cover letter.
Here Are 5 Easy Steps On How To Write A Resume Cover letter:
1. Research – the first step in creating a winning cover letter is to research the company you are applying to. Knowing the company, will allow you to craft your letter appropriately. Investigate the specifics of the job you are applying for, view the company’s website and social media outlets, and look for news surrounding the business. You should use information surrounding the culture of the business in your cover letter. Perhaps they are expanding and are opening a new division (which is the job you are applying for), you can mention the excitement in opening a new division and how excited you are to be involved in that. Include information in your letter that will help support why you will be a good fit in their culture.
2. Strong Open – the opening paragraph of your cover letter is the most crucial content and draws the most attention. Most hiring managers, only read the first paragraph. If you want them to continue reading and feel compelled to read your resume, your first paragraph must be strong. There is no need to regurgitate in the opening of your letter what position you are applying for (this is a common mistake for many), the hiring manager will understand that based on the subject line of your letter. You should start the opening of your letter by presenting some excitement. Be cautious of humor – in some instances it will be ok – others will find it offensive. Be direct and energetic in the opening paragraph, for example, before you read anymore, allow me to draw your attention to two reasons why you might want to hire me for this position. Also, if you have a connection with someone that is at the company, mention that in this opening paragraph.
3. Personal Value – you need to showcase your personal value and how you can help the company solve any problems they are having. Here is where some of that earlier research will come in handy. You do not need to be specific, however, mentioned a trend in the industry that you understand and are able to help with, will show your value. Giving examples of how you have been able to solve these issues prior and how you can provide insight and a different approach to them will be helpful.
4. Enthusiasm – show your enthusiasm and why you want to work for them. You need to be authentic and genuine, but show them you care and that you actually would like to work for them. Show to them in a professional manner, why you want to work for them – for example, you love their product line or service line, or that they are an industry leader and you would be excited to work with an industry leader. A good rule of thumb is to use language that the hiring manager would appreciate, while still showing your enthusiasm for the position and the company.
5. Short and concise – your cover letter needs to be short and concise. It definitely should not be over a page. A good cover letter that is impactful should be a couple of paragraphs (about half a page). It needs to be brief enough that the hiring manager can glance at it quickly, however, intriguing enough that they will want to read the entire letter.
Remember that when creating your winning resume cover letter, you start with a strong opening paragraph (making it clear why you want the position and why you are right for it), be to-the-point (so the hiring manager can read it at a glance), and address company challenges which you can help with. Be careful with humor (it has its place and typically the cover letter is not it), do not send a generic letter (customize it for the position you are applying for after doing your research), and do not go overboard (remain professional). As stated earlier, if writing is your waterloo, you can always find sample resume cover letter online as reference so you can get a better idea about how to make a winning resume cover letter.
Job hunting is stressful enough. Follow these 5 easy steps above to write an engaging and meaningful resume cover letter. Even in this digital age, a winning cover letter can make the difference in you getting an interview, and eventually obtaining the position. Don’t apply to hundreds of positions – pick ten, do your research, and write an effective cover letter that will put you at the top of their list!