Many resume-writing experts will tell you, that your resume is not quite complete if you do not make a cover letter to go with it. However, despite this fact majority of applicants don’t feel the need to do so. This is a major mistake on their part because the effect of making a Cover Letter along with your resume can not be negated when it comes to job seeking.
Surveys have shown that not only do HR Managers read Cover Letters they often take them into consideration when it comes to the decision of hiring someone. So, to dismiss this tool at your disposal is equivalent to kicking an opportunity to the curb.
What is a Cover Letter?
As the name suggests a Cover Letter is simply a letter that goes over your resume. Even though it might contain elements from your resume, by no means does it mean that it is a condensed version or a copy of it?
A cover letter is a personal yet professional letter an applicant attaches to their resume when they want to apply for a job at a certain place of work. A cover letter should contain a personable and familiar tone but should not cross the professional barrier. Keep the language friendly but remember that you are still in a professional environment and are expected to act accordingly.
Now that we’ve talked about what a Cover Letter is let’s get into a little bit about what goes into a cover letter and what content should it contain. Further, in this article, we will be going into detail about which tools you can use to make a Cover letter efficiently that will lead to a desirable outcome.
Structure of Cover Letter
A cover letter consists of 6 essential elements that are:
Contact information, more specifically, your contact information, belongs at the top of your cover letter in a clear font, bolded. The contact information section of the cover letter should consist of your full name, address, phone number, email, and any social media platform you may use professionally, e.g., LinkedIn.
You would be surprised to know how many applicants forget to add this part to their Cover letter as they are too preoccupied with coming up with the content. However, this is extremely important as here you are letting your potential employer know exactly how to reach you when and if they want to.
Employer Contact Information
In this section add the name of the HR Manager or Employer, whichever one you know is going to be looking at your resume and after that add the address of the office building you’re applying to. This accomplishes two things. First, it shows that you cared enough about the job to do some background research and found out the name of the HR Manager and/or employer and the address of the office building. Secondly, it establishes a tone of familiarity with your potential employer.
This section is exactly as it sounds A simple greeting extended from you to your employer. It is recommended to keep it simple and familiar something like “Dear Mr. XYZ” should suffice. Do not however use “To whom it may concern” this statement is too impersonal and exhibits disinterest. The entire point is to use a familiar tone to make it more like a letter instead of a document and this statement which may sound good on paper, ruins all the effort.
Cover letters follow a 3 paragraph, untitled structure. The first part of this structure is called the opener and should be used to showcase the most prolific of your professional work and skill set. Go through your resume and see what truly stands out and elaborate on it in 3 to 4 lines but make sure it is the remarkable aspects of your resume that are required, the things that truly make you stand out.
This is the meat of your cover letter and the longest paragraph in the 3 paragraph structure. This portion is reserved for you to explain to your employer or HR Manager exactly why you’re the best fit for the job. In this, you try and elaborate on how you are capable of handling the day-to-day and also mention how you can add value to the company. Furthermore, if you see the company lacking in any aspect be sure to elaborate on it and present solutions. This input is always appreciated by employers and makes you a valuable asset for the future. This section should take up more than 8 or 9 lines.
This is the ending to your cover letter which should show your enthusiasm for the job. A statement like “I’m excited to hear from you…” goes a long way. Also, you can include the fact that you will be calling in as a follow-up to see the progress of your application which again indicates an excitement for the job in question.
Much like resumes, it is not a good idea to use a one size fits all approach to cover letter making. Instead, applicants are advised to create separate cover letters for each job opportunity each containing relative information to the desired job.
It goes without saying that starting from scratch for each cover letter made can be quite an exhausting and tedious task and can get boring quickly. Therefore it is recommended that users utilize all tools at their disposal. Two that come to mind are Cover Letter Templates and a Cover Letter Builder.
Cover Letter Templates
Cover Letter Templates just like resume templates are empty cover letters that only have a structure. That is they have all the essential headings and sections but lack any content, which the user has to fill in themselves to be presented with a complete cover letter. Cover Letter Templates are an essential tool in any resume writer’s arsenal as they can only focus on the content of the Cover Letter and not have to sweat the small stuff. Cover Letter Templates come in all shapes and sizes but it’s recommended to use a Cover Letter Template that matches your resume.
Cover Letter Builder
A Cover Letter builder is an alternative to a Cover letter template but helps the user even more. For example, the My Resume Lift Cover Letter builder not only helps you with the structure of your cover letter but also helps you determine your tone of content based on your work experience and skill set. The My Resume Lift Cover Letter builder also helps you with the content of your cover letter and after determining your personality write a cover letter that fully encompasses it. A cover letter builder can help you save time and effort, especially in a pinch, and gives you professional results and therefore is a great investment for your future.