Cover Letter : Do They Help ?
Why Cover Letter is Important
Even today cover letters are considered important along with your CV while applying for a job. Many career counselors and experts have described the relevance and the crucial role a cover letter plays in securing a job interview for the job aspirants. It is always advisable to send a well written customized cover letter each time you apply for any job. A very prominent Human Resources Expert, says, Your cover letter is particularly important. It is the job seekers opportunity to help the recruiter see that the applicants skills and experience match what the employer seeks. With the scarcity of jobs we have, a well-written cover letter distinguishes your job application.
Every day recruiters and hiring managers receive a lot of emails with resumes / CVs, cover letters and it is really very hard for them to initially screen candidates for interview. Keep yourself in their shoes and think from their point of view. So you must see your cover letter as a sales tool to assist sell the most vital commodity you are selling, that is you! The cover letter, along with your resume, helps you secure an interview call from the companies. A career expert said that Cover letters allow you to tell the prospective employer, why hiring you, instead of the numerous other candidates, is a good decision.
Best Practices for Cover Letter
Cover letter writing is an art which many people might not be aware of. They may fumble for words, content or information while drafting a cover letter. Given here are some of the best practices that everyone must follow to write that unique and outstanding cover letter that fetches you a job.
Your introduction must create a positive first impression, just like in person. Introduction is very crucial in cover letter writing. It can either create an everlasting impression or mar your reputation just by the way you introduce yourself. Self introduction speaks a lot about your personality. Employers feel if you can explain yourself well, you are an organized person who can handle the job responsibilities also. In three four sentences your introduction should cover:
- The position you are applying for
- How you found their contact
- Why you are interested to take the job
- A valid reason for them to read on
References and Salutations
Ideally, if you are referred by someone or if anyone has allowed you to use his/her name in your cover letter, you must use their name, mention the name and show your association to them at the opening of the letter. You can otherwise, include how and where you came to know about the job opening: online, through any employee, in a newspaper, through a recruiting agency, etc.
However, if you do not know the name of the contact person you are writing cover letter to, never use generic salutation. It is advisable to altogether skip the generic salutation and start with the letter itself.
Organization Centric Cover Letter
When you sit down to write a cover letter make sure you are using an appropriate format for it. It should be professional. Though cover letters are more personal than your CVs but you cannot tell stories even here. Your cover letters should bear personal information but avoid being too individualistic. The cover letter should be organization centric.
Well Researched Content
The content you put in cover letter should be well researched. Avoid random writing or generic writing in cover letters. A well researched content with some homework done about the organizations history, its inception, its current market value, its functionality will help in drafting a good cover letter. The content must be relevant and informative. It should show you and your personality in a good light. It is best if your match your skills and competencies to the organizations vision.
Well Formatted Cover Letter
You must adhere to traditional ways of drafting a cover letter. It has to have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Precisely but effectively feed in details of your skills and expertise while writing a cover letter. Avoid being too lengthy as it might be rejected by the employer. If there is no flow in your sentences or your skills are not put in efficiently or you miss out any other relevant detail then your cover letter is at a risk of being getting rejected.
Do Initial Homework
Doing homework is always good for the job aspirants. When they write a cover letter they need to know everything about the company they are applying to. For this internet is an excellent medium these days. Trying and contacting the past and present employees of the organization will also help a great deal.
Quantify and Validate Past Success
Employers d not want vague sentences about your past success. They are not interested in stories. So you need to give solid evidences of your past accomplishments. Many HR recruiters deem past achievements as a benchmark to decide if you are an eligible candidate for their organization. So focus on what you are capable of offering to your potential employers by drawing upon your combined experiences, talents, achievements, training, education and competency. Validate all pertinent contributions and successes made by to the past employers by making use of numbers, figures, percentages or dollars wherever you can. Additionally if you cannot quantify your experience or contributions with any quantifiable entity try to qualify it by furnishing instances of difficulties or challenges you had overcame for showing your employer that you have done your job so well.
Show Your Interest For the Given Role
Be honest about yourself. Why do you want to work here? If you cant put it down on a piece of paper, then its probably not the right job for you, says a hiring manager.
Recruiters want to see in candidates a resourceful, energetic entity who will work to achieve the organizations goal, therefore you must show your interest and excitement for the given role when you write a cover letter otherwise it will not make the desired impact.