What is a cover letter?

Cover letter on an employer's desk

A cover letter is a marketing tool in every job search; therefore it's necessary to attach this document to every resume that you send. The main objective of the cover letter is to attract employer's attention towards your resume and in order to do so, you need a document free of mistakes; it also should be interesting to read.

The information that is contained in your resume should be summarized and it should have around four paragraphs. In this section some helpful pieces of advice are provided to help you in your job search. Try to put them into practice:


  • Be specific, concise and speak directly to the person who is in charge of recruitment process.
  • Let them know where you found out the opening, (newspaper, website, family or friend who works for the company).
  • Persuade the employer to have a look at your resume.
  • Place your cover letter first.
  • Highlight your educational qualifications (degrees, diplomas), as well as your leadership qualities and strong communication skills.

The cover letter gives you another chance to market yourself and show what you have to offer to the company, it answers the questions "How can this person help the organization?"

Who Needs a Cover Letter?

Everyone who is looking for a job and sends out a resume needs a cover letter. Even if the cover letter wasn't listed in an advertisement, it's expected that you will write one.

How to write a Cover Letter?

If you have written a good resume then writing a good cover letter will almost guarantee you a job interview. When writing a cover letter you should remember this is as important as your Resume, this document is the one the employers will return after interviewing you.

Generally a cover letter has the following format:


(Hard copy: sender address and contact info at top. Place your address and the date, they can be left-justified, or centered.)

Your Street Address
City, State Zip Code
Telephone Number
E-mail Address

Month, Day, Year

Mr./Ms./Dr. FirstName LastName
Title
Name of Organization
Street or P. O. Box Address
City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. LastName:

Introduction paragraph: Describe why you are writing; how you learned of the company and/or the position, add basic information about yourself.

Second paragraph: Describe why you are interested in the employer's type of work. Demonstrate that you did your homework and investigated about organization and the employer or position. List those relevant qualifications that make you a good fit for the employer's needs. If you can you should explain more deeply those skills you described in your resume. If you have other enclosures besides of your resume, mention them here.

Third paragraph: Emphasize the fact that you would like to have an interview with the employer to know more about the position. Let the employer know that you will call in two weeks to know if they need something else from you. Thank the employer for his/her time and consideration.

Sincerely,

(Your handwritten signature)

Your name and last name typed.
(In case of e-mail, your full contact info appears here)
Enclosure(s) (refers to resume, etc.)