Imagine this if you will…
You have been searching through your local Classifieds and working with a Recruiter from C.R. Fletcher Associates and you finally found that perfect job that you have been telling your friends you have been waiting for! Its the hours you need, the perfect pay range and only 10 minutes from home. After hours of making sure that resume of yours is in “tip top” shape, your resume is successfully sent out to the hiring manager. You start crossing your fingers…and toes…
A few days go by and your cell phone rings. Great news, the company that you submitted your resume to wants to set up an interview. Instantly, you are filled with excitement, already envisioning wearing that “ace your interview” outfit you picked out at the mall. However, that excitement quickly disappears as your Recruiter asks a question that catches you off guard. “Can you send me a copy of your cover letter this afternoon?” – You need a cover letter!
Forbes recently published an online article with tips for writing a great cover letter. Cover letters are the perfect opportunity to let yourself stand out from the other applicants and “rise above”. Here are a few key rules that will help you put together an excellent cover letter.
1.) Do not turn your resume into a cover letter. As previously stated, this is your opportunity to “rise above” and “shine”. Set yourself apart from the other applicants and show some of your personality. Explain your interest level in both the position and company you are applying to. Do not simply take your resume and turn it into paragraph form. The hiring managers will look at your resume and review your work experience, they do not need it reiterated in your cover letter. They are looking for some insight into the person that they are considering for a position with their company. However, always remember to keep your cover letter just as professional as the resume, just a bit more insightful into you as a person and how it ties in with the job!
2.) Less is More. You typically do not ramble on during a conversation, so do not ramble on in your cover letter. Keep it to a max of three or four paragraphs!
3.) Strong Closing. Keep your closing paragraph short and sweet. Reiterate your experience and how it ties in with the job you are applying for. Thank the recipients for their consideration and sign your name at the bottom.
4.) SPELLCHECK. It takes 2 seconds. Spellcheck your letter and read it once out-loud to make sure it is grammatically sound. Yes, the hiring managers want to learn about you in the cover letter, but they also want to make sure you are not sloppy or too rushed to proof your work.