Many people dread writing a cover letter when they begin a job search. What makes them stress even more is the fact that different cover letters should be written for every single job applied for, no matter the similarities between them. With 2015 in full swing, it is time to revamp the cover letter sent to prospective employers. Here, we will discuss the best ways to create a cover letter and provide you with a free cover letter template for reference.
Use the Opening to Your Advantage
The opening of your cover letter is the most important part because hiring managers typically have time to scan for roughly 20 seconds due to their busy schedules. You need to make as much of an impression as possible right off the bat. If you know a little bit about writing for the web, use that knowledge when writing your cover letter. You need to make an impression within the first 20 seconds worth of content.
Follow All Instructions!
As you read a job application, make sure you follow all of the instructions to the letter. If the employer directs you to write something specific in your email subject line or in the body of your cover letter, be sure you do it, or you will not receive a return call or email. Hiring managers do this as a simple test to see if applicants can follow easy instructions. If they cannot, then what is the use in scheduling them for an interview?
Always Provide Contact Info
No matter how many different cover letters you write, all of them must include your contact information. Your cover letter might be the best one a company has read in a long time, but if you do not give them all of your contact info, they will not be able to schedule an interview. Tell them exactly how to contact you in the cover letter. Whether this is via phone or email and the time of day that is best to reach you.
Proofread the Cover Letter
It is very important to proofread your cover letter prior to hitting send on an email or online application. Hiring managers do not want to have to figure out what it is you are trying to say in your cover letter because of too many typos or grammar mistakes. Your enthusiasm for the job must also shine through in your cover letter so the hiring manager knows how interested you are in the job.
Do your best to avoid coming across as desperate in your cover letter. Even if you have been searching for a job for months on end, desperation should never show in your words. This will scare the employer as they wonder why you have had so much difficulty finding a job.
The cover letter is just as, if not more important, than your resume and portfolio. This is the first line of attack when trying to land a new job. So, be sure it sparkles as much as possible.
Download a FREE COVER LETTER TEMPLATE here (Microsoft Office).