Time-consuming cover letters might reduce the number of job applications you're able to fire out in a day, but including a letter increases your chances of landing an interview. Getting a foot in the door in this job market requires precision from job seekers, and it all starts with the introductory letter before employers even get to your resume. While cover letters can be a huge asset when they're done well, a poorly written letter can guarantee your resume doesn't get a first look. Cover your bases by following these eight tips.
- Do your best to find the name of the person who will be reviewing your resume, and as a last resort address it to the hiring manager.
- Steer clear of using too many sentences including "I"; instead, try to convey how your skills could help the company.
- Limit yourself to a maximum four paragraphs. Use the first paragraph to introduce yourself and the position you're applying for, then mention applicable skills and specific achievements while demonstrating your knowledge of the company, further explain your suitability if your resume can't say it all (like if you're changing careers), and sign off politely letting them know you'll be in touch.
To see five more cover letter tips,
- Keep it truthful — don't make up achievements from your last job just to impress the hiring manager.
- If sending in the mail, be sure to personally sign your letter.
- Make sure contact information is provided and it's accurate.
- Edit, edit, edit! Check for spelling errors, missing punctuation, and run-on sentences, and make sure more than one set of eyes reviews your letter before sending it.
- Ask yourself (and others) if you've given too much information. You don't want to give the employer any reason not to call you.