Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to Write Cover Letter

How to Write Cover Letter

A cover letter is also known as a covering letter, motivation letter, motivational letter or letter of motivation. Cover letter is the introductory letter attached to another document like a curriculum vitae or resume. Job seekers usually send a covering letter with the resume or their application for employment.

They use covering letter as a way of introducing themselves to the employers, also explaining their aptness for the desired position. Employers read the covering letters carefully as this is one method of scanning applications. The covering letter is divided in three different categories like the application letter, networking letter and the prospecting letter.

The covering letter is only one page divided into header, introduction, body and conclusion. Covering letter is also used for various other business documents like mortgage loans, proposals, contract drafts and executed documents. Many universities in the US require a covering letter with the admission application. Cover letters are a great way to catch the reader’s attention and persuade him to read more. Writing a cover letter is not difficult. Here are some easy steps on how to write a cover letter.

Things required:

Word processing software
Laser or inkjet printers
Resume software (optional)
Resume paper

Look for a job posting, job tip or any job advertisement that is of your interest, and make sure that you are qualified enough for the position. Some busy employers get hundreds of applications, so make sure that your covering letter is impressive.
Match the style of letterhead and paper that you are planning to use for your cover letter. This will create a great first impression.
If you do not know the name of the person who receives your resume, do not write the salutation in such case. It is always better to address the letter to a particular person; call the company and ask for the employers name and title.
Try to grab the reader’s attention; your covering letter should make him want to read more. Your covering letter must stand out from rest of the applications.
In the first paragraph, you must mention how you came to know about this job and why are you interested in it.
In the second and third paragraph, try to make a professional image. Highlight your important accomplishments and qualifications. Make sure that that you do not quote your resume verbatim.
While writing the covering letter, mention points like what you can contribute to the organization instead of what you will gain from the organization. If you want, you can also discuss the covering letter in the interview.
In the last paragraph, say that your resume will explain the qualifications, experience and the educational background. Request the employers for a personal interview.  
Conclude the letter by saying that you are looking forward to hearing from the company, and restate again your excitement about this opportunity and your desire to learn more.
Proofread your letter for any grammatical mistakes, you can also refer to stylebook if required.
Now your letter is ready, you can print it or send a direct email to the employers.
Tips and Warnings:

Before you start writing the cover letter, do a through research about the company. Then your letter can have some specifics about the company, stated as the reason for your interest in working there.
Keep the cover letter short and precise. Most of the cover letter are of one page and have a standard business format.
To highlight some of your accomplishments, use bullet points in the paragraph.
Do not get personal or wordy in the cover letter. You can share the relevant anecdotes in the interview session.
Do not brag about yourself. Confidence is very important, but do not overdo it.
Always remember to not send a photocopied letter or use a form letter. This gives an impression to the employer that you are not interested in the job, and hence you could not write an original letter.
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