- Make it specific. Adjust your general cover letter to a more specific one for each job you’re applying for. Edit the job position and the company. Be sure to point out the skills, abilities, and past experiences you have which are related to the particular position.
Don’t just edit the name of the company and the position. Go over the whole cover letter, and see to it that you have revised even the slightest details that need to be corrected.
- Write in a business letter format wherein you have to include your contact information (name, address, phone number, and email address) at the top, and then the date, followed by a formal greeting, a well-composed body, and a complimentary close prior to the signature. Justify the text and make it double-spaced in between paragraphs, and remember to keep its length to only one page.
Look for someone who is good at proofreading to check over the letter. Revise and edit it as needed until it’s perfectly written. You don’t want to ruin their very first impression of you with errors.
- Instead of writing, “To Whom It May Concern,” or “Dear Sir/Madam,” you should address the letter to an actual person. Your letter is more likely to be read if you write the name of a specific recipient.
How do you find out the name of the person who will read your letter? You can either check the job posting or contact the HR department of the company and ask them personally.
- Start the body of your cover letter with details about the job position you’re applying for. State how you learned about it, and briefly explain why you’re qualified for the job. Express in your letter how much you’re interested in the position.
- If you know someone from the company, mention his or her name at the beginning of your letter. However, you should ask for his or her permission first. This person can act as a personal or professional reference and can enhance your likelihood of getting the job.
Knowing someone inside the company is usually a great help. If you have a good referral and a perfectly written cover letter and resume, that might lead to an interview.
- In your letter, explain in the second paragraph why you are a good fit for the job. Elaborate on the skills and abilities that make you a qualified candidate for the position.
There are companies who use certain software that searches for specific keywords within a cover letter. Carefully read the job posting and include keywords and phrases that were used by the company so that when the software scans your letter, it will be detected. With that, there’s a better chance that your cover letter will reach a real person (not just a computer).
- Don’t forget to include a “thank you” and tell them how eager you are to hear from them soon.
Always look at the job posting and carefully review the directions on how to submit your application materials. If you submit by mail, sign and type your full name. If you submit through e-mail, you can either attach the letter or type it in the body of the e-mail. If you prefer to type it in the e-mail’s body, don’t forget to adjust the formatting so that it looks good in the e-mail.
Remember that companies typically receive hundreds of cover letters just for one position and therefore may not respond for a long time. Give them at least two weeks to reply, and if they don’t reply at all, don’t lose hope. There are a number of possible reasons why the employer didn’t contact you.
Improve your cover letter by following these tips, and who knows—you may end up getting a call to schedule a job interview.