Resume Cover Letters – Three Basic Tips to Follow

Writing resume cover letters befuddles many people. Either they feel inclined to re-write a weak resume or to include skills that hiring managers just don't care about. Writing a great resume and cover can mean the difference between getting a job-or not. I cannot stress how important the first three paragraphs of your document are.

Do not waste the first page real estate talking about the job posting. A brief "applying for" will do the trick. HR and the hiring manager know about the job posting - they wrote it. They want to know about you. This one page can make or break your chances of an interview.

When you are writing resume cover letters, keep it brief and bulleted. Never, ever, go over one page and resist the temptation to rehash your resume. The cover letter is designed to give them their 10 second jolt about you and why you should work for their company. Use action words and make sure you outline your value.

With the job market is such chaos, you may find yourself applying for jobs you have never done before. This is why skills are so important. Unless you have done the job identical to the posting, let them know the skills you have; for example, if you are looking for a marketing management position but have been a product manager, you can use skill words such as "launched new markets", "developed market strategies", etc. Skills transcend titles.

Don't give them a complete and extensive educational background on the cover. Save this for the resume. Give them a quick, relevant summary: BS in Electrical Engineering or MBA completed in 2003 (you have to have a BS for the MBA so don't waste the space talking about your BS). Remember, you have one short page. Use your space wisely on the cover and use details on the resume.

You have 10-15 seconds - tops- to capture the resume and cover letters reviewers attention before they move on to the next resume. Particularly in HR when your resume is in a bucket of electronic resumes, if you have not capture the heart and mind of the recruiter you may have very well wasted your time writing resume cover letters that don't' work.

If you are writing resume cover letters that are in fact going to an electronic system, make sure you use words that match words the company has used in the job posting. Electronic resume databases are searched by keywords; keywords are in the job posting. Just dig into the posting and you will see the words the company feels are important in that job. Use those words when writing your resume cover letters. Perfect the art of writing resume cover letters.

Your resume cover letter is probably the first thing most employers look at when they receive your resume. You need to make sure it is well thought out and tells the reader the basics about you and why you are applying for the job. It’s also your chance to directly ask for the interview. The following tips will help you write a compelling cover letter that will result in more calls for job interviews.
 Was it an ad for the job or maybe a personal referral? Let the reader know why they have your resume. Tell the reader you would like to interview for the position. Then include facts about your skills and experiences that will show why you feel you are qualified for the position.
 This is your chance to expand on one or two key points that you list on your resume. If your resume states that you improved the efficiency of a certain task or area in your current or former job and you are very proud of that accomplishment, mention that in your cover letter. 
 There are very few people in business with extra time on their hands. Do them a favor by keeping your letter short and to the point. Although there is some debate on the correct length of a resume, cover letters should almost never exceed one page. If you can make it shorter, that’s even better.
These tips can help you write a cover letter that will get attention when you send it with an equally focused resume.