"What do I include in my cover letter?" If you have ever asked yourself this question, then you need help. The cover letter is the most important piece of your resume, and where you will sell yourself the most. Your cover letter must be brief and include only relevant information for the recruiter to review.
Paragraph one: This is a short paragraph in which you indicate where you found the job posting, name the job posting and company you are applying to, express your interest in this position and indicate that your resume is attached.
Paragraph two: This is another short paragraph where you will outline your current role, or most recent role. You will outline your title and company as well as indicating any relevant educational goals that are pertinent to the job you are applying for.
Paragraph three: This is another short paragraph where you indicate why you are the best candidate for the position. You will do this by outlining your strongest point with respects to the qualifications, skills and keyword requirements of the job posting. You will outline how your current experience, or past experience, makes you the best person for this role.
Paragraph four: This is a part of the cover letter that I like to add in, however, it is not required nor recommended in Resume Training but I have found personal success with it and when I am reviewing resumes I find it really helps. I place "additionally I have" and then list off my top three skills that I feel will separate me from my competition. It is clearly outlined and indicated, and when a recruiter is reviewing your cover letter his/her eyes will move to this area first seeing your top skills and why you would benefit their company.
The final portion is your contact information and your closing. In your closing always sound confident that you look forward to hearing from them and that you expect a phone call for an interview.
In summary, these are the main points to your cover letter. You will have four to five short paragraphs that will summarize why you are the best for the role and spark the interest of the recruiter to read further and review your resume. Your cover letter is your first point of contact, it must be error and grammar free and high-light your excellence. Once you have done this correctly, you are on your way to your new job.
You’ve seen them before – free resume cover letters that promise to make your job a lot easier and faster. They’re readily available, they offer you what you need and they don’t cost a dime, so what’s the harm?
The trouble with free resume cover letters
Well, for starters, free resume cover letters do not maintain the same quality as other resume cover letters. If you’re a job hunter who’s been in the job market for too long, you know the kind of pressure you face everyday. Not only are the number of potential employers shrinking, the number of potential rivals for a job position also increases. As more and more people discover the very same job you’re applying for, your chances of getting the job you want gets smaller and smaller.
That only makes using a resume cover letter extremely important. When you’re too stressed out and worried about the competition, there is a possibility that you’ll slip and produce a less than perfect resume cover letter, prime feed for the trash can or the paper shredding machine. That is not the kind of scenario you want. So why can’t you not use free resume cover letters?
They’re not all that bad, these free resume cover letters. Problem is, they’re also not that good. They will do, but only for jobs that you’re really not interested in or for those who have no other applicant other than you. Free cover letter samples are often not as excellently written and not as good as professionally prepared cover letter samples. In a job market where you’ll need all the help you could get, free resume cover letters are simply not good news at all.
Using free resume cover letters
Resume cover letters will say a great deal about you – they will inform your potential employer about your professional capabilities and give them a glimpse of what your personality is like.
Now let’s take a look at how you’ll use a free resume cover letter and see why it has ‘cheap’ written all over it. When you find a free resume cover letter, you’ll usually find one that is written with a general feel of what a resume cover letter should read like. You get the usual greetings, introductions, body of the letter and your closing statements.
Since this cover letter was published to help everyone from a nanny to a chief financial officer, you’ll have to change several elements in order to come up with a resume cover letter that seems tailored for your own particular qualifications. Now all you have to do is to mail it and hope for the best.
Problem is, once the hiring manager reads this so-called cover letter of yours, what will he see? A cover letter that looks so familiar he probably has read it before. In fact, he must have, considering that it must have been written using a free resume cover letter that has been available on the internet for the past five years.
Worse, it’s probably been seen and used by thousands of other job hunters before you, some of which may have sent their applications using the very same free resume cover letter that you yourself used! Imagine how badly that will reflect on you.
Avoid this type of pitfall that is so common among job hunters that it should have been outlawed by now. It’s hard enough to compete in a cutthroat job market. Actually ruining your chances with a badly written free resume cover letter is not just a mistake, it’s a crime.