By: AJE Recruiting Specialist
You’ve probably heard this statement before from recruiters or career counselors: in addition to your resume, you must have a cover letter. Never has the cover letter been as important as now. With the recession improving only marginally for thousands of job seekers eager to secure a new position, the cover letter has become a significant means to differentiate yourself from the pack. This is your chance to convey your skills and passion for your career in a personal way that can capture a hiring employer’s attention. While your resume is a snapshot of your experience and education, the cover letter is a narrative that can speak volumes.
The recruiting experts at America’s Job Exchange offer some tips:
1. Personalize Each cover letter you write should speak to the employer in almost a private manner. You should write your letter as though you are having a one-on-one conversation with your ideal company. Picture the recruiter opening your letter and reading it for the first time. Start off by addressing the main contact (do not begin with ’for whom it may concern’).
2. Tell your story. Include a brief, concise narrative about how you found the job, your ideal title, and why you’re qualified to hold the position. The cover letter is not a summary of your resume; rather, it should be the story line behind why you chose this particular career path and how you intend on evolving in the position, should you be offered.
3. Show your personality. When writing your cover letter, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. If you love working with children, a brief anecdote describing how you reached this notion is perfectly fine. If you are passionate about engineering, talk about a recent project you took on to demonstrate your creativity. Recruiters sift through hundreds of resumes and cover letters a day, and many of them consist of the same phrases and boilerplate statements. Take a risk and craft something personal, intelligent, and fun for the recruiter to absorb and reflect on later when they’re considering possible candidates.
4. Keep it short & accurate Grammar and brevity are very important when writing your cover letter. Have a friend or relative read over your first draft to ensure everything is in its proper place and that your objective is clearly conveyed. For assistance with cover letter writing, rely on online job boards free career services, like America’s Job Exchange Resume Builder. Register and access these vital services that can help you write and post your resume/cover letter, and easily apply to jobs online.
5. Always be professional And always remember to include a professional email, correct contact information, and an updated resume. Do not add extraneous information, like the state of your financial affairs or reasons why you’re in the job market again. Your objective, the reason you chose your career, and why you’re the best person for the job should be adequate information for the recruiter.