More than just window dressing for your resume, a cover letter is
like a partner to that all-important document. Many employers today
won't even look at your resume if you don't submit it with a cover
letter. Your cover letter gives employers the opportunity to evaluate
your ability to communicate -- do you know the proper form for a
business letter? Can you string together coherent sentences? Are you
able to express yourself well on paper? Your cover letter will give
employers insight into all of these things.
Here are some things to consider when putting your cover letter
- Your cover letter should draw employers to your resume. Don't
clutter it with needless facts.
- Keep it brief -- no employer wants to read your life's history.
- Tailor it to the position and company to which you are applying
-- a cover letter shouldn't be "canned."
- Open by explaining why you are writing and where you heard about
the opportunity -- you may want to say something similar to "your
recent Daily News advertisement caught my attention."
- Be sure to say why you think you would be a good match for the
position. If the advertisement lists several traits or skills the
employer wants to see in job applicants, reference those skills in
your letter and say how you exemplify them. Mention traits that will
set you apart from other candidates.
- Refer the employer to your resume -- "you can see from my resume
that I have the experience you are looking for" may be a good way to
do so. Experiment with your own wording.
- Remember to sign your cover letter.
- Note "enclosure" or "enc." several lines after your signature if
your resume is enclosed.
Helpful Hints for Writing Cover Letters