A cover letter introduces you to a potential employer and lends your CV a more personal touch. A cover letter should communicate to the employer your objectives and interest in his company as well as your skills and experience. Use it to grab an employer's attention and highlight any special attributes that make you uniquely qualified for the job. A successful cover letter will leave the employer with a favourable impression of you and will make him interested in reading your CV. We recommend you include a cover letter every time you send out a CV.
Below we have provided a rough framework and some tips and examples for building your cover letter. Remember to use Action Verbs:- a list is provided.
1. Introductory Paragraph
This is the most significant part of the letter. Use it to grab the attention of the potential employer.
- At a recent lecture in (name of place), your company's name arose repeatedly as one of the rapid growth prospects in the (name of industry)
- As a (teacher, social worker, etc.) I have developed my skills in (team motivation, public speech, public relations, etc.). I am known for (meeting deadlines, following through commitments, being well organized, etc.)
- With just less than 7 weeks until my graduation from (name of school) with a (type of degree) in (area of study), I am eager to gain and learn some practical experience and apply my skills.
- (Name of person) suggested I get in touch with you, etc.
- (Name of person) at (name of company) mentioned that you are looking for an experienced person to develop, etc.
- My interest in the (position) recently advertised, has prompted me to forward my resume for your consideration.
- Use this introductory paragraph to introduce yourself, your capabilities and skills.
- If you mention where you learned about the job opening, try to write a sentence or two about the research you have done about the target company. You will come across as someone professional who has done their homework.
- If you are writing at the suggestion of someone who is known to the hiring manager, mention it. However, make sure you have permission to use that person's name.
The body can be up to 3 paragraphs long. Use it to list your achievements and qualifications. Remember to keep it positive and sell yourself!
- I would like to be part of an organization that offers (potential growth, advancement opportunities, stability, etc.)
- My background in (i.e. graphic design) would be a great asset to your company's work in (i.e. advertisement)
- My past experience in (i.e. market research) would complement your company's (strategy, objectives, visions, projects, etc).
- I have a record of outstanding success in the management of (i.e. corporate financial operations) in multinational and international environments.
- My experience has encompassed the successful management of (i.e. corporate real estate, human resources, and general operations).
- I received several commendations for my dedication and professionalism, and continually received recognition for my communication skills and leadership excellence.
- Based on my qualifications, I believe I am the right person to oversee the delivery of (type of service) for one or more of your clients.
- Try not to use too formal a tone when writing your cover letter. Personalize it in order to show the prospective employer your positive and personal qualities.
- The letter is only a few paragraphs long. Try to only include vital information that will directly show the hiring manger what you can do for the target company.
- Emphasize your skills and past experience.
- If you have been out of the workforce for a while, mentioning what you have done is a plus. Mention organizations you have joined, volunteer work, types of activities, conferences you have attended or private classes you have taken.
- Remember to use active verbs!
- Double-check for spelling and grammar mistakes!
3. Concluding Paragraph
The concluding paragraph is usually brief and is mainly comprised of a thank-you message and a request for follow-up.
- The enclosed resume is a brief summary of my qualifications. I would be delighted to meet with you in a personal interview and will call your office during the week of (specific date).
- My resume is a good summary of my background and general experience. I would like to arrange a mutually convenient time for a meeting, during which we can further discuss your current or anticipated openings. Thank you for your consideration.
- I will call you next week to see if we can arrange a meeting. Thank you for your time.
- I would like a chance to convince you that my skills and energy would be an asset to your department.
- Thank you in advance for your generous consideration. I may be reached at my home number indicated above should you desire to contact me. I would be happy to make myself available for a personal interview at your convenience.
- Sincerely yours,
- Best wishes,
- State in the concluding paragraph that you will call on a specific week or day in the near future. You need to work for an interview!
- Remember to thank the recipient for his/her time and co-operation.
- Do not forget to attach your resume!