When applying for a new job it’s important to have a well crafted cover letter. Why? Because cover letters are the first things the potential employer sees when looking through stacks of resumes and applications. You want yours to stand out from the rest in a way that highlights your greatest skills. Use these tips to write a cover letter that grabs attention and prompts that coveted interview.
The Principles of Cover Letter Writing
• Keep it short, sweet and leaving the reader wanting to know more about you. You don’t want to go into too much detail in your cover letter, give just enough information to highlight your best skills. Your cover letter should never be more than one page long, keep it to three to four paragraphs.
• Edit, edit and then edit some more. A cover letter filled with typo’s, grammar issues, and spelling problems is a sure fire way to get passed over for the interview. Make sure yours is polished to a shine before sending it along.
• Make sure to use the proper cover letter format for the method of delivery. A nice letter head with fun formatting style looks great printed out but it may not transfer well over email. Keep the fancy formatting out of the inbox and use only if hand delivering it. Also, the recipient’s address section can be omitted from an email cover letter but it’s important to include that if sending by standard mail.
• Boast a little but not too much. Use the cover letter as a chance to boast about your past employment related successes. Did you design and implement a new work place method that increased productivity by 15% while boosting office moral? This would be the place to say so, but keep personal achievements out. An employer isn’t interested in the charity 5K you ran last year, unless by doing so you also increased profit margins by 5% through higher customer loyalty.
• Include education, key experiences and skills. Keep these to those that directly influence the position you’re applying for. You want to show the employer that you are both qualified and experienced to do the job. They need to know that you will be a valuable addition to the company through the skills you have to offer.
Cover Letter Forma
Salutation: The salutation is the greeting. Make sure to address the letter to the right person and spell their name correctly. Use Dear instead of hello and follow their name with a colon (:).
Dear Mr. Howard Jones: Not Hello Howard, or To whom it may concern
Introduction: The first paragraph is the introduction, here you want to make yourself stand out and explain why you are best suited for the job. You don’t need to say your interested in the position or that you’re writing to request an interview, as those are implied by the sending of a resume and cover letter.
Experience/Key Skills: The second paragraph is where you would highlight your education and related experience. Touch on any skills you may have that would benefit the company. Be clear and to the point without being blunt. You can add a third paragraph if you need a little more space to explain your skills and qualifications but be careful to keep it to one page.
Conclusion: Touch on any other important attributes you have that were not covered in the rest of the letter and reiterate your value to the company. Explain the best method and time of reaching you and end by thanking them for their consideration
Closing: Close your cover letter with a simple “Sincerely,”. If you are hand delivering or sending through postal mail, make sure to leave enough space between sincerely and your name to include your signature. Email cover letters do not need the space, just type your full name on the next line down. On the lines under your name be sure to include your contact information.
SAMPLE COVER LETTER
Mr. Howard Jones
123 Road Suit 1A
City, New York 10010
Dear Mr. Howard Jones:
With 20 years as a Certified Public Accountant at Firm XYZ, my experience covers all aspects of personal and business accounting practices. During my time there I was responsible for several major accounts and my suggestions increased their profits by 2.5% every second quarter. I also took it upon myself to learn new programs and technology as it related to the field and in turn helped integrate them into the workplace, increasing productivity and account capacity ten fold.
After graduating summa cum laude from University with a degree in Business and Accounting, I joined Firm XYZ. While there I continued my education through career training programs, certificate programs and workshops. I am certified in several Office Programs, and most recently PeachTree 4.0. I take great pride in staying on the leading edge of technology as it pertains to accounting and often enroll in new certification programs as soon as they are made available.
For the past 10 years I have worked as a volunteer at Charity A during tax season which has honed my skills as a CPA, and kept me up to date on all new tax laws. I also speak regularly to local high school and collage students on the topic of basic personal accounting and work one on one with them to develop sound financial foundations. This mentoring has led to several long term accounts as many of the students often came to me once they graduated.
I feel I would be a valuable asset to your company because of my passion, diverse experience and innovated thinking. I have include my resume for your consideration and I look forward to discussing the position at Accounting Firm in more detail. If you have any question please give me a call at 123-555-7890 or via email at [email protected]
9807 Street Apt 6011
City, New York 11001