Crafting a Cover Letter
A cover letter should fire the interest of the reader sufficiently to take a glance at your resume. It should project enough of you within a short length to stake a claim for you as a potential employee. That is no simple task.
Salient points of creating a cover letter include:
- Subject line: The subject line should clearly mention the post applied for and the fact that this is an application for the post
- Brevity: A cover letter should be brief, not more than a few lines or a short paragraph. Page long cover letters are rarely read through beyond the first paragraph, and gives the impression of the candidate being long-winded
- Address: The cover letter should be addressed to the proper person by name, or to an authority by designation
- Editing and proofreading: Silly mistakes have silly results. When it comes to getting a job, you cannot afford to make grammatical and spelling mistakes. Such mistakes carry an impression of illiteracy and sloppiness
- Personalize: Target and align each cover letter as much as possible for the receiver. If the cover letter seems like a canned response or too much generalized it conveys lack of genuine interest in the job
- Market: Market yourself in a few words. Your resume contains your statistics, but your cover letter conveys your interest for the job and confidence to carry responsibilities. The cover letter should let the employer know why you need the job, and how you are fit for consideration.
- Do not expose personal difficulties: Never put your personal situation, financial constraints, or any other similar need as the reason for seeking work. The employer needs to feel that your reason to join the job is one that holds out the possibility of return on investment. You like this type of job -fine, you have done this type of job before - better, you had always thought of working in this particular vertical - acceptable, but if you say that you need the job simply because you have three kids and a family to feed, you will receive sympathies but not the job. People provide charity to those who want essentials, and provide jobs to those who want to work.
- Try to avoid repeating statistics from your resume: Simple statements like ''I am a law graduate...'' can't be avoided. However, filling up your cover letter with statistics that is already in your resume is unwanted. A cover letter should generally state your skills and qualities and leave supporting details to the resume.
- Emphasize your suitability for the job: A cover letter should always be crafted in a manner to emphasize that your aptitudes and skills are in line with the job role offered
- Never beg for the job: Never show that you need the job badly and how grateful you would be if you receive the job. Those days are over. This is the 21st century. Jobs and job offers, finding jobs and losing jobs are a part of everyday life. Feudal lords liked servants getting to their knees; modern managers hate such an attitude. A job is an indefinite contract of convenience, not any more a permanent solution for lifelong sustenance, and relationship maintained through generations.
- Ask for a response: Always round up a cover letter with a request for early response