Important Resume Cover Letter Guidelines

Cover Letter

Resume cover letters should be tailored specifically for each job  position you apply for. The overall theme is to make your documents employer-oriented and specifically aimed at meeting the company’s needs.

Get a Name –  Addressing your cover letter to a specific person will make sure your documents get to the right person. Try not to address it in a generic manner.

Start strong – Begin the first paragraph with a value-packed statement saying what you offer and how it ties into the company vacancy. Emphasize the job title so it can be eye-catching to a Hiring Manager. Reference your enclosed resume in the first paragraph, so the reader can move on to that document if they choose to. Not all cover letters are read but it’s much better to send one than not send one.

Meet company needs and requirements  – Firstly, the approach of a cover letter should be for quick and easy readability. Highlight your skills or qualifications with bullet points so that the employer can quickly see how you meet the position’s needs. Three to five bullets will suffice; more than that can look excessive.

Use the correct job posting terminology – Have a copy of the job specification or details near you when promoting yourself as you should use the terminology of the job posting so you and the employer begin to speak the same language.

Identify the most important job requirements – If the job posting has a list of 20 different requirements, those requirements closer to the top of the list are generally the most important of the group. Emphasize your skills and qualifications that match with the beginning of the list, and not the lesser tasks near the end.

Close with a Call to Action – For the closing paragraph, state that you’d appreciate the opportunity to explain how your skills match their needs during an interview. Explain how and when you will follow-up with them to schedule a mutually convenient meeting.

In summary, customizing these documents will take time, but the cover letter is going to be the document that will introduce your resume. It is worth the effort to make the match and capture the reader’s interest with any opportunity you have to do so, to better your chances to advance on to the interview.

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