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Covering Letters 101
Covering letters 101 is meant to give you an introduction into what covering letters are for and how to make sure you have a great cover letter. The use of the cover letter is to set yourself and your resume apart from all the other applicants that are applying for the position. The cover letter gives you a chance to show the employer who you are beyond just your resume and why they should give you an interview.
The first part of covering letters 101 is to know how to address your cover letter. Your cover letter should be addressed to the contact person at the company that is in charge of interviews and the hiring process. Never should you just address your cover letter with ‘To whom it may concern’. Take the time to find out the person’s name and address your cover letter accordingly. Employers will take note of how you address your cover letter so do not allow the first part of your cover letter to be a strike against you.
The next thing you need to learn with cover letters is that they are business letters and should be handled as such. Use the same color of paper for your cover letter that you have used for the resume and every other correspondence. Then make sure that you type your cover letter instead of hand writing it. A hand written cover letter looks poorly put together and this will show employers a negative trait. While typing your cover letter make sure that it is done in a plain font. Never use fancy fonts when putting together your cover letter.
Cover letters are to be kept to one page only unless the employer has specifically asked for more than one page. This means that you need to sell yourself to the potential employer in just one page. Think hard about what it is about you that makes you an asset to this particular company. Then place that in your cover letter.
After you have typed about yourself you need to place in your cover letter what it is about that company that you find to be valuable to you. Then tell the employer what it is about their company that you like and find to be of value to you. Your employer will see that you care about the company and that will come across as a compliment.
From this point you need to place in your cover letter a follow up time. Let them know that you will be following up with them on a certain date to arrange a meeting. After all your cover letter is about trying to get in the door for an interview. This area of your cover letter will show them that you are serious in your desire for the position at their company. Then on that date make the call if they have not contacted your prior to that date for an interview.
End your cover letter by thanking them in advance for their time and sign the cover letter using blue or black ink. The signature should be done neatly and be readable. The prospective employer will look at your signature as a sign of how well you are as an employee. A sloppy signature will show that you are sloppy and in a hurry. This is not what you want them to think of you prior to even meeting you. So take your time and sign the cover letter slowly and neatly.
To wrap everything up in the covering letters 101 remember that the purpose is to land the interview. To land the interview your cover letter needs to be set apart from all the other cover letters that the prospective employer has received from other applicants. Also this is a business letter so keep it professional at all times. Address the cover letter to a person, tell them why you are an asset to the company, tell them what you like about them, tell them a date in which you will follow up, thank them and sign the cover letter. All of this put together should set your cover letter apart from other and land you that interview.
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