Your cover letter should be like a mini skirt: long enough to cover the important parts, but short enough to be interesting! Here are 5 tips to writing the perfect cover letter in order to get your resume read:
Drop Some Names
Whether you heard about the job on a company website, or your Aunt Janice is the CEO looking for stellar new employees, you must say how you heard about the job. If you have a personal contact with someone at the company, drop the name in your cover letter. Even though we all like to believe the world is a meritocracy, it isn't. Being connected to important people and using their names appropriately will get you in the door, but just make sure you clear it with the VIP first. Now...staying in the door is up to you.
Twitter-ize Your Cover Letter
You've all been trained by twitter to edit your communications down to the important parts. And there's no better time to employ a strict editing technique than in your first communication with a potential employer. A standard cover letter should be no more than 5 sentences and include:
- What job you are applying for
- Where you heard about the job
- Why you're interested/qualified for the position
- Briefly express enthusiasm for the company and your qualifications. Like a mini skirt, nobody is looking at the fabric; it's just a way to emphasize your legs (your resume!)
Professional Contact Info
Make sure to include all of your contact information in the signature of your email: Name, email, and phone number. Yes, I know all of your info is on the resume, but...you need to make things simple for the person you want to hire you. Be easy to contact. If your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org get a new account ASAP! You are entering a professional world so make sure your email reflects that.
A cover letter is really just a cover email with the attached PDF resume. No need to send a cover letter and a resume as two separate attachments. It's redundant. Make sure your resume is appropriately titled: parkinson_krista_resume_2016, or something clean and simple. Test it out on a friend first to make sure your resume is easy to open and prints on one page.
The way you end your email is key to getting a response. You can end with, "I'd love the opportunity to interview with your company," or "Is it possible to schedule a meeting with you next week?"
Following these 5-tips will definitely help get your resume read and improve your chances of getting the interview--and, ultimately, the job.