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How To Do A Resume And Cover Letter

Be Sure To Include A Subject In The Email Message

How to Write a Cover Letter

The subject line is one of the most important parts of the email messages you send to apply for jobs. If you don’t include one, your message may not even get opened.

Your email message must include a subject line, and it should explain to the reader who you are and what job you are applying for. Be specific, so the recipient knows what he or she is receiving. Employers often hire for many positions at the same time, so include both your name and the job title.

Add a subject to the email message before you start writing it. That way, you won’t forget to include it afterward.

Here’s what to write:

Subject: Your Name – Job Title

If the employer requests additional information, like a job ID number, be sure to include that too.

List Your Professional History With Keywords

Write your professional history section in reverse-chronological order. Start with your most recent job and provide a short description including the company name, time period in which you were employed, your job title and a few key achievements during your time at the company. You might also include relevant learnings or growth opportunities you experienced while employed there.

When listing your professional history, you should keep a few best practices in mind:

  • Use numbers to measure your impact, when possible. Including specific numerical achievements can help employers understand your direct potential value to their company.

Example: Developed new process for requesting supplies, reducing fulfillment time by 10%.

  • Use keywords from the job description. Similar to your skills section, you should also include information from the job description in your job history bullets. For example, if the job description mentions the importance of meeting sales quotas, you could include information about how youve met or exceeded quotas in past roles.

Example: Achieved goal of reaching 250% annual sales quota, winning sales MVP two quarters in a row.

Follow the same process for other work experiences. If you do not have extensive professional history, you should also include internships and volunteer opportunities following the same format.

Put Together A Clear Targeted Opening Paragraph

Start your cover letter with an informative, direct introduction by including the following details in the first one or two sentences:

  • Job position: The title of the advertised position
  • Company name: The name of the company looking to hire
  • How you discovered the opening: Whether you saw the job on LinkedIn, a job board, or were recommended to apply by a friend
  • Intention to apply: An enthusiastic announcement that youre applying for the open role
  • Including these four pieces of information makes it clear youre a serious applicant one who isnt simply sending out a generic cover letter and hoping for a response.

    Heres an example of a cover letter opening paragraph that effectively introduces the applicant:

    You can also make your introduction even more attention-grabbing by adding a bit of personality, passion, or including a major career highlight. Dont be afraid to let some of your unique personality shine through in your cover letter.

    Just be sure to strike the right tone for your industry or field. For instance, if youre applying for a job in law, keep your writing formal.

    Here are some examples of unique cover letter openings you can try:

    Express your love for the company

    Its been a lifelong dream of mine to become a character designer for Disney, which is why Im so excited to apply for this open position.

    Highlight a past achievement

    Express passion for your work

    Read Also: Sending Resume By Email What To Write In Body

    What To Put In Your Cover Letter

    1. Contact details

    Start with your contact details. For example:

    Lizzie Long

    Then the date you send the cover letter. For example:

    10 January 2019

    Then the advertiser’s name, organisation, address and email. For example:

    Reginald Farnham

    2. Opening

    Under the greeting put the position details. For example:

    I am writing to apply for the Sales Assistant vacancy at ABC Sales, as advertised on Trade Me.

    3. Explain your interest in the job

    In the next paragraph, explain your interest in the job and how you will fit into the organisation. Be enthusiastic and use positive language.

    I have been a customer of ABC Sales for several years and have always been impressed by the quality of service I have received. I am enthusiastic and professional, and I believe I would fit well into the company’s team culture and contribute to the ongoing success of the sales department.

    4. Link your skills and experience to the job

    In one paragraph link your experience, skills and qualifications to the job. Use two or three key examples.

    Research the employer online and show how your skills can be useful to the employer.

    5. Ask the employer to contact you

    Finally, ask the employer to contact you to talk more about your application.

    For example:

    I would enjoy having the opportunity to discuss my application with you and how I could use my skills to benefit ABC Sales.

    Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours sincerely

    Writing A Perfect Cover Letter

    Example Cover Letters for Resumes Of Cover Letters are One ...

    Your potential employers will take around six seconds to look at your CV or resume. That means in order to attract them, you need something extra to serve as the opening act.

    This is where a cover letter comes in. A cover letter is an introductory letter that should be to the point and precise about what exactly you are looking for in your job. A good cover letter can help the employers pick out the most suitable candidate for the job.

    These cover letters samples can help you write that perfect cover letter and get the employer’s attention.

    Read Also: Resume Masters Degree In Progress

    Address The Hiring Manager Personally

    How would you feel if you got an email addressed, To Whom It May Concern? Just as you personalize your resume to the role, you should also address the cover letter to the person actually hiring for the position, as opposed to Dear Employer. If its not spelled out in the job posting and you cant find it on LinkedIn, be proactive and call the organizations main phone number and ask for the name and title of the hiring manager.

    If youre still in school or just out, your career services office may be able to help you identify the right contact at a company.

    When To Write A Cover Letter

    Even when an employer does not directly ask for one, be sure to always send a cover letter. When shouldnt you send a cover letter?

    The only time you should avoid sending a cover letter is when a job listing explicitly says not to send one. In that situation, it’s more important to follow the directions on the job listing.

    Recommended Reading: How To Make An Acting Resume With No Experience

    Whom To Address A Cover Letter To

    To understand how to address a cover letter, you need to know to whom to address it.

    A cover letter should be addressed in the following ways:

    • If the hiring managers name is given in the job description, you should always address the cover letter to them.
    • If the hiring managers email address is not there in the job description, you can address the cover letter to the department manager.

    There is no point in sending the cover letter to the CEO or founders because they are not the ones who usually handle the recruitment process.

    General Cover Letter Template

    How To Write A Cover Letter (Example Included)

    Looking for a standard cover letter that works for any job application? Our general cover letter template follows the traditional cover letter format, but wont sound generic to employers.

    Copy the free sample below into Microsoft Word, and fill in the blanks with your skills and experience. This cover letter template has helped thousands of job seekers land employment across every industry.

    Also Check: How To List A Ged On A Resume

    Formatting Your Cover Letter

    Your cover letter should be formatted as a business document:

    • Include your name and information at the top of the letter.
    • Aligned to the left, indicate the date, followed by the hiring managers
    • information and the companys address.
    • Do not indent paragraphs.
    • Single space the entire document, with an extra space in between paragraphs.
    • Keep it to one page.
    • Include a greeting and closing .

    Tailor Your Cover Letter To A Specific Job

    Dont use a one-size-fits-all cover letter template for all the positions you apply for. If you do, youre missing the point: Only a letter thats targeted to the job at hand will make a positive impression.

    Write a cover letter employers can’t ignore by tying it to the elements of the job that match your unique skills and experience. What are they asking for that youre especially good at? What would make your contribution unique? Those are the points to stress when writing a cover letter.

    Just as important, gather facts and figures that support your claims. For example, if you’re applying for a managerial role, mention the size of teams and budgets youve managed. If its a sales role, describe specific sales goals you’ve achieved.

    In addition to highlighting your talents, you can further personalize your cover letter by demonstrating your familiarity with the specific industry, employer and type of position.

    Also Check: How To Send An Email With Your Resume

    Keep It Short And To The Point

    Unless specified in the job description, there is no required length for a cover letter. When determining how long a cover letter should be, focus on the details that are most important for the job. Read the job description closely to identify the best opportunities to illustrate your qualifications.

    What professional achievements are you the proudest of? Choose one or two and map them directly to the desired experience or qualifications the hiring manager is looking for, using just a few detailed but concise sentences. What attributes is the job description calling for in a candidate? Consider using the cover letter itself as a way of demonstrating those traits.

    Dont reiterate everything thats on your resume. You want to focus on one or two anecdotes, expanding on how you achieved something specific.

    Related: 15 Cover Letter Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

    What The Experts Say

    40 Battle

    The answer is almost always yes. Sure, there will be times when youre submitting an application online and you may not be able to include one but whenever possible, send one, says Jodi Glickman, a communications expert and author of Great on the Job. Its your best chance of getting the attention of the HR person or hiring manager and an important opportunity to distinguish yourself from everyone else. And in a tight job market, setting yourself apart is critical, says John Lees, a UK-based career strategist and author of Knockout CV. Still, as anyone whos ever written a cover letter knows, its not easy to do well. Here are some tips to help.

    Also Check: How Many References On Resume

    Should You Include A Cover Letter With Resume

    So if youre wondering whether you should always submit a cover letter with your job application and resume, then keep reading. You know that your resume is the first impression an employer has of you, so it might tempt you to include a picture to give them the best idea of who you are.

    what should a resume cover letter contain cover letter

    Complimentary Close And Signature

    Choose a complimentary closing that is friendly yet formal, followed by your first and last name. Closings you might consider include:

    • Sincerely

    • Thank you

    • Thank you for your consideration

    Avoid closings like Cheers,Warm Regards or Yours Truly, as these may be considered too casual or affectionate.

    If youre providing a hard copy of your cover letter, make sure to handwrite your signature, plus include your full typed name.

    Related: Creating the Perfect Cover Letter

    Recommended Reading: Subject Line For Resume Email To Recruiter

    Do Employers Actually Read Cover Letters

    Wait, hold on a hot second. Thereâs a rumor going around that you donât need a cover letter at all. Why should you go to the to trouble of writing one if you donât need it to get a job?

    To be honest, the reality is that you donât know whether an employer cares about your cover letter – so why take a chance that theyâll miss it?

    Itâs always best to write a short cover letter, no matter what.

    Donât be intimidated by writing a cover letter. With the cover letter builder, writing a cover letter is a breeze. Try out the cover letter and resume builder here.

    Keep It Short And Sweet

    How To Write A Cover Letter For A Resume – Top 5 Cover Letter Strategies

    There are always exceptions to the rule, but in general, for resumes and cover letters alike, dont go over a page. In one survey, more than two-thirds of employers said they preferred a cover letter thats either just half a page or the shorter the better.

    Having trouble getting rid of your carefully crafted sentences? Check out these tips for cutting down your cover letter to a page or less.

    Read Also: How To Include Presentations On Resume

    Quick Tips For Improving Your Cover Letter

    • Use clear, concise language. Its best to avoid complicated or flowery wording.
    • Avoid overly long sentences. Try reading it aloud to see if there are any you struggle with.
    • Always tailor your cover letter to the job. An application is all about showing how youre a good fit for the role on offer, and you dont want your cover letter to seem reused.
    • Rather than writing To whom it may concern or Dear Sir or Madam, find out who to address your letter to you could phone the company to ask. Its more personal that way and shows youve taken initiative.
    • Triple check your spelling and grammar. Try printing your letter out then coming back to it fresh, or get someone with a keen eye to look over it for you.
    • Keep your letter to around 250-350 words on a single page.
    • Take a look at these examples of cover letters written by successful job seekers.

    Writing your cover letter might feel intimidating at first when youre facing a blank page. But by following these steps and tips, you can focus on crafting a cover letter that captures what you can bring to the role and makes a winning impression to the employer.

    The Informal Cover Letter

    The informal cover letter is an optional introduction to your resume if the job posting doesn’t require a formal cover letter. This letter is short but professional and usually includes a greeting with a simple body paragraph that explains your interest in the company and your experience. Close the letter with a reference to the attachments you have included such as your resume, portfolio or writing samples.

    Related: How To Send an Email Cover Letter

    Read Also: Additional Training On Resume

    Example Cover Letter And Resume Name Options

    If you are not sure of how to apply the above tips to your resume or cover letter name, read these example names and use them as inspiration:

    • Doug Peterson Accounting Professional Resume.pdf

    • Carl Sampson Web Developer Cover Letter.pdf

    • Melanie Scott Coding Superstar Resume.pdf

    • Stephanie_Kent_Teller_Resume.pdf

    What Should Be In An Email Cover Letter

    Professional Resume Cover Letter Sample

    An email cover letter contains most of the same elements as a regular cover letter, but you also need to include a subject line.

    Your subject line should be something similar to this:

    Application for role

    When writing an email cover letter, you also dont need to include the hiring managers name and address.

    Heres what an email cover letter will look like:

    Dont forget to attach your resume and full-length cover letter to your email. An email cover letter is usually just a couple of paragraphs informing the hiring manager youre applying for the role, and telling them your full cover letter and resume are attached.

    Also Check: Smallest Font On Resume

    Read The Job Description Thoroughly

    Always read the job description carefully!

    Usually, the hiring managers name or the title of the reporting manager is given in the job description or under the job description.

    For instance, The digital marketer will report to the Marketing Manager.

    You can use the title to then find their name on the company website or LinkedIn.

    Sometimes the job description includes the hiring managers email address.

    For example: Send your cover letter and resume to “.

    You can find the hiring managers name from the email address.

    Focus It On The Future

    While your résumé is meant to be a lookback at your experience and where youve been, the cover letter should focus on the future and what you want to do, says Glickman. It can be helpful to think of it as the bridge between the past and the future that explains what you hope to do next and why. Because of the pandemic there is less of an expectation that youll be applying for a job that youve done before. There are millions of people who are making career changes voluntarily or involuntarily and need to pivot and rethink how their skillset relates to a different role or industry, says Glickman. You can use your cover letter to explain the shift youre making, perhaps from hospitality to marketing, for example. Think of it as an opportunity to sell your transferrable skills.

    Also Check: Narrative Resume Example

    Create Your Rsum And/or Cover Letter

    Some employers are looking for a standard résumé and cover letter. Others may invite you for an interview based on your LinkedIn profile, video or infographic resumé. Talk to people working in your field to find out what will get you through the employers door.

    Download our Résumé Workbook or Résumé and Cover Letter Toolkit to get started. Take a resumé and cover letter workshop or book a Résumé Ready appointment with a career peer advisor at Career Exploration & Education.

    Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows: Consider attending an Applying for Work or Applying for Faculty Position workshop to learn about how to effectively communicate your experiences.

    Below are some tips before you go.

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