Electronic Resumes: How To Include A Cover Letter
Some employers require job applicants to submit their cover letter and CV in one document. Others require separate documents and have specific formatting guidelines for example, you may need to limit your cover letter to three paragraphs. Regardless, you can submit these documents electronically and beat applicant tracking systems.
Generally, it’s not recommended to submit a cover letter and CV in one document unless required otherwise. Send them as separate files or write a professional email in the same format as a cover letter and attach your resume.
Cover Letter Format And Layout
Most recruiters use applicant tracking systems to filter resumes and cover letters. If your application doesn’t get past the ATS, it might never be seen by a real person. That’s why it’s important to closely follow the employer’s instructions when you apply for a job. Some companies require a specific cover letter format or number of pages.
Ideally, try not to exceed one page when writing your cover letter. Stick to three or four short, concise paragraphs, recommends the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Use the first paragraph to introduce yourself and specify the role you are applying for. Let the employer know why you are interested in that particular job.
The next paragraphs should describe your skills and competencies, and how they qualify you for that particular role. Don’t just copy your resume instead, try to provide new insights that demonstrate your expertise. End your cover letter with a thank-you note and a call-to-action. You may also include one or two sentences that summarize your strengths.
How To Format A Cover Letter
Your cover letter should be well-presented, concise, and to-the-point.
So use an easy-to-read font, and dont get carried away with embellishments. No pictures, no Comic Sans, and definitely no word art necessary.
Aside from ensuring its written using clear paragraphs it also should be the right length. Too long, and youll risk rambling but too short, and youre unlikely to have covered everything.
Aim for half a side of A4 , and youll be on the right track.
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How To Structure A Cover Letter
Although there are no set rules on how your cover letter should be structured, making sure it flows well is vital if you want to impress recruiters.
Heres a rough guideline on what to include when writing a cover letter:
Opening the letter Why are you getting in touch?
The opening paragraph should be short and to the point, explaining why youre getting in touch. Its also useful to include where you found the ad i.e. as advertised on reed.co.uk. If someone referred you, mention their name in this section.
Example: I wish to apply for the role of IT Manager, currently being advertised on reed.co.uk. Please find enclosed my CV for your consideration.
Second paragraph Why are you suitable for the job?
Briefly describe your professional and academic qualifications that are relevant to the role and ensure you refer to each of the skills listed in the job description.
Example:As you can see from my attached CV, I have over three years experience in the IT Industry, and I believe the knowledge and skills built up during this time make me the perfect candidate for the role.
Third paragraph What can you do for the company?
Nows your opportunity to emphasise what you can do for the company. Outline your career goals and expand on pertinent points in your CV including examples to back up your skills.
Fourth paragraph Reiterate
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.
Closing the letter
Composing Your Cover Letter
Most cover letters involve three steps: explain why youre writing, refer to your qualifications, and close with a suggested plan of action.
As a general rule, only one paragraph would be required for steps 1 and 3, while step 2 might involve two or more paragraphs. The letter itself should not exceed one page. This sample cover letter uses four paragraphs.
Heres a slightly shorter version of the same letter in e-mail format. An e-mail cover letter must do the same job as the regular cover letter. However, since its likely to be read online, its important to be brief.
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What Is A Cv Cover Letter
A covering letter is a one-page document addressed to the interviewer or potential employer that includes your contact details, the role you are applying for and further detail surrounding the information in your CV. Cover letters should highlight your interest in the role and expand on your skills and experiences that make you best suited for the position.
Within the letter, you should align your qualifications, relevant skills and previous experience clearly to the job description to emphasise that you have done your research into the role and are keen to join the team.
A good covering letter will increase your chances of being invited for an interview. To ensure your cover letter is up to scratch, read our article on How to write a cover letter: 10 things to remember.
What Is A Cover Letter
A cover letter is a detailed document that shows hiring managers your desire for a particular job. It is an opportunity to demonstrate more of your personality than you can on your resume. Throughout the letter, you can discuss specific items listed in the job description and how your skills and experience match those requirements.
Cover letters are often optional, so sending one with your resume can show your eagerness to get the job. Including a cover letter when a company doesnt require one lets your future employer know that you aim to exceed their expectations, which could make you a more desirable candidate. An exception to this is if the application specifically notes not to include a cover letter, in which case you should follow the employers directions.
Make sure to include these items in your cover letter:
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Use A Cover Letter To Convey Subjective Information
A resume states the facts who, what, when, and how. In contrast, a cover letter provides an opportunity to explain why you are qualified for the job. This document adds a bit of color and personality and is intended to persuade employers that you’re a good fit for the position at hand.
A cover letter is a better vehicle than a resume to convey more subjective information like the basis of your interest in a position, how your values motivate you to pursue a job, or why the culture of a company appeals to you.
Your cover letters will help you sell your qualifications to prospective employers while your resume provides the details to back up the information included in your letters.
Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out
- Be yourself. A “formula” approach is fine, but each letter should reflect your personality and your enthusiasm. Let them shine through. Take pride in who you are and what you’ve done. The reader is looking for a human being, a person who knows what he or she can offer and can express it well.
- Write in the active tense. Active verbs are the key when writing cover letters and résumés. Instead of saying, “My best attributes include team play and motivating people,” say, “I’m a dedicated team player who can motivate people.” The latter promises a go-getter employeesomeone who can take action instead of waiting to be led by the hand.
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Do Your Research First
Before you start writing, find out more about the company and the specific job you want. Of course, you should carefully read the job description, but also peruse the companys website, its executives Twitter feeds, and employee profiles on LinkedIn. This research will help you customize your cover letter, since you shouldnt send a generic one. Itll also help you decide on the right tone. Think about the culture of the organization youre applying to, advises Glickman. If its a creative agency, like a design shop, you might take more risks but if its a more conservative organization, like a bank, you may hold back.
If at all possible, reach out to the hiring manager or someone else you know at the company before writing your cover letter, advises Lees. You can send an email or a LinkedIn message asking a smart question about the job. That way you can start your letter by referencing the interaction. You might say, Thanks for the helpful conversation last week or I recently spoke to so-and-so at your company. Of course, its not always possible to contact someone or you may not get a response. Thats OK. Its still worth a try.
They Assume That It Is Read Before The Resume
Most of the old job search books would lead you to believe that your resume is magically unfolded from the envelope with the cover letter on top, then read at a leisurely pace by a hiring manager. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your cover letter is only read after your resume has passed both a quick scan and a screen. Only then does the cover letter get any attention. So it is not an intro to your resume, it is a supplement to your resume.
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Case Study #: Demonstrate An Understanding Of What The Company Needs
Michele Sommers, the vice president of HR for the Boys & Girls Village, a nonprofit in Connecticut, recently posted a job for a recruiting and training specialist. I was looking for someone with a strong recruiting background who could do everything from sourcing candidates to onboarding new hires, she says. She also wanted the person to hit the ground running. Were a small team and I cant afford to train someone, she says.
More than 100 candidates applied for the job. The organizations online application system doesnt allow for cover letter attachments but one of the applicants, Heidi , sent a follow-up email after submitting her résumé. And its a good thing she did because she wouldve been weeded out otherwise, Michele says.
Heidis résumé made her look like a job hopper very short stints at each previous employer. Michele assumed she was a poor performer who kept getting fired. She was also the only candidate who didnt have a four-year college degree.
But Heidis email caught Micheles eye. First off, it was professional. Heidi stated clearly that she was writing to double-check that her application had been received. She went on to explain how she had gotten Micheles name and information and her personal connection to Boys & Girls Village .
Tips For The Perfect Cover Letter
With employers often receiving lots of applications for each vacancy, you need to ensure that your cover letter makes a lasting impression for the right reasons. Here are some tips to increase your chances of success:
- Tailor to the organisation – You should rewrite your cover letter every time you apply for a position in order to target the company. Sending out a generic letter for all applications rarely yields positive results and recruiters can spot your lack of time and effort from a mile away.
- Format – Presentation is important so you’ll need to format your cover letter properly. Make sure the document is as uncluttered as possible, use the same font and size as you use in your CV and if you’re sending it through the post or handing it in use good quality plain white paper to print it on.
- Identify your USPs – They’re your unique selling points. Be positive about what you have to offer and clearly outline how your skills and experience meet those requested in the job description. Demonstrate why you’re the perfect candidate.
- Include examples – Back up the claims in your cover letter with real evidence or examples that show how and when you’ve used your skills and experience.
To make sure you dont trip up read about the 5 things to avoid when writing a cover letter.
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What Is A Cover Letter And Why Are They Important
A cover letter accompanies your CV as part of a job application. It provides further detail on how your skill set aligns with the role, what you can bring to the team and why you want the position. Cover letters allow recruiters and hiring managers to develop a better understanding of your suitability for a position.
When your cover letter is being reviewed, this is often the point at which first impressions are made in the mind of an employer, making it an essential part of your application. In addition to this, employers often favour CVs that are accompanied by a cover letter and will in most cases specifically request one as a mandatory requirement to apply for their vacancies.
Submitting An Electronic Cover Letter
Electronic resumes and cover letters can be submitted by email or via job boards. You may also be able to apply directly on the company’s website. No matter what route you take, make sure your application can be scanned by ATS programs. Follow these steps before sending your resume and cover letter to prospective employers:
- Remove visual elements.
- Convert bullet points to hyphens or asterisks.
- Use a 12-point basic font, such as Arial or Times New Roman.
- Submit your documents in .doc format .
- Avoid keyword stuffing.
Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK – The Coffee Lover’s Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.
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How To Write A Cover Letter In 2021
After weeks of heavy job search, youre almost there!
Youve perfected your resume.
Youve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.
Youve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.
But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.
Now youre stuck wondering how to write a cover letter…
Dont panic! Weve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think.
In this guide, were going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.
So, lets get started with the basics!
Creating A Cover Letter
A Cover Letter allows a potential employer to be introduced to you and your resume. It is the first document an employer sees, therefore serving as your first impression and also allows the employer to get a more comprehensive look at who you are and why you are qualified for the job. This being your first impression, you want to take advantage of the opportunity and prepare the reader for your application. State why you are you writing, why you are a good match for their organization/company, and when you intend to contact them.
During job search process writing a Cover letter can be very challenging. You are challenged to create a document about yourself that is not selfish and self-centered. But DON’T WORRY, we have all the tools necessary to aid you in this process. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be on your way to creating an excellent Cover Letter.
Display your written communication skills.
There are also hardcopy Cover Letter templates available upon request at the Counseling and Testing Center.
- Leave space between heading and name of specific person
- Use 1 inch margins all around the document
- Single space your letter
THE CLOSING STATEMENT
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Key Components Of A Good Cover Letter Closing
Use the closing to accomplish three tasks and move the process forward.
As far as tone, use the same style in your final paragraph that you employed in crafting the rest of your cover letter: Keep it professional. This isnt the place or time for jokes, text-message shorthand, strong emotion, exclamation points or casual language.
Be sure to keep your cover letter to one page and indicate any email attachments, as well as enclosures or documents the hiring manager may expect to receive related to your application.