Cover letters are an important tool for securing more interviews in your job search. This letter allows job applicants to briefly communicate skills and experience to hiring managers. Managers have limited time to review resume materials. A cover letter that catches the manager's eye will entice him to learn more about you. Having a template for creating a cover letter allows you to create this document for free.
State the position you're applying for with the company. Managers hiring for several different positions don't have time to guess. This information will be appreciated and allow the hiring manager to focus on the content of your cover letter (instead of figuring out which position you want). Also, state where you heard about the position. For example, you might say you were excited to learn of the company's need for an accountant in the community newspaper.
Highlight your background and experience. Read the job description and make a list of the desired skills. Write about your experience and abilities as they apply to each of the job's desired skills.
Discuss information the hiring manager requested. For example, if ad asks for a salary history, briefly discuss this information. You might want to list a salary history range instead of exact numbers (so you don't get taken out of the running too soon).
Create a "call to action" section. This section should compel the hiring manager to call you for an interview. Briefly highlight why you're a good fit for the position. When writing the call to action, think from the employer's point of view (avoid statements that are self serving). Include the best method for contacting you and thank the manager for her time.
Tips & Warnings
- When you discuss previous experience, use concrete examples. For example, while working for company ABC you raised sales 60 percent in a single quarter. Specific information is more likely to capture the hiring manager's interest.
- Don't forget to customize your cover letter for each job opening. Overly generic cover letters may turn off hiring managers. Make sure to revise your resume with each job opening, too.
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