Job seekers put a lot of work into the job hunt and resume preparation. Without a great cover letter, employers might not even look at your resume. At Brelsford Personnel we’ve seen thousands of cover letters, so we have a pretty good handle on what gets results. Read on to discover how to catch that potential employer’s attention, highlight your qualifications and land the interview.
Three Brief Paragraphs
A good cover letter is no longer than three short paragraphs. Hiring managers and staffing agencies are busy. You put your education, work history and volunteer experience in your resume, so you don’t need to list it all again in your cover letter.
Use what you know about the employer and the job description to choose which of your skills to highlight. While you want to let potential employers know your capabilities, at this point you might not have enough information to state you’re the perfect fit. Stick to a short summary of what you know you can do.
These Cover Letter Sections
At the top of your cover letter, put your contact details. Include your name, street address, phone number and email address. If your LinkedIn profile is complete and updated, you can include that as well.
Beneath your contact information, create a section with the date, hiring manager’s name, the company address and phone number and the contact person’s email. If at all possible, address your letter to a person and not the generic “To Whom it May Concern” or “Sir or Madam.”
Grab attention with a first paragraph that tells how you heard about the job, why you’re interested and what professional experience you can contribute. Use the second paragraph to provide specifics on how your skills fit the job description. For example, if the job description states the employer wants an administrative assistant with technology and communication skills, succinctly explain how you used tools like Microsoft Office Suite, WordPress and Outlook to effectively communicate in a previous role.
Use your third paragraph to thank the potential employer for considering you and to request an interview. Wrap it up with “Sincerely” or “Respectfully,” then your name.
Extra Information If You’re Relocating
If your job change coincides with a move to East Texas, mention why in your cover letter. Employers are edgy about hiring someone who might not stick around, so if you have family ties, you’ve already bought a home or you have other strong reasons to want employment in the area, let them know. Tell when you anticipate moving and when you’re available for interviews.
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