As if creating a résumé wasn’t already a difficult task in its self, the company you are applying for asks for a cover letter as well. You are unsure if the information in the cover letter should slightly reflect your résumé or should be verbatim. Why does the employer need a cover letter if they already have your résumé? Long story short, cover letters are used to market your skills to the employer. An employer can only get so much of your vocabulary and organizational skills from your résumé, but when you create a cover letter you are stating the reasons why you would be the perfect fit at their establishment.
There are a few simple steps in creating a cover letter.
Step one: Listing Identifying Information
Unlike the résumé, you want to have your contact information first rather than your name. You save your name, phone number, and e-mail for the end of your cover letter so that the employer can easily access that information once completely reading the cover letter. Be sure to use a recent date or the same date that you plan on sending the letter. In order to let the employer know that the cover letter is not a general one that you plan on sending to multiple employers, you definitely want to have the employer’s name or company name, and address under the date.
Step two: Body Paragraphs
In the first paragraph, you should state the reason for writing the letter, how you heard of the position, and briefly why you are interested.
The second paragraph must contain further information on why you are interested in that specific position. To win brownie points with the employer, you may want to include recent information that has led you to this decision.
A third paragraph is necessary to go into depth of what is in your resume.Avoid using the word “I” frequently; they already know it’s about you. That being said; do not repeat anything word for word. Do explain how your previous experience relates to the job that you are applying for and how it can benefit the employer.
Step Three: Go in for the close
The closing paragraph is where you draw the reader in. Reiterate why you are interested in their job opening and thank the recruiter for their time. Refer the employer to your phone number and email address if they have any questions or concerns. Let the recruiter know that you plan to follow-up on their job opening within a set time frame.
Who knows you better than you? All a cover letter asks of you is to explain yourself in depth and why you would be the perfect fit for the job. Hopefully these tips provided some relief to the stresses of your job search!
Denise Aiyedatiwa is a Public Health student with plans on becoming an Epidemiologist within the CDC.