Writing a cover letter takes a lot of skill for individuals looking for work. It serves as the first correspondence between you and a potential employer. All employers read cover letters before they read resumes. If there are errors, employers will not read the actual resume. As such, one should take their time to construct a cover letter which sells them in a purposeful manner. Here are 10 tips you should include.
1. Check grammar/spelling errors
You do not want to have a cover letter which produces grammar and spelling errors. If the employer cannot read what you are writing, they will not hire you or request an interview. Most employees will shred resumes which have syntax and grammar errors. So, it is very important that you proofread all work multiple times. Ask friends or agency to proofread it for you as well.
2. To whom it may concern:
Never write this as an introduction to your cover letter. Your cover letter with this heading will look like a generated mass one that you send to ALL potential employers. Employers want custom made cover letters which are tailored to their needs. If the posting does not specify who the hiring manager is, you should call the company to find out. If you have exhausted every resource and still cannot find the name, Dear Human Resource Generalist or Manager is fine.
This is, however, the last resort.
3. Mr. or Mrs.:
This is a common error people make on cover letters. A Sandy, Chris or even Alex may be a male or a female. If unsure of the sex of the person reading the cover letter, write Attn: (First Name Last Name). No employer will hire someone who gets their name wrong. Would you buy services from a telemarketer who does not pronounce your name right? Most likely not. Same thing here applies.
4. What you can do for me:
For every ‘I’ there is a ‘you’. If the cover letter consists of the word you and not I, it is in trouble. Many hiring managers look for what potential employees can do for them.
Do NOT: Your company is looking for an excellent customer service representative who is detail oriented and has excellent time management skills.
DO: I truly believe that my excellent customer service and time management skills will be an asset to the CSR position at ABC company.
Answer the question: Why should I be hired?
5. Copy Resume:
Do not copy your resume word for word. The cover letter compliments your resume. Do not repeat yourself and provide additional information that would make the potential employer want to read your resume. If your resume is word by word the same, you will not be hired.