There is an ongoing debate in the professional world on whether or not the cover letter is still relevant today. While there may be no clear verdict on this but the cover letter does remain as an important component of the job search process. Most employers expect a cover letter as it shows your interest in the organisation and the role you have applied for. Unlike what a lot of people think, the cover letter is not simply a summary or snapshot of your resume. It is in fact your 30 second window to grab the recruiter’s attention for him to shortlist your application. So we tell you a few rules to create an effective and meaningful cover letter –
1. Every job has a specific requirement both in terms of skill and qualification and your cover letter should be able to highlight on how you are the best fit for that role. If you’ve undertaken internships then mention the experience and skills you learnt during that period. Customising the resume for every job will not be suitable, hence the cover letter is your opportunity to showcase your skill set and qualifications that will complement the role applied for.
2. Even if it is a short one, a good cover letter can immediately catch the recruiter’s attention. The letter should be crisp but don’t keep it so short that you miss out on adding relevant information. The idea is to create the perfect pitch to market your candidature. So just like a television commercial, keep it simple, short yet effective.
3. Most freshers make the mistake of adding ‘fluff words’ to make their cover letter appealing. Words like ‘team player’, ‘competent’ etc. can stay away from your letter for a few more months. Keep your letter real and only focus on highlighting your skills and how you aim to contribute.
4. Keep the recruiter’s requirement in mind and not yours. The cover letter should not be a list of things you would like to do but rather how you can add value to the organisation.
5. Avoid addressing your cover letter as ‘to whomsoever this may concern’. In most cases you would know the name of the contact person/hiring manager so always address them. In case, the information is not available, it’s best to use’ Dear Sir/Ma’am’.
6. Your cover letter should end with an action. Do not leave it open ended and request for a personal interview. A strong closing will make an impact and prompt for an immediate action.
So if you’re going to start your job search soon, keep these tips in mind to make a great impression with your cover letter.