What Is A Cover Letter | Chapter 1

If you are stuck with the question “what is a cover letter?” then you came to the right place. Most of the time, if you want to be taken into consideration for any job position, you will have to write that certain letter of application that will state your intentions. This kind of letter will introduce you, explain why you are writing to that certain company, highlight some of your main skills and make a request for meeting the potential employer personally.

First impressions count, and this is why a CV cover letter should function as your introduction. It will have to be an impressive description of your qualities that will leave a long-lasting effect. Remember that a cover letter is not only supposed to state your main accomplishments, but it will also prove to be a presentation of your character. It will tell your potential employer how well you can communicate with your superiors, your colleagues and your customers.

The tone, format, and content of a cover letter will highly depend on the company which you are applying for. Most of the time, it would be a good idea to ask other people that already have experience in the field what you should write. Suggestions for revisions will always be welcomed in such cases. However, despite any differences of what may describe a good cover letter for a company, most of the suggestions on how to format it will apply generally.

The Purpose of a Cover Letter

Let’s play a little game here. Imagine that you are the manager of a big company, and that every day you would have to deal with numerous resumes. You would have to dissect each and every one of those papers for relevant qualities, and you would basically have to guess what the intentions of the job seekers are.

Not to mention that reading the same resume format over and over will surely bring you to the brink of insanity and also bore you out of your mind. In this case, wouldn’t it feel like something sent from Heaven to see a paper containing only what you’re searching for? Suddenly, you are looking at a human, not some experience on a paper.

Long story short, the cover letter was meant to briefly introduce you to the company you are applying for and to motivate the manager to interview you. This letter would be the first personal contact your employer will have with you, so good cover letter writing is something that might just land you the job. The text will need to be concise, neat and well written so that your potential employer will have no doubts when it comes to reading your actual resume and offering you an interview.

The Way a Cover Letter Should Look Like

Whether or not the job position asks for a cover letter, you might still want to include one. It will show the person overseeing the position that you are actually interested in the job, unlike those who might not have attached such a paper. So when you write a cover letter for your resume, remember that it is basically your lottery ticket towards getting the interview.

First of all, a cover letter is something that needs to look personal and professional at the same time. It is a paper that is clear, concise and conversational. However, keep in mind that your paper doesn’t have to be gimmicky. You don’t need to bore them to death with stories about you sitting on your father’s lap while he was reading a newspaper. They also don’t care where you went on a vacation last summer (unless of course, it’s relevant to the position). You need to make your hiring manager get up from his chair and pick up the phone thinking “This is who I need to hire!”

So what is a cover letter for a resume? It’s a presentation of yourself that is both informational and promotional. You will want to give your potential employer the details that they want, while emphasizing on why they should hire you. At the same time, you need to keep in mind that a cover letter shouldn’t be too promotional. So if you plan to start your letter with something along the lines of “Stop looking! You’ve just found the perfect candidate for the job,” you might want to rethink that. They won’t be easily swayed by such openings, because what they are looking for in a good cover letter is concrete information.

Also, no matter where you may look for cover letter help, they will tell you that yours only needs to be engaging – well-written, lively and informative. A good cover letter doesn’t have to contain any praising adjectives since they will be seen mostly as ‘show-offs.’ Avoid describing yourself as a “talented” individual or “the best person for this job,’ because saying it won’t influence your potential employer in any way.

Last but not least, a cover letter is something that needs to be tailored for the job. This means that you can’t send the same document over and over to different companies –  because the manager will catch on. In your cover letter, you will need to prove that you are familiar with the way the company handles things and the actual requirements of the job. Also, unless you don’t know the name of the manager or you don’t have to follow some specific standards, you should avoid using “Dear Sir,” Dear Madam,” or “To Whom This May Concern.” Since this cover letter is basically a test of knowledge, it needs to contain the right name of the company and manager, their correct title and e-mail address. To ensure that you have your facts right, make a phone call to the company and ask for the details.

Now, you know how to write a resume cover letter. Remember that before you send it out, you might want to edit and proofread it – to avoid any potential errors.