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How To Make A Cover Letter For Your Job Application

Aug 17, 2007
It's a bit of a misconception that the resume is THE most important part of the job application process. While having a resume that stands out is crucial, but it can fall flat on its face if it's accompanied by a poorly written cover letter, or worse still, doesn't even include one. There's always so much focus on the resume, but applicants trying to get onto the Human Resources short list of potential candidates, really should know how to make a cover letter that compliments their resume.

It doesn't matter what your field of enterprise or level of experience is, it's really not that difficult to write an attention-grabbing cover letter which, in conjunction with a strong resume, should put you on the desk of possible interviewees and not in the bin under it with the pile of eliminations.

Put yourself in the place of the interviewers for a moment. Usually, when a company advertises a position within an organization, they are literally inundated with dozens, sometimes hundreds, and occasionally thousands of hopefuls, all of which have sent in their resume for consideration.

The good news for those of you reading this is that most of these applications don't even see the light of day. So many folks just throw a bog-standard resume into an envelope and stick it in the post along with probably dozens of other applications to other companies. For them it's a numbers game and they follow the rule that if you throw enough stuff out there, some of it is bound to stick.

But if you really, really want the position in question, then you need to know how to make a cover letter, but not only how to make it, but how make it stand out. Just think about the results you'll experience in your job search when your cover letter gets opened and it has real attention-grabbing headline that is so unique and so persuasive that the hiring manager cannot put it down without reading further.

For the best part your cover letter does not have to be long-winded. In fact, unless it's requested, you need to make it as short and to the point as much as possible. That said, there needs to be power in those there words, so think carefully especially about the headline, and avoid lame titles such as 'College Graduate Desperate for Work!'. Be mindful that you never get a second chance to make a first impression!

You might want to kick off with a title something like; Are You Still Looking To Fill the Position of {Insert Job Title Here}? Here's Why I Sincerely Believe I Could Be Exactly What You're Looking for ...

You then begin your cover letter with a strong opening paragraph and it's this opening paragraph where your cover letter will make its second impression after the headline. You should also make reference to the enclosed resume in your cover letter so that they can compliment each other. If the cover letter warrants it, you may also want to make it an easy read by using bulleted points to methodically highlight certain items of importance and relevance to the application.

Whatever you do, don't write long paragraphs as they're heavy on the eye, and if you think about how many resumes and cover letters the interviewing manager has to plough through, it's a sure fire way to get binned quickly, no matter how good the wording. It's by far better to have 3 or 4 short paragraphs than 2 long ones.

There are a lot of resources available today for creating resumes and showing folks how to make a powerful cover letter. Heed what they teach and you'll greatly improve your chances of getting that interview and job that you long for.
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