It’s my new blog where I’ll be collecting tips and information on cover letters for resumes. I expect it will soon include some examples, and definitely lots of info.
Covering letters, also called cover letters, are almost as important as the resume itself in landing a job interview. I learned this the hard way, and probably missed some great job opportunities. It’s a big mistake not to spend time on your cover letter… lots of time.
The letter should be addressed to the appropriate contact person, and mention the position you’re applying for straight away.
But a cover letter should be a lot more than just a “routing slip” when you mail in a resume. It’s your opportunity to be personal and mention information not really appropriate for a resume. You should customize each and every one for the particular position and company you’re applying to, and highlight how you fit the position and how you can help their company. But in a professional, modest way.
Do some research into the company and position for which you’re applying. Understand the company, the industry it’s in, and especially what the job you’re applying for involves.
I think about it this way. A resume needs to be factual, follow one of only a few formats, and pretty much stick to a standard set of information. Your resume cover letter needs to grab someones attention and predispose them to reading your resume favorably. It’s also the place to explain special circumstances like gaps in employment or making a significant career change. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to discuss how you meet the job requirements (backed up by job experience and other facts in your resume) and that you understand their company and the industry it’s in.