A cover letter should present your intentions, qualifications, and availability to a prospective employer in a succinct,
appealing format. It is your first opportunity to introduce yourself, present your qualifications, and show him/her how and why you could be a
potential candidate for the advertised position.
Keep in mind the following points while drafting your cover letter
Personalize it to the company.
Take a few minutes to personalize your letter by showing that you are really serious about working for the companies you
are contacting. State the reason, you are interested in working for that particular company. Do your homework beforehand by
mentioning a department, a new project the company is involved in, or an acquisition the company has made. Address the cover
letter to a specific individual whenever possible.
Limit your cover letter to one page of up to five paragraphs at most (each paragraph should contain a maximum of one to
three sentences). For brevity and conciseness, use simple language and action verbs.
Pay attention to the opening paragraph
With the employer having to sift through piles of resumes, it is important that you say what you what you want to in the
opening paragraph. You could highlight your main skills, or mention your knowledge of the company and combine this information with the skills
and qualities that make you fit for the job.
Highlight your strengths!
Brag a little! Give a few facts, list relevant skills, and state accomplishments on your present or most recent jobs that
are impressive. State how your experiences would be a valuable addition to the team.
Is the tone of your cover letter positive?
Highlight your positive points-your skills, talents, capabilities and experiences as they relate to the position on offer.
While you should not overstate your qualities, don`t underestimate yourself either. The cover letter is your professional showcase to present
yourself the best way you can.
No negative information!
Never include personality conflicts with previous employers, pending litigation suits, or sarcastic remarks in your cover
When should you include salary/relocation information?
The rule of thumb is to always include salary requirements and/or salary history in the cover letter if a prospective
employer requests it. Never include salary and relocation information on your resume, only address this information in your cover letter.
Is your cover letter spotless?
Don`t just rely on your computer`s spell checker. Check and recheck your letter for typos, misspellings, wrong grammar or
inappropriate punctuation. For a professional look, use quality bond paper and letter-quality or laser printer. Avoid dot-matrix printers or
Take a proactive approach in your cover letter. State the fact that you are available for a personal interview; give your
home, work, e-mail, and/or cell phone numbers where you can be reached; note that you will follow up by phone (where possible) to provide any
additional information required.
Personally sign the letter
Always sign your letter, If possible, use a sign pen.
A professionally written cover letter and resume can open the doors to your next position on the corporate ladder, as well
as a new career in a different field. A clean, error-free presentation combined with strong phrasing and solid facts will encourage the reader
to review the attached resume and call you in for an interview.