While it may be tempting to fax just your resume in response to an advertised job opening, you will be doing yourself a disservice. Every resume that you mail, fax, or even just drop off in person should be accompanied by the proper cover letter. You can find a number of cover letter examples online, but for most jobs, the format will remain the same.
What Should a Cover Letter Include?
A cover letter should quantify your accomplishments. The goal is to provide the reader with enough information about you and your qualifications that he or she will review your resume. Consider it a personal touch to formal resumes. It’s an introduction to you, but it should be concise and to the point.
Cover letter examples will show you some of the best ways to highlight your training, skills, and qualifications. You don’t want to include everything on your resume, but instead you just want to give a brief overview. It should not be more than one page and this does not mean to shrink the font to make it fit. Keep the font at 12 point or at the very minimum, 10 point.
You should reference the open position in your first paragraph and why you feel you would be a good candidate to fill it. The second paragraph should include specific examples from your last job that show your talent. Use numbers and percentages whenever possible. For example, don’t just say that you were in charge of the night shift. Instead, you might put that you supervised 12 employees and were responsible for the delivery of 1200 parts per shift. When you can quantify your accomplishments, it will stand out to potential employers.
Some cover letter examples use bullet points and this is good way to draw attention to the high points in your career. If you are trying to find your first job, you should concentrate on promoting your characteristics, such as promptness, taking initiative, or volunteer work. You must choose strong words that show you are confident and ready to accept the position. Don’t be arrogant or over-confident, though. This is usually not received well.
As you finish your cover letter, let the reader know that you are looking forward to an interview and a chance to speak with someone about the position. Make sure the letter is addressed to the proper person and include your contact information. If you will mail or deliver this letter, print it on high quality resume paper. It will make a difference.
You will find cover letter examples for almost any industry you can imagine. However, make sure you tailor the letter to your needs. Don’t just swap out the business name and expect it to work. You must personalize it with your own qualifications and skills. Most employers have reviewed hundreds of these in the past and a generic letter is not likely to stick out. Proofread the letter several times and make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors. Even one can move your resume to the “do not call” pile.