Resumes are often difficult for many people to write and cover letters can be even more difficult. It’s often a challenge to write positive things about yourself and it’s even harder to write a letter of introduction that includes all those marvelous qualities that people should really love about you without sounding like your bragging! However, if you don’t figure out how to word your skills, qualifications, and experience in such a way that draws attention, then you won’t have a very effective cover letter.
Keep It Professional
Above all, your cover letter should be professional, both in appearance and in content. This is a business letter and should be treated as such. Use a font such as Times New Roman, a font size of 12, and the proper business letter format. If you’re not sure of what a professional business letter should look like, cover letter examples are available online. These is one of the best ways to see what this important letters should look like, but also to see what it should say.
The tone of this letter is very important and it’s not always easy to write. Examples of cover letters can help you find the right language to help highlight your best qualities, experience, and qualifications. While you don’t want to copy this information word for word, you can see how the letter should flow.
Whenever possible, you should include at least one section of bullet statements. These draw the reader’s attention. Use numbers and percentages whenever possible, as these are also attention grabbers. Don’t use strange bullet points, either. You should stick with the traditional dot instead of arrows, stars or any of the other zany looking designs. Bullet dots look the most professional. If you need help creating these bullet statements, cover letter examples can help here, too.
Salutations and Complimentary Closings
The cover letter should be addressed to a particular person and not just a department. If you are not sure who to address the letter to, you may want to look at the company’s website. Make sure you spell the name correctly, along with adding the proper title. Your complimentary closing should be professional, as well. For example, “Sincerely” or “Respectfully” are good choices. Be sure to sign your cover letter if you will be faxing or mailing it. Cover letter examples can give you some help when it comes to writing the last paragraph of your letter. It’s often difficult to wrap it up nicely.
Other Important Tips
If you use preformatted cover letter examples as templates, be sure to change the content. It is much easier when you don’t have to format the letter completely, but it’s very tempting to use an example as your own. Proofreading is also very important. Errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling can quickly move your cover letter and resume to the “do not bother” pile. This is certainly not where you want your resume to end up! Have someone else read your letter, if possible. Sometimes, you can read your own work so many times that you miss errors. A fresh set of eyes may spot something you missed.