Your cover letter is an initial introduction to your potential employer, not a regurgitation of your resume. It should entice the reader to jump into your resume with interest and enthusiasm.
The cover letter is written like any other business letter. Your address should look exactly as it does on your resume. Next, add the date and the employer’s name and address. The letter should never be more than one page. If it is long winded, the reader will find you boring. Chances are you are simply repeating what is in your resume, so cut it down.
We’re going to present the letter in a form below, but there are a few caveats. This letter has to grab your reader’s attention. The first thing that the reader will see is a black and white picture. Make sure you are using good paper and that the print is clear and crisp.
Write an interesting letter. Include the potential employer’s name and make sure it is spelled correctly!
Some ads will not include a name, but it is possible for a keen job hunter to avoid using “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir.” Make a phone call to the company. Let them know that you are preparing a resume and that the advertisement did not provide a name. Ask for it. It’s very rare for a company to refuse this type of request.
Quickly explain what you are offering. A little bit of additional information can really get your letter off to a strong start.
You can modify any of the following examples or come up with a phrase that starts your letter in a compelling way:
Give potential employers a reason to get curious about your resume. Bridge your opening paragraph with something like:
Then you can include one or two sentences that highlight a special contribution or achievement:
Your letter can be presented in bullet form or paragraphs.
Follow up with an action statement. You want the reader to turn the page and look over your resume as they pick up the phone to call you and invite you to a meeting.
You can also safely add something like, “I am currently employed and would appreciate your consideration at maintaining the confidentiality of my application.”