You may have been told that a cover letter is no longer necessary for a modern job search. But many companies still prefer to see a letter, even if it’s just an email, to help introduce you as a candidate. If you’ve never written a cover letter before, or if you think your letter might need a boost, here are the six things every cover letter should include.
Your Contact Information
It sounds so simple, but you might be surprised at how often job seekers miss this. It’s essential that you include your contact information in your cover letter just in case it gets separated from your resume, which should also have your info. If you’re sending a cover letter as an email, make it easy on yourself by creating a signature that will be at the bottom of every email you send.
A Personal Greeting
Far too often, hiring managers see the dreaded, “To Whom It May Concern.” That’s an automatic rejection for a lot of people. Why? Because it is so easy to find information that it seems like someone can’t be bothered to find it. If you really can’t find the name of the hiring manager or HR representative, it still makes it sound more personal, such as “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon.”
Your cover letter is the introduction that will give them an interest in reading your resume. So, you need to reiterate your qualifications here. Don’t just restate what’s on your resume, create a short narrative about your experience, and specifically why you feel your qualified for and interested in this specific job with this specific company.
While you may hope a real person reads your cover letter, it might have to get through artificial intelligence, in the form of an applicant tracking system, first. This technology will sort out information based on specific search words, the recruiter, or hiring manager inputs. So you want to include a couple of relevant keywords in your cover letter and resume. Look for clues in the job description and only include words that do apply to you.
An Appropriate Closing
You also want to end your resume on a high note. In your final paragraph, reiterate why you want this job, your availability for a phone call or interview, and your phone number and email address again so it’s at their fingertips. Just above your signature, you can include any of the most common closings such as “Sincerely” or “Thank you.”
We mentioned the signature above, and we wanted to reiterate its importance. If you’re sending a formal letter for any reason, make sure you sign it with a pen at the bottom of the page. For formal letters, it’s typical to leave several spaces between your “Sincerely” and your typed name to give you space to sign. For an email, you obviously can’t sign it directly, so make use of that generated email signature field.
Are you ready to put your best foot forward for a new job?
Contact the recruiting team at Meador Staffing and let us place you in a great new opportunity.