In the job market, first impressions are often formed by your cover letter. As a result, writing one can often seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Use your cover letter to introduce yourself, explain how you are qualified for the position, and request an interview. Keep in mind that cover letters are meant to highlight your accomplishments but can also showcase your communication skills; using precise, professional language and grammar is essential to any effective cover letter. Be specific, and avoid using generalizations such as “To Whom It May Concern.” Using Google and Linkedin to conduct research into HR departments can help you address your cover letters to the appropriate individuals. If you cannot locate the person, try “Dear Human Resources Manager,” instead.
As much as possible, tailor your letter to each job opportunity. Demonstrate, if possible, some knowledge of the organization to which you are applying. Cover letters tend to be shorter than a page, so avoid rambling sentences. Begin by explaining how you found out about the position and offering a brief history of who you are. The middle paragraph(s) of a cover letter should highlight a few of the most outstanding points from your enclosed resume, not reiterate the entire document. Show how your education and experience suit the requirements of the position, and conclude by requesting an interview with the employer and thanking them for their time. Stating when and how you plan to follow up with the company is also an important closing remark which shows you are proactive and enthusiastic about the position.