Guest Post by Houkje Ross
You’ve found a job that you are excited about and want to apply. You send off your resume and cover letter only to hear nothing back… crickets. This has happened to you more often than you care to admit.
While nothing is foolproof in this competitive job market, having a well-written cover letter will increase your chances of getting your foot in the interview door.
Here are four tips to get you started to writing a solid cover letter:
1. Start with the big picture. Ask yourself the following questions:
a. Why you are writing this letter?
b. Who is going to read it?
c. How you will ensure that it captures the attention of the reader to get you to the next
These questions will help focus you on the relevant information to include in the letter and ensures that your cover letter speaks to the position you are applying for and is not just a generic letter.
2. Keep it Simple. Summarize, condense, and keep it short. No one wants to read an epic cover letter. Nor does anyone have time anymore. Use bullet points to highlight or summarize your skills.
3. Keep it Honest. Be honest about your background, skills, and accomplishments. You want employers to know you are capable and present a fair picture of your skills and abilities. If you overstate these things, you may find yourself in a job that you are not able to perform.
4. Learn to love grammar and spelling. A cover letter is your first chance to make a good impression. If attention to detail is not a strong point for you, ask a friend to review your cover letter before you send it out.
About the Author
Houkje Ross is a writer and life coach who lives in Mt. Rainier, Marlyand. She is currently offering young professionals (30 and under) a service that provides professional editing of cover letters and resumes. Learn more at: http://houkje-ross.com/editing.