What is it?
A cover letter is a text that
- is presented with the resume when applying for a job.
- explains why the candidate is interested in the position being applied for, and how his/her competencies match the position’s requirements.
- The cover letter should be individually tailored according to the requirements of each position applied for.
What purpose does it serve?
A cover letter
- Helps the candidate stand out from among other candidates with similar backgrounds.
- Increases the chances of the resume being screened more carefully.
- Helps display the candidate’s writing skills, offering a first impression of the candidate’s ability to express him/herself.
How should it be formatted?
The body of the letter should be written in paragraph form. Qualifications, skills and experience can be listed in short paragraphs or bullet points.
Content of the first paragraph
- Reason for writing the letter
- The position being applied for
- How the candidate learned about the position
Content of the following paragraph(s)
- Brief review of what the candidate knows about the position
- Section highlighting how the candidate’s qualities match the position’s requirements
- List (in paragraph or bullet point form) of the particular skills and experiences that make the candidate a good match for the position
Content of the last paragraph
- Expression of thanks to the recruiter for evaluating the application
- Courteous reminder that the applicant is expecting a response regarding the next stage of the application process
- Contact information
Your cover letter
should be as short and easily readable as possible.
should not be a mere repetition of the information in your resume.
should have a line space between paragraphs.
should include key words that will help you progress to the next stage.