A cover letter accompanying your resume fills the bill of a knock at the door before entering in, or an introduction yourself before you speak to a stranger. No matter how competent and effective resume you have written, it will sound a casual attempt on your part to address the employer if unaccompanied by a cover letter; as if you suddenly appear out of the blue and ask for being interviewed! Also, having taken so much of pains in presenting yourself as a competent contender, it would be insane to ruin all the good work done just for a small letter! And since formality is the buzzword in interviews, so it makes sense to go along the lines of the proper decorum and let your intention be known to send your resume to the interviewer.
A cover letter essentially helps you build sort of a rapport with the employer. It has now ceased to be a mere add-on for your resume that you could dispense with; it has rather become an obligation, and very much a part of the code of conduct. So apparently, learning to write an arresting cover letter has become equally cardinal to cast a good impression at the very onset.
Pulling the Right Strings
Writing a good cover note is deceptively intricate, and it's not just five minutes that it takes to end up with an impressive cover letter; it takes considerable degree of foresight and prudence. Writing a cover letter could be in fact a double-edged sword; it can either bring your chances down, or help you win the favour of the interviewer, contingent on how much familiar you are with the commandments of writing a good cover note. Here are a few:
In the first place, pass up all the hackneyed and formulaic cover letters and think up something new and authentic. However, don't digress from the actual demeanor of a cover letter.
Fine-tune the cover letter for every different company; don't just send a stereotyped letter for every new job opening. Believe it or not, but it's very easy to make out a canned letter. To make a point that you have taken pains to draft the cover letter, you can mention the name(s) of the person(s) you are addressing.
Screen the letter over and over to confirm that there is no spelling or grammatical blunder. This is where the double-edged sword whacks you, since by handing over a poorly drafted cover letter puts the interviewer off straightaway, and let alone the cover letter, he might not even bother to read on your resume. You'll thus lose the battle without even coming to the front.
Be succinct and don't try to highlight your linguistic knack. Disclose straightaway and exclusively the specific position you are applying for. If you are qualified more than one position, don't say you'll go for any; it will suggest that you are one of those pendulums who would swing to any side.
Cite examples in substantiation of the claims you make regarding your skills lest you sound like bragging. But even the examples you quote must not seem mere fib; so exercise caution.
Don't discuss salary. At a point when you are still urging the recruiter to consider and read on your resume, it sounds silly to talk of salary.
It's likely that the recruiter draws a snapshot of all the relevant information he wants from the cover letter only and discards the resume. So make it a point to furnish your contact details etc. towards the end of the cover letter.
You might be sending some important attachments with your resume vindicating your suitability for the position you are applying for. Recruiters usually throw such documents aside considering them some immaterial documents. You can give a reference to such papers in the cover letter to pinpoint the relevance of your attachments.
Crosscheck your cover letter with the resume. The former should not appear to be an absolute synopsis of the latter. To impart distinct hues to both, go on to highlight something in the cover letter that you haven't included in the resume due to want to space or for any other reason.
Let us hope that your knock at the door brings you an invitation to go in for an interview!