Crafting an ideal-length cover letter

02.13.2013


Crafting an ideal-length cover letter
Crafting a an ideal-length cover letter

You may be the kind of person who can dominate any interview, and your charm, personality and firm hand shake are enough to woo any recruiter you come across. But if you can't put together a stellar cover letter to get you the interview in the first place, you'll have a tough time finding a job. 

Writing a cover letter is more than just regurgitating what's written on a job description and it's certainly not meant to be a blanket statement used for every job application. Putting together a well-written cover letter is crucial for any job seeker, and two of the most important factors to note include the length of your letter and how well it complements your resume, according to Business2Community. 

If you properly link your cover letter with your resume, you won't need to jam-pack the former with every piece of information you feel is pertinent. It will actually help you draft a succinct cover letter that is loaded with the right information. 

Keeping it short
When writing your letter, be sure to identify any information about yourself and your experience that is absolutely crucial for getting the desired position. When trimming the fat, leave anything questionable off the letter. What's more, a compact cover letter will keep employers engaged. Try not to give long-winded explanations or use overly flowery language with several adjectives. 

Think of it this way: the cover letter should tantalize the reader and make them want to flip one page over to look at your resume. Recruiters always read cover letters first, so keep this in mind when putting together both your resume and letter. 

According to the news source, it's best to put your personal background, educational background and work experience in your resume, and not to repeat information on either document.

Avoid summarization
Job seekers often see the cover letter as a throw-away document that outlines the resume. This idea needs to be eliminated. 

"An impressive cover letter must highlight relevant skills as well as your experiences and connect these to the job position that you are applying for," wrote long-time career advisor Jose Sanchez. "It means that your letter serves as a bridge to connect your resume as well as the job description."

Sanchez added that it's a good idea to make sure your resume and cover letter sync up in every way, even down to the font size and style of each. Similarly, be sure there are no contrasts in content or information. Any confusion between the information could affect your credibility and mean your potential hire could get snuffed.

As a rule of thumb, your cover letter should engage the reader with its uniqueness within 10 seconds. By getting down to business, an employer will be more likely to find out more about you by moving on to your resume. 

According to the Virginia Tech Division of Student Affairs, formatting is always a big part of cover letters. While the content should be unique, make sure your cover letter has a few staple items, including an explanation of why you're sending your resume and how you learned about the position. It's also extremely important to show off your attitude in the letter by conveying your personality, what motivates you, how you stay enthused at a job and your ability to communicate well with others. 

While it only gets you into the interview, a strong cover letter will essentially pave the road ahead for you, giving you a smoother ride on your job search. 

 

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