Resume Cover Letter

Is it only the resume that helps you succeed in your career or job hunt? Why do you think some resumes get noticed, while some go directly into the trash-bin? There must be a difference between the two, right? Consider that both are similar in terms of qualification, experience, etc. Still one might clear the application screening round, and other might miss the same. The former  was presented in a better way, than the latter. The applicant knew that there are many others like him/her, and thus, he/she distinguished his/her resume by writing a cover letter. Thus, writing a professional letter ensures success in making such job applications stand out from the rest of applications.

A cover letter works as a differentiating tool, where resume cannot clear the initial screening round. It is a document, which complements your resume, and summarizes your resume, such that the employer is presented to read only essential matter. One must remember that a resume can be sent without a cover letter, but a cover letter will never go without a other one. It is a one page assertion, to prove your eligibility for the particular post, and convince the employer that you suit the profile perfectly.

Importance of Writing a Cover Letter:

A resume presents a summary of your qualification, work responsibilities and achievements. However, the employer gets a comprehensive idea only when he/she reads the complete resume. This is usually not possible for the employer because he/she has to screen many resumes, and cannot afford to spend more than 10 seconds to decide whether to go ahead with the resume. These 10 seconds are not sufficient for a resume to present your candidature in front of the employer. This calls for the need of enclosing an equally professional resume cover letter, which can grab employer's attention, and guide it to specific sections in the resume. It would not only save employer's time in screening your resume, but also help you promote your key strengths, and optimize the selection chances.

A cover letter summarizes your professionalism and the resume in a maximum of four paragraphs, and gives employers a complete idea about your abilities and experience, all presented in just one page. Thus, it convinces the reader to consider your application and make a decision to review your resume with sheer attention.

The resume will give a detailed account. It will speak in detail about your job responsibilities and academics. The employer will read in detail only when he/she feels that you suit the requirements, and you can contribute to the organization's goals. Thus, you have to first interest and motivate him/her such that he/she cannot neglect your resume.

How to Write a Cover Letter?

The first paragraph of your resume cover letter, introduces you to the employer. It tells the employer whether you are an experienced or a fresher, and what post you wish to apply for. The next paragraph justifies your application. Here, you try to communicate to the employer and tell him how you fit in the requirements of the organization. You give examples of your job roles and career achievements, to justify your statements. The third paragraph will answer the employer's question, 'Why are you interested to work with this specific organization'.  Be specific and consistent to state things; you must respect his/her time.

The last paragraph will tell the reader when you would be available for an interview, and would in fact be interested in meeting him/her in person; thus instigating a positive action from the reader's side. All this, in just one page and in four paragraphs, is something possible only with a cover letter. For candidates who are writing the resume cover letter for the first time or are not comfortable with writing letters, or those who do not have sufficient time, they can refer to these generic cover letters, which can be quickly and easily customized.

Format for the Letter:

The instructions provided above will guide you to draft a well integrated letter. A little information on the body of the letter will help you understand the way you need to present the same.

From,
Applicant's name,
Address,
Contact number
Date  

To,
Designation
Name of the concerned person
Organization name
Address
Salutation: Dear Ms/Mr.___________(last name),

First paragraph - Introduce yourself, mention the source from where you came to know about the vacancy, and put forth your candidature for the same. (Not more than 2-3 lines)

Second paragraph - Prove your eligibility as mentioned in the flow chart above. Convince the employer that you match the requirements perfectly.
Third paragraph - Show your interest in the organization
Fourth paragraph - Request for an interview and thank reader for considering your application

Regards
(Your name)
Email id
Contact no
Enclosures: (Mention documents enclosed; For example, resume, copies of certificates, etc.)

Thus, it is advisable to research and look for job description, before attempting actual cover letter writing. Read a few sample cover letters, use this information, and write a cover letter for your resume, while applying for a job. Such cover letter will strengthen your job application, and increase chances of your selection. Don't forget to state enclosures and recommendations, if any.