Before we deal with any ‘technical details’ or talk about any ‘tip and tricks’, it is very important that you understand the sole purpose of a Cover Letter or for a Resume or a Statement of Purpose for that matter. In all these cases, imagine yourself as a salesman. And you are supposed to be selling the most important and unique you have; you yourself. When I say sell yourself, I mean sell your skills, your logic, your knowledge and your attitude. Like all other market environments, recruitment also works on more or less the same factors. In a basic market there are two ways to sell a product. Make a product that the customer wants or needs and sell it to them. Or make a product and convince the customer that they need it so that it’s easier to sell it. The second is the more tricky and if done right more rewarding strategy. That’s exactly what IPhone’s did. People didn’t have a need for IPhones before they existed. Apple didn’t just create smartphones, they even created the need for the same. You might be wondering what your Cover Letter has got to do with IPhones. Like customers didn’t know that they wanted an IPhone, potential recruiters don’t know that they want/need you. That is where your marketing and selling potential comes in.
A Cover Letter is generally sent with the Resume or CV. In very simple words it’s your introduction and the first thing anyone reads, before they touch your resume. The say the first impression is the last. While this may not always be true, but they first impression always lasts longer. So you better hope that the first thing a potential employees looks at when you mail them your resume look good enough to hold their attention. And that is why a cover letter is so important. Cause more often than not, a recruiter has already subconsciously judged you based on your cover letter (or sometimes or total lack of it.!!).
There are three essential points that you need to keep in mind while writing a cover letter;
1) Be creative and original: The cover letter is the face thing a person looks at. Make sure it is atleast original. DO NOT copy of cover letters from tons of online website and post them. Trust me; most recruiters get tons of mails per day. They know which candidate has made a genuine effort. They would not appreciate a copy pasted work.
2) Why you: Create the need right away. Generate their curiosity by given an overview of the highlights of your career. It’s a lot like baiting a fish. Again, recruiters get tons of mails, unless they are hooked right, they might not even glance through your resume properly. Let them know that you have something that they need.
3) Do not write a lot: It’s supposed to be a cover letter, not a life essay. Hence, keep it short and simple. Recruiters always appreciate simple, unique and professional cover letters.
To wrap it up, remember the PSU before writing a cover letter; Professional, Simple and Unique.
These three points would help you make the appropriate cover letter, whether it’s for your internship application or for a job.
Check out the step by step sample Cover Letter below;
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name, ( or Dear Sir/Ma’am in case you don’t know their names)
Body of Cover Letter
The body of your cover letter lets the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will follow-up.
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for and where you found the job listing. Include the name of a mutual contact, if you have one.
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Mention specifically how your qualifications match the job you are applying for. Remember, you are interpreting your resume, not repeating it.
Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow-up.
[Also never forget to write an accurate Subject Line. Your Subject Line helps the employer classify our mail even before they open it. A wrong subject line might get your application misplaced irrespective of how good it is.]
About The Author: Sourya Banerjee, Editor in Chief, Off Campus Law.