Tips on how to write a cover letter

A cover letter is handy tools to market your skills and experiences, whose goal is to make you stand out and gain you an interview. These are a required part of all application processes and it is now an acceptable practice to email them.

There are three types of cover letters:

  • 1. The e-mail cover letter
    Do not write a cover letter in the body of the e-mail as it is hard to format. Instead, write a short message in the e-mail and send two attachments consisting of your cover letter and resume. It is a common mistake to treat e-mail messages flippantly, using informal language and style. Candidates must follow professional writing techniques and make the most of the chance to promote themselves. Be polite, precise and professional, listing what position you are applying for and where you heard about it.
  • 2. The letter of inquiry
    The letter of inquiry is used to find out about possible openings, application procedures and to register for the data bank for recruitments. These should be sent out in bulk several months in advance to gather information.
  • 3. The application letter
    The letter of application is used to apply for a specific job, often from an advertisement.

Calling Potential Employers
It is advisable to call the company before you send them your resume, as unsolicited mail is frequently discarded upon receipt. When you make the phone call, find the following information:

  • Exact name and job title of the interviewing officer to be included in the cover letter.
  • The ideal profile the employer is looking for, so you can highlight these items in your cover letter.

The main advantage of making this initial phone call is that you can make a reference to it in your cover letter, showing your communication skills and reminding the employer as to whom you are.

Writing effective cover letters
An effective cover letter should convey clarity of thought and highlight your writing skills. Never use any slang or humor in a cover letter. The average cover letter should not exceed one page and should be in the following format:

  • State the purpose of the letter in the first paragraph. Be precise and professional, stating how you heard of the position, mentioning the name of the employee if you were referred internally.
  • Highlight your experience, especially international experience, in the second and third paragraphs. This is your opportunity to sell yourself by drawing attention to your skills and experiences. A good strategy is to describe your previous experiences from an employer's perspective instead of your own.
  • Suggest for follow-up action such as in interview and add a short affirmative sentence about yourself in the last paragraph.

Cover letters require some quality time invested in their creation and need to be revised often. They can open the door for an interview and must be utilized to the utmost. Add something unique to your cover letter that will make the recruiter recall you.