The cover letter is a most important part of the documents that you submit to an employer when you apply for a job. It briefly summarizes the lengthy contents of your resume and is the front page actually of the file you submit. It is the first thing that is noticed by a hiring manager going over several job application papers.
It is thus paramount that you write a winning cover letter to be sure of early attention by the employers. Busy as they are, they are unlikely going to open to the resume portion – their tendency is to read the cover letter first before anything else, to get as much general information about you. So there, you have your clue – write that cover letter nicely. It will be your best bet to grab that job interview and probably the job itself. That is how powerful a good cover letter can be.
An effective cover letter, needless to say, takes much serious preparation.
As a first step in getting into a cover letter writing mood, think about yourself and your experiences, and how to relate them to the organization you are writing to. Determine which of your talents, skills, and personality traits and accomplishments should this particular organization need to know about.
Recall how you first heard of this job opportunity and include that in the letter. If it was through a personal contact, mention the specific name especially if that friend of your is already with the company that you are interested to join.
That is a big help for you insofar as the hirers are concerned, because that friend of yours will be a source of the information that they want about you.
State also what you know about the organization you're writing to and what attracted you to it. Maybe it's because you are impressed with what the organization does or that you admire their unique work philosophy.
The best way to build a cover letter is to write to a real, live person (with a title) if you can, and just be sure to spell both name and title correctly
The appearance of your cover letter counts, and could be a major factor why a reader gets attracted to it. It is like as if you are already in front of the employer and you are dressed properly so he attends to you with respect. A shabby type of stationery you use in your letter could be a minus, so invest in the best type of stationery available.
The cover letter should be one page long at most and in a standard business letter format. Busy people have no time reading long letters from people they do not know. You may indent your paragraphs or not, but leave wide margins (minimum 1 inch), and let the right margin wrap naturally. Write clearly and in a conversational manner as best as you can.
Use simple and clear sentences. Be careful with the word that you use and analyze if a word you used is already the best in the dictionary or there is some other word that you can use in its stead. Have a thesaurus handy for this purpose as you write the letter.
After composing the cover letter proofread it carefully avoiding errors in grammar as much as possible. No mistakes are allowed, because just one mistake indicates carelessness on your part to the employer and may disqualify you before you've even had a chance. Remember this is your person actually talking to the employer and his first impression of you will be surely affected by that error in the cover letter.