Here’s a question that a lot of job seekers ask: Is it really necessary to include a cover letter in a job application? The answer to that question is yes, and it can’t be a copy-paste job; the cover letter must be tailored for the job you are applying for if you are to have any chance of getting an interview.
Unless the job description specifically states that a cover letter is not required, you are going to have to include one along with your resume and other job application materials. Failing to do this will dramatically increase the chance that your application will not even get a look from the hiring manager. So what does it take to write a cover letter that will wow the employer? It would seem that it is entirely subjective at first glance, but there are actually a number of universal elements that need to be included.
If you are to write a fool-proof cover letter, make sure to follow these seven tips:
- Keep it short and sweet. Include all of the basic information, including your full name and where you can be contacted.
- Make it specific. Instead of opening by saying “To whom it may concern,” address it directly to the hiring manager. If you can’t find her name, address it to the human resources department.
- State which job you are applying to in the opening paragraph.
- Be passionate. There’s no better way to stand apart from the crowd than to inject a little personality into your writing.
- Do some research into the organization’s history and make use of that in your letter. This will show the hiring manager you did your homework and are truly interested in their mission.
- Address the job requirements head-on by explaining how you would fit the organization’s needs.
- End your cover letter by stating your desire to continue the conversation with a job interview.