I would have to say that the hardest part and the most time consuming thing of applying for positions would be the cover letter. You have to communicate your interest in the role, highlight past experience in well crafted one page document. Scared yet? Then the next frightening thought is that you have to customize this for each position that you apply to. Yes it is very wise to customize it, but all the details on that will come later.
Cover Letters are set up like an essay – introduction, first body paragraph, second body paragraph and conclusion. Continue reading to find out the essentials for each section.
This should be a compelling opening that grabs the hiring managers attention. If you were referred by someone then this would be the time to place their name and the company they work for. If you searched and found the position this would be the time to include that. Also, make sure that you include what position you are applying for and the location (if necessary).
First Body Paragraph
You should answer the question Why You? Why are you the right fit for the role? You want to be specific about what you have done in past positions that are related to this role, but you do not want to repeat your resume. You want to squeeze some extra facts that you didn’t put in your resume. The perk of a cover letter is that you get to use full sentences so you can expand your resume points.
Second Body Paragraph
This time you are asking the question, Why them? Why this company? This will give you a chance to give specific reasons as to why are interested in the company and show them that you understand what make them different from their competitors. It’s like you are stroking their egos. Your skills and the companies goals should fit together like puzzle pieces.
This should just wrap up your cover letter simply by saying thanking them for the opportunity and also expressing your gratitude (along with contact information) that they are viewing your cover letter.
Even though this is a time consuming task, know that this what many recruiters look at to determine whether or not they will continue to look at your resume any further.