Writing A Cover Letter Yourself
Are you planning on writing a cover letter yourself but you don’t know where to start? Do you feel a little overwhelmed by all that you might have already researched about cover letters? Try not to stress too much; writing a cover letter is really a piece of cake as long as you keep a few things in mind.
As you are more than aware, your cover letter is more or less a sales letter. You are the product that you are selling. In a nut shell your cover letter needs to show the employer why they would be crazy not to hire you. You letter will need to demonstrate your specific qualifications that make you better than any other candidate for that position. Your letter allows you to personalize your resume.
Another thing to keep in mind when writing your own cover letter is to keep it short and too the point. Remember you are not the only person applying for the position. Chances are the employer or hiring manager has a stack of resumes and cover letters sitting on their desk. It is unlikely that they are going to sit and read a long cover letter that goes on and on. They will more than likely get through a sentence or 2 and lose interest and toss your resume with your cover letter aside. Therefore your cover letter should never be more than a few paragraphs long and it should never, under any circumstances be longer than a page. Anything longer than a page is almost guaranteed to make a trip into the black hole of cover letters that never get a second glance.
Start your first paragraph off with your introduction. Address the letter to a specific person whether it’s the hiring manager or HR Rep. It’s important to remember to have this name spelled correctly and their correct title. This is where you introduce yourself and your reason for contacting them. It’s here that you tell them exactly why you want to work for their company. It’s a good idea to have done some prior research of the company and include that in this paragraph.
In your second paragraph you should incorporate some highlights from your resume that demonstrate how qualified you are for the position. It’s key here to keep in mind that you don’t need to write your resume word for word. Only highlight those parts that pertain to the job. This is where you really sell yourself. This is the paragraph where you should dress it up to impress. Put yourself in the employer shoes, and ask yourself if you meet the company’s needs and how you meet them. Chances are this will be your longest paragraph but don’t get too carried away. There is no need for the employer to know that you volunteer at your local community center every weekend teaching young kids how to play ball. Remember, these employers are looking for that one person who best fits their needs. Use this paragraph to show them that you are exactly what they are looking for.
Your final paragraph or your closing paragraph is where you make yourself readily available for that interview. After all the whole purpose of the cover letter is the land the interview. A good idea is to tell the employer to expect a call from you in a specific time to discuss the opportunity further. End your letter thanking them for their time and that you look forward to meeting them.
You might be tempted to use one of the free samples of cover letters that you can find anywhere online. I don’t recommend this. Writing the cover letter yourself is much more personable than a generic sample letter. A cover letter written by you is customized by you for that specific company and position. If you were to send a basic letter, chances are it will just be tossed aside. One last thing to remember is to keep the page itself simple. Make sure your spelling and grammar are all correct. There is no need to go crazy with funky fonts and strange margins. It’s key to keep the cover letter neat, basic and easy on the eye.
Writing your own cover letter is nowhere near as hard or as intimating as it seems. Keep in mind these simple tips and your cover letter will be opening doors for countless opportunities.