You’re applying for a job. You’ve written a resume and are ready to submit it, but now you need the cover letter. What should you do? Should you just send over your resume without addressing it in any way? Or is writing a cover letter still necessary?
Are Cover Letters Required Anymore?
Yes, cover letters are still important. A cover letter allows you to present yourself in a positive light and explain why you are a good fit for the job. It’s also a chance to show off your personality and how excited you are about applying for the position (even if it seems like everyone else is excited too).
The most common question I get from clients is: How much should I write? The answer? As much as possible! If there is something that makes me stand out from all of the other candidates then I should highlight it here.
Why Do You Need A Cover Letter?
The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to the hiring manager. A cover letter should be personalized, but it also needs to demonstrate why you are a good fit for the job and company.
You can use your cover letter to explain how your skills and experience match up with the job description and requirements. You can also use it as an opportunity to explain why you’re interested in working for that company, or even why you chose this particular position over other opportunities if there are several openings available at different companies.
Make sure that you tailor each cover letter specifically for each job opportunity so that it reads as sincere and authentic, rather than generic and impersonal.
What Is The Difference Between A Cover Letter And An Application Letter?
A cover letter is a letter that accompanies your resume when you apply for a job. The purpose of this document is to explain why you are the right candidate for the position and why the employer should hire you. It also allows highlighting some of your main qualifications and abilities before they get lost in the shuffle of all those other resumes.
An application letter is similar, but it’s called a cover letter in the US, while in the UK it’s referred to as an application letter. Both are essentially made up of three parts:
The opening paragraph introducing yourself (the same as most business letters);
The middle section where you state why your skills match those required by the company; and
A closing paragraph thanking them for taking time out of their busy schedule to consider your application
Should I Include “References Available Upon Request” On My Cover Letter?
It’s almost impossible to find a job without including your references. So, it’s a good idea to include them in all of the places where you are sending your resume and cover letter.
You should ALWAYS include references on request, but there are times when it just makes sense not to list them for you (i.e., if the job listing says “no phone calls” or “no emails,” then don’t put your contact information in those places).
Should I Make My Name Bold And Larger Than The Rest Of The Text On My Cover Letter And Resume?
No. Your name should be in font size and color that is consistent with the rest of the text on your cover letter and resume, but it doesn’t need to be bolded or larger than the rest of the text.
No. Don’t put a box around your name, either, as this could make it look like you’re trying too hard to draw attention to yourself in an unprofessional way.
No. Don’t use all caps for your name either this is reserved for acronyms and proper nouns like “The United States of America.”
Nope! Don’t use a different font from what is used throughout your cover letter and resume this signals that you aren’t fully committed to creating one cohesive document (or portfolio) as opposed to separate documents cobbled together by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing yet (which isn’t true).
Is It Ok To Send A Cover Letter By Email As The Body Of The Email?
You can send a cover letter by email, but it isn’t recommended. As with an emailed resume, the email should be sent as an attachment (not in the body of the message). You can use Word or another word processing program to format it properly so there are no issues with formatting when it is opened by your potential employer.
What Format Should Your Cover Letter Be In?
It’s simple: A cover letter should be in a standard, professional format that is clear, easy to read, and concise. It should also be neat, but this doesn’t mean it has to look like it was written by your great-grandparent! The best way to make sure you’re writing a good cover letter is to keep the formatting simple.
Is It A Good Idea To Follow Up With An Employer After Submitting Your Resume And Cover Letter?
If you’ve submitted your resume and cover letter, it can be tempting to think that the process is over. After all, sending them isn’t any easier than actually interviewing or working at a company so why do employers require this extra step?
The answer is that they don’t have to. While most hiring managers will tell you that a thank-you note or call isn’t required, they might see it as an indicator of how much interest you have in the position. If you don’t contact them after submitting your application materials, they might assume that you weren’t interested enough in the job offer to make any further effort to secure it.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that every employer will expect a follow-up from every applicant only those who want to hear from other candidates beyond just their top pick.
But if an employer does ask for one (by including something along the lines of “please let us know if we can be of service anywhere else here at Acme Corporation), then showing some initiative by following up after submitting your application materials could help make sure your name stays on their radar until they’ve decided who gets offered what position(s).
It also helps things along if you’re able to show them some creativity in how exactly you choose
What Type Of Paper Should You Print Your Cover Letter On?
The type of paper you use to print your cover letter can make a big difference in how professional it looks. Not only that, but some types of paper are more appropriate than others for certain jobs.
In general, use good quality paper that’s thick and durable. Avoid thin paper because it will show the impression of your writing through the other side and possibly tear easily if folded or bent too many times.
It’s also important to consider whether the job requires an envelope or not if so, choose a brown business envelope rather than white so that it matches your application materials better.
How Many Pages Should My Cover Letter Be?
A cover letter should be no more than one page. If you’re including a resume, keep it short. Two pages max if you’ve got some impressive experience and achievements to share.
If you are including a portfolio or other documents that support your application, they can take up additional space on the page as needed. Remember: the purpose of a cover letter is to get someone’s attention so they’ll want to read your resume!
Do I Need To Write A Different Cover Letter For Each Job I Apply For?
Cover letters may seem like they’re a thing of the past, but they are still used. If you want to apply for a job online or through an online application form, they usually require you to submit one to show that you have read their requirements and are interested in the position.
But if you’re applying for positions that don’t require a cover letter, there’s no reason why you can’t just send an email with your resume attached instead of writing an entire letter.
However, if the job does require a cover letter then this document must be tailored specifically toward the role being applied for. Don’t just copy and paste from other applications or resumes; make sure each one has been written specifically for that particular job!
Are There Samples Of Effective Resumes And Cover Letters Available For Me To See Online Or In Books?
It’s a great idea to see examples of effective resumes and cover letters for yourself. You can find these online, in books, and even in magazines.
There are lots of places online where you can find resume and cover letter samples. For example, :* CareerBuilder has a large selection of examples that are categorized by profession.* Monster has an extensive database of sample resumes as well.
The U.S. Department of Labor offers tips on how to create your resume (and more) on its website.* If you’re looking for something more general, try Googling “good resume” or “effective cover letter.”
How Do I Sign Off On My Cover Letter If I Don’t Know Where The Job Opening Was Announced Or Who Will Be Reading My Materials?
While it is good to know who will be reading your cover letter, if you don’t know that information, address the cover letter to a person.
Address it to the hiring manager if you have the name of one; otherwise, address it to someone at Human Resources or another department that handles hiring decisions for the company. The more specific you can get in your cover letter, the better chance you have of getting noticed by a real person and not just an automated email system!
Where Do I Send My Resume And Cover Letter When Applying For A Job Online If The Company Isn’t Specifying Where To Send It?
If you’re applying for a job online and the company isn’t specifying where to send your resume or cover letter, here are some general guidelines on where to send it:
If there is an email address listed on the job posting that says something like “email@example.com,” then send it there.
If there’s no email address listed but they do say they want resumes and cover letters by email, send them there.
If there’s no email address and no indication of how they want applicants to submit their documents (just a form), then contact HR directly via phone or email asking for more information about how to apply for this position.
The same goes if you can’t find any information about who should be receiving these documents – contact HR again!
What Typeface, Font Size, And Margins Should I Use On My Resume And Cover Letter?
In the world of resume and cover letter design, there are a lot of rules. We asked career coaches and resume service professionals to weigh in on what they’ve found to be the most effective practices and why they work.
Here’s what they had to say
Back away from the Comic Sans and other informal fonts. “I’m not crazy about fonts like Papyrus or Swiss Cheese,” says career coach Laura Vanderkam.
They don’t have enough gravitas for something as important as a resume or cover letter.” Instead, she suggests using a serif font such as Garamond (which has small feet at the end of each letter) or Times New Roman (which is standard).
Keep it simple with size and margins: “You don’t want your letter looking like it belongs on an elementary school bulletin board,” says Josslyn Smith, executive director of The Foundation for Women’s Resources & Education.
She recommends keeping your letters at around 12-14 points big enough to be easily readable but not so big that they take up too much space on the page and leaving one-inch margins all around them so nothing gets lost inside them.
I hope this article has helped you understand the purpose of a cover letter and how to write one. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at any time!