You may spend hours getting your resume into order for the job application but could easily scupper any chances you may have if your cover letter doesn’t do its job.
Very often your cover letter and resume are the first contact you have with your potential employer and yet you may have about 30 seconds to get their attention and arouse their interest.
There are therefore some crucial principles you must follow. Your cover letter has to get attention, create interest and show how you are such a strong candidate that they feel they must read your resume. It’s then the resumes job to make sure they call you for interview.
Opinions vary on how much time you have at this crucial stage. One thing is certain, not very much. Some recent statistics bear this out. It is claimed that on average employers spend only 10-15 seconds on each resume and that 82-94% of applicants are rejected at the resume stage. Turn that round. 6-18% are called for interview.
In the competitive jobs market you will easily get 100 applications so the whole point of the cover letter and resume is to get you in the top six.
How do you go about it?
* Positive language.
* Action words
* Prove your resume matches the job requirements.
When you are applying for a job in response to an advertisement you must pick out the key skills and experience that are required for the position and clearly demonstrate how you match them.
In order to attract the most suitable applicants job advertisements are very carefully thought out and worded. Your cover letter therefore must show that you have understood the needs for the job being advertised and it must summarize why your application should be given serious consideration.
Exactly the same principles should be followed in the resume where you have a little more space to bring out the detail. Note; little!
Key cover letter points;
* Quote job title and reference number at start of letter.
* If the person you are responding to has used their Christian (given) name you can use this in addressing them. Be careful to not to be too familiar.
* Try to start with a dynamic opening sentence that gets their attention.
* Demonstrate your energy and motivation.
* Demonstrate you understand the business and the need for the recruitment.
* Illustrate that your are achievement oriented and try to match some past quantified achievements to the job being advertised.
* Show personal motivation and desire to belong and grow.
If you can achieve all of this you will more than likely get your resume read. The resume then has to continue in similar vein and reinforce all the matches, skills, experience, reliability and your scope to develop so that you get to the interview.