Parenthood is full of surprises but were you ever expecting that you would be looking for a new job?
Perhaps you’re a stay-at-home parent ready to back into the workforce. Or maybe it’s just time for a career change.
No matter the reason for seeking a new job, you’ll have to brush up your resume and re-learn how to write a cover letter!
Resumes are easy but cover letters can be difficult to write. What do you include? How do you word it?
Worry not! In this post, I’m going to give you some amazing tips to help get your cover letter up to snuff so you can land the job of your dreams!
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is more or less a sales letter where the product you are trying to sell is you! It’s a way to show the employer why hiring you would be beneficial to their company/organization.
Your letter will need to demonstrate your specific qualifications and how they relate to the position you are applying for.
This gives you an opportunity to stand out from the competition as well as personalize your resume.
Step #1: Keep It Short
Remember to keep your cover letter short and to the point.
You are not the only person applying for the position and chances are that the employer or hiring manager has a stack of resumes and cover letters to go through.
While recruiting managers and employers want a cover letter, they will probably lose interest after the first two sentences if the letter doesn’t grab their attention right away.
Make sure your cover letter is no more than a few paragraphs long and fits onto one page. Anything longer than that will likely be glossed over and ignored.
Step #2: Start With an Introduction
Your first paragraph should be an introduction that addresses the letter to a specific person (the person hiring for the position). Be sure to use the correct spelling and correct title.
The introduction should also include a short introduction to yourself and your reason for contacting them. Explain exactly why you want to work for their company/organization.
It also helps to do a little research about the company, especially its mission and values (which can be found on most company websites), and include this in your introduction.
Step #3: Incorporate Highlights From Your Resume
In the second paragraph, include highlights from your resume that demonstrate how qualified you are for the position but avoid writing out your resume word-for-word.
Only highlight the parts that pertain to the position you are applying for. This is where you really sell yourself in your cover letter!
You don’t need to go into great detail about your work or volunteer history. Just match your experience and skills to the employer’s needs to show them that you are exactly what they are looking for.
Step #4: Ask For An Interview
At the end of your cover letter, in your closing paragraph, you should straight up ask for an interview. That’s the whole point of a cover letter, right? To get an interview!
Let the employer know that you are readily available and tell them to expect a call from you at a specific time to further discuss the job opportunity.
Be sure to include your contact information as well.
Step #5: Say “Thank You”
Because employers don’t tend to make it to the end of many cover letters, be sure to show them your appreciation for doing so.
Simply thank them for their time and let them know that you look forward to meeting with them.
Can I Use a Cover Letter Template To Make Things Easier?
As tempting as it may be to use a free cover letter template that you can find anywhere online, I wouldn’t recommend doing this.
Writing the cover letter yourself is much more personable than using a generic sample letter because you can customize your letter to that specific company and position.
If you were to send just a basic letter, chances are it will be tossed aside.
How Should I Format My Cover Letter?
While you can take the design of your cover letter to many interesting and creative places, your best bet is to keep it simple!
Stick to a basic letter format with no added bells and whistles like graphics, funky fonts, or strange margins. Keep it neat, basic, and easy on the eye.
Also, make sure you double-check your spelling and grammar. While the employer may not be all that picky about your writing skills, mistakes can stick out like a sore thumb and distract the reader.
It’s Not That Hard!
Writing your own cover letter is not nearly as hard or intimidating as it seems.
Keep in mind these simple steps and your cover letter will be opening doors for countless opportunities!