Posted by Judy Velasquez on Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 00:00
Most believe "you can’t judge a book by its cover," and that usually holds true. However, there is a time when your "cover" is an important asset that can help you instantly stand out and have the hiring manager wanting to read on.
If you’re actively looking for a new job as an administrative professional, an employer’s first view of you is your cover letter, from which he or she will promptly judge you prior to looking over your resume.
Make an impact from the start of your letter and keep the hiring manager interested enough to review your resume.
Cover Letter Tips: The Do's and Don'ts
DO your research on the company.
DON’T send cut and paste cover letters.
Do your homework and show your enthusiasm for the role. Hiring managers only get excited about you when you demonstrate excitement to work for them. Prove you’ve done your research and it will create a great first impression, moving you to the top of the “yes” pile.
DO share examples that highlight your experience and relate to the job description.
DON’T repeat things already on your .
Many people will pull from wording already on their resumes, but hiring managers do not want to read the same thing twice. Your cover letter is an opportunity to share past examples that feature your skills and knowledge, and how they are a great fit to the company and the desired position.
DO keep your letter concise and persuasive.
DON’T be too wordy.
A well-written cover letter does not take the place of your resume; it simply complements it and inspires the hiring manager to consider you. In your cover letter, give the reasons why YOU are the ideal candidate – someone that an employer can’t pass up and is encouraged to meet.
DO spell-check your cover letter.
DON’T rush to send it off.
Proofread your cover letter carefully to check spelling and grammar usage are correct. If you have made a grammatical error or misspelled a word, consider your application invalid. In other words – avoid the “no” stack.
How to Write a Good Cover Letter
Try this easy-to-follow cover letter guide:
- Dear Mr./Ms. <manager’s last name>,
Paragraph 1 (intro):
- Express your interest in the job.
- Give the reason(s) you want to work for the organization.
Paragraph 2 (summary of qualifications):
- Provide a statement about how your work experience and skills meet the job requirements.
- Provide an anecdotal example of how your experience can be a valuable contribution to the open position.
Paragraph 3 (closing):
- Address additional qualifications that the job may require, such as excellent organizational and coordination skills, ability to be a collaborative team player, proven experience in meeting deadlines, and outstanding skills in managing calendars, travel/meeting arrangements and office software applications.
- Add a statement that you look forward to the opportunity to meet and discuss your background and knowledge, and how you can make a positive impact on the organization.
- End with your contact information.
Like a good book, your cover letter should be a good read that makes you a stand out among the others who are vying for the position. Once you have the employer’s attention, strive to keep that momentum going through the interview process. The articles below can help.
- What to Wear to an Interview
- Job Interview Questions to Ask – And Not Ask – Employers
- How to Handle Challenging Interview Situations
Did you find this information valuable to your job search efforts? Please let us know in the comments below.