Yes, your resume is crucial to landing the job interview. And yes,
it’s true that the employer will only take a few seconds to glance
at your resume before deciding whether it goes in the consider pile
or the rejected pile. Yes, there’s a lot of pressure to make your
resume stand out. But let me ask you, how does your resume get even
that short look from the employer?
That’s right! Your resume cover letter has to be top notch. It’s
the very first thing they know about you. If your resume cover letter
doesn’t wow them, they’ll toss your resume and the cover letter in
the reject pile without even looking at the resume. You may have
just completed the world’s best resume but if the resume cover letter
doesn’t match up, that resume may never get read.
So, please don’t write a resume cover letter that goes something like
“Dear Hiring Manager,
Enclosed is my resume in response to your ad in the classfied section
of the Super Duper Journal from this Sunday.
No way. That’s just not going to cut it. The resume cover letter has
to wow them just like the resume does.
If it’s at all possible, you have to find out who your resume will be sent
to. You do not want something like ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ or ‘To Whom It
May Concern.’ Address your resume cover letter to a real person.
In the first sentence or two explain how you learned of the position. This
will let the reader know how well you know the company or position.
Now you will want to draw the reader’s attention to your resume by pointing
out your top two or three qualifications for this particular position. Don’t
rewrite your resume but summarize the most important points.
Proofread! Proofread! Proofread! I know it seems silly that your future
employment could hinge on a typo or the use of the wrong word (you’re instead
of your, for example) but it can and does. Let’s face it, if you can’t take
the time to proofread a simple one page letter, what kind of mistakes are
you going to make on the job? Mistakes that could cost the company thousands,
if not millions of dollars. An employer won’t take that chance. Give your
resume cover letter to someone you trust to proofread it as well. It’s a lot
harder to see our own mistakes.
Keep these simple points in mind and you’ll be writing an effective resume
cover letter in no time.
Learn more about resume cover letters