Video:How to Write a Cover Letterwith Michael Watkins
The cover letter for your resume is your first impression to land a job opening. Watch this how-to video from About.com to learn how to write a cover letter that will stand out and get you a job interview.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Write a Cover Letter
Hello I’m Michael Watkins for About.com, and today we’re going to give you tips for writing a cover letter that sets you apart.
Address the Cover Letter Appropriately
The first thing you should do when writing a cover letter is address your letter to the hiring manager. If for whatever reason this information isn’t available, you should address your letter to whom it may concern.
Keep the Cover Letter Brief
As far as the length of your cover letter, it should be approximately one page long, maybe two or three paragraphs. You don’t want to make it two or three pages, remember, you’re trying to get someone’s attention in a very short time. Use the inverted pyramid style of writing that most journalists use, where the most important information in your letter goes towards the top.
Keep the focus of your cover letter on the employer and how you can advance their interest. Remember, the employer already has your resume, don’t make this a rewrite of your resume. Make the cover letter interesting and show the employer you would be an asset to their company, and how you can help them progress.
Use Keywords in Cover Letters
Many large corporations now use computerized applicant tracking systems, so using keywords relevant to the position you’re applying for increases your chance of getting a call back. Highlight specific skills that directly relate to the position you’re applying for.
Proofread the Cover Letter
Double-check your letter for spelling and grammar errors; these simple mistakes can derail even the most qualified applicant. Last, but certainly not least, remember to thank your potential employer for their time and indicate any ways in which you plan on doing a follow up.
For more information, visit us online at careers.about.com.