The need to accompany a professional resume with a cover letter is as basic as offering a handshake, signing a card, saying thank you or the greeting at the beginning or end of a phone call. All may be taken for granted as a common courtesy, but you can be assured that by omitting any of the above, you will miss an opportunity to generate a positive and lasting impression. A cover letter sets the stage by enticing the reader with a personal connection and a professional introduction that is expected when submitting a resume. A generic letter addressed to the “resident” or a cover letter addressed “to whom it may concern” or “Senior Marketing Manager” is no match for one which is personally addressed.
A cover letter can be a powerful selling tool if it is professional, personally addressed, contains pertinent information to the company and position and includes highlights of your accomplishments. All are criteria for each type of cover letter. Here are a few more points to ensure your cover letter is a powerful selling tool:
Format your cover letter consistently with your resume regarding the font type and header Include full contact information as found in your resume
Adjust right and left margins alike and leave consistent white space at top and bottom Check for spelling or grammatical errors
Obtain a contact name and full address for the recipient
Clearly introduce yourself and the reason you are submitting your resume Highlight accomplishments from your resume that are pertinent to the position Do not include information that is not available for validation in your resume Note information about the company to reinforce your interest and due diligence Choose industry/job related keywords that are current
Advise if you are willing to relocate
Recheck for spelling or grammatical errors