When writing a cover letter to be submitted with your resume, consider what an employer or recruiter goes through and how many other cover letters and resumes they will read along with yours. Let me first begin by telling you that a cover letter is mandatory when submitting your resume to any company. The only circumstance under which there is an exception is if your resume will be hand delivered, you were told not to include a cover letter and the job is guaranteed to you. For most people looking for jobs in this weakened economy, this is unlikely the case.
There are several rules to which you should adhere with very little room for compromise. The main thing to remember is not to overdo it. Who wants to read a two page cover letter? Recruiters barely read a two page resume, more over a cover letter that length. Below is a simple format to follow when writing your cover letter.
I am submitting my resume for consideration for the Licensed Practical Nursing position located in New Haven as advertised on jobsite.com.
This introduction sentence is short and to the point. You want to immediately identify the position you are applying for, where it is located and how you found out about the vacancy. Alternatively, you can note that the position was referred to you by an employee and provide the name of the person who told you about the job. Noting the location on the resume is highly suggested, especially if the company has numerous locations or several positions open. Additionally, a job number can be referenced if one is available.
I offer professional etiquette along with solid communication, technical and analytical skills. As a highly organized, efficient and customer service oriented individual, I work well with the patients, medical personnel with little direction.
This paragraph grants you the opportunity to note skills and qualities you might have left off your resume and/ or want to highlight before they get to the resume. There are only two sentences in this example, but you can always add more as needed without weighing down the cover letter.
I am interested in working for ABC Healthcare because I know your company is known for great patient care. I would appreciate the opportunity to develop, strengthen and establish my medical career with your organization. Were you to hire me for the captioned position, I believe we would mutually benefit.
Letting the employer know why you want to work for their company never hurts. It will be impressive for them to know that you are familiar with the company and did your homework. This example is for an entry level position and elaborates what the candidate’s career goals are with the company. She finishes the paragraph by letting the employer know that she would be a good fit for the position, but both parties would benefit if she gets the job.
Should my qualifications and experience meet your requirements, please contact me to schedule an interview. If given the opportunity, I will prove to be a valuable asset to your existing team of professionals. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. You may contact me at (203) 887-0000 or via email at youremail@freemaildotcom.
Your concluding paragraph should accomplish the following: extend an invitation to be contacted for additional information or a job interview; thank the employer for reading the cover letter and resume and provide your contact information for follow up. In the past I have suggested my cover letters include a specific date and time the candidate will contact an employer to follow up. Only put this in a cover letter if you’re sure you will be able to reach the correct person at the said date and time.
Want more information to improve your job search? Check out our Job and Career Guide page with more My Career resources.