Writing Dynamic Cover Letters
1. Marketing Preparation
o » Determine your strength and weaknesses (who you are)
o » Determine your job and career interests (what you want)
o » Determine the career path you are taking (where do you want to go)
o » Determine potential employers (where do you want to work)
o » Get your tools ready - resumes, cover letters, portfolios (market yourself)
o » Update your database for new job leads from network (contacts)
2. Keys To Successful Cover Letters
o » First point of contact - good first impression
o » Basics in letter writing - open with a topic sentence and followed by its embodiments.
o » Use action verbs and not more than two pages.
o » Get the addressee's name, position, department, and organisation right.
o » A powerful first paragraph - briefly and concisely explain what you want.
o » Relate an objective stating clearly role play in job applied.
o » Respond to the requirements promptly and directly by explaining how you meet up to the job expectations and why you are suitable to the job.
o » Introduction of yourself, simple and to the point not complicated or sophisticated sentences.
o » Focus on key accomplishments derived from knowledge, skills and attributes.
o » Should not be too full of facts that should have been covered by the resume.
o » Incorporate an excellent resume to it.
o » End with a request for an appointment (interview), at time convenient to the interviewer.
3. Common Mistakes To Avoid
o » Ensure objective is clearly stated - do not fail.
o » Emphasize more on achievements and qualify - do not functionalise by duties and responsibilities
o » Forego lengthy and use of big words - two page simple texts will do.
o » Do not submit cluttered accompanying resume - have a structured, easy to read format.
o » First time right, every time right on grammars and spellings - edit and proofread before submission.
Three Basic Types of Cover Letters
1. Specific Reply
There are 5 (five) key elements in the specific reply to an advertisement:
a. Position Applying For
· » Indicate keenness to get the job
· » Show enthusiasm
I have always wanted to be able to finally expose myself to a full set of accounts practice. The brief position description that was aired/that was advertised came as a tremendous surprise. It was all that I was looking for, couple with the fact that it will report directly to the Accounts & Administration Manager. I am sure being a fast learner and given the opportunity with the right guidance from the superior, I would be able to excel further.
b. Interest in the Job
· » Quote the position as subject header.
· » Quote the reference, if there is one in the advertisement.
· » Mention where you saw the job advertised (newspaper and date)
· » If through some other ways i.e. other Medias, cite them.
Your advertisement aired over the local radio / in The Star dated January 23rd, 2001, pertaining to the vacancy for a Sales Executive, refers. It really caught my interest when I heard / read the specific requirements mentioned. I believe that it augurs well with what I am having and would appreciate if I can be considered for it.
c. Suitability for the Job
· » Reasons why you are suitable for the job.
· » In particular give a very brief summary of the most important details form your resume.
· » Make sure some cross-referencing is identified so reader would not overlook.
· » Your task is to work out what employer is looking for and to immediately convince that you are right for the job.
· » Here decide on most impressive points and concentrate on them
Is it your experience?
You ask for someone with initiative. I think my current employer would agree that increasing sales by 35% in three years is enough initiative! I firmly believe that I could perform better in larger company with a more varied range of products and wider markets.
d. Availability for Interview
· » Statement on when for both parties.
· » Willingness to provide references upon request.
Finally, I shall be available for an interview every Wednesday from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. morning. However, if that timing is inconvenient I leave it up to your organisation to decide. I shall provide two referees prior to or after the interview upon request.
e. Any Other Requirements from Advertisement.
· » Job specification / man specification - tailor your letter to its requirements
a. Good general background and supervisory experience - Production Manager
b. Communicative abilities and self confidence - Sales Manager
2. General Vacancy
Whenever recruiting is being done or qualities which company are looking for is not known.
First step :
· » Do research on company's area of specialization (well-known for)
· » Tailor your letter accordingly
Second step :
· » Suggest you are interested in the company
· » With background suitable for it
Third step :
· » Stand out in the crowd and persuade company's interest in you
Fourth step :
· » Address to HR Manager or highest position in the organization
1) » Have enclosed all necessary components, specimens of previous work if called for
2) » Double check names / titles and advertisement again
3) » Spelling, details, dates, typing and grammar must be accurate
4) » Covering letter and enclosures are kept in right-sized enveloped
§ » Appears clean
§ » References cited on envelope as advertised
§ » Photographs to be attached
3. Electronic Means
- » Refer to screen shot of jobmarket.com.my portal, log on cover letter
- » Follow specific reply cover letter