A cover letter is a sure fire way to get your resume looked at by human resources. This is the first step in branding who you are as a public relations practitioner or corporate communicator.
As a newbie or veteran, it’s important to have the right information for the company you’re interested in. Be sure to do the research on the company to see if it would be a perfect fit for you before you put a second thought into writing that cover letter.
Then ask yourself how much you know about the position. That will ensure your cover letter showcases your capabilities.
Some of the best cover letters I have come across show just that. Here are some helpful tips to get your cover letter read and resume noticed:
1. Research the company. This will help you generate a cover letter that gives you an edge
2. Put thought into content. A cover letter is a letter, keep it brief, but showcase your capabilities. This will entice HR into wanting to read your resume.
3. Follow directions. This is extremely important. If you are asked to send it in a specific format, and addressed to a specific individual, do just that. If you don’t, this is an easy way to have your resume pushed to the side.
4. Never send an attachment. Keep your cover letter in the body of the email. As you can imagine, many HR practitioners received hundreds of emails a day, which more than 50 percent are blind emails.
5. Always explain why you would be best suited for the position. This shows your interest most of all.
On a side note, please remember not to be informal. There should never be a “Hey there” or “Hi, Chris.” If there is a name attached to the job posting, please use Mr. or Ms., and if you are sending it blindly to HR, always address to the Hiring Manager. Even better, take the extra step to call the agency or company to find the best contact.
Remember, the cover letter is not obsolete or expendable. It really is the best way to showcase to a potential employer your full portfolio.