Writing a cover letter to go with your resume is a crucial step in the application process. While the resume provides hard facts and figures of your past achievements, the cover letter is used to provide a personal, friendly introduction to your potential new employer. With this in mind, it’s important that you take the time to craft a cover letter that is accurate, concise and specific to the company it’s addressed to. Although this can be a difficult and tedious process, there are a plethora of resources available to help job seekers with the cover letter-writing process.
The Internet is an invaluable resource when it comes to finding great examples of resumes and cover letters. While you’ll want to take care in order to avoid plagiarism, a job seeker can gain a great deal of insight into the cover letter-writing process simply by viewing what others have done in the past. Moreover, you may even uncover a brand new strategy for tackling your own cover letter.
If you are addressing your cover letter to a specific company or individual, you can take advantage of the Internet to do some preliminary research on the organization in question. This will let you tailor your cover letter to specific skills, points or past achievements that may improve your odds of landing that dream job.
Although not every company has a website, most do. Even in the absence of an official website, most companies operating today maintain some sort of blog or social media presence. Such sites can be a goldmine of information when it comes to researching a company before beginning the application process.
Using your peers as a springboard for ideas regarding your cover letter is a great way to begin the writing process. If possible, try to consult with friends or acquaintances that are already employed in your desired industry, company or position. Discovering how they wrote their own cover letters can go a long way in deciding the approach you take when writing yours.
Specialized writing workshops that focus on the resume-writing process are often held at local community colleges, university campuses and even high schools. While such classes typically revolve around the resume itself, the information learned can certainly be applied to a cover letter, too. Depending on the scope of the class, some may even cover the letter-writing process.
Industry Journals and Magazines
Depending on the exact industry you are in, you may be able to glean some helpful advice from an industry journal or magazine. Like some of the resources that can be found online, journals and magazines may even provide you with samples of cover letters that have been successful in the past.
Tradeshows and Conferences
Industry-specific tradeshows and conferences can also be a great resource when crafting your cover letter. Most are frequented by industry insiders, company representatives and community officials, any of which may be able to provide you with some solid advice regarding your cover letter. If possible, bring a copy of your current cover letter in for a critique. Doing so could help you uncover flaws, mistakes or even new strategies that can be used when rewriting the letter.
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