Part 1 of a 2 part series
By Alys Sadler
Today a client called…
…to ask me to review her cover letter. I agreed, and what I found was that she had a full page of information describing her resume. Wrong:)
It’s interesting that for the most part, what I proof read in people’s cover letters, that they write, is just that. It’s a detailed explanation of the information found in the resume. Now, there’s no reason to read the resume – oops! I just want to clarify the purpose of the cover letter.
The cover letter to a resume…
….is simply a way to draw the reader’s interest into reading the resume, the resume is to draw the interest enough to get an invitation to an interview and the interview performance is how the candidate gets the job offer. That’s the sequential purpose of those application components.
The cover letter has 3-basic parts.
Unless otherwise asked for in the job posting, the cover letter has three paragraphs. The first paragraph is to inform the reader what job title you’re seeking, where you found the job posting, and the invitation to read the attached resume.
The second paragraph is to engage the reader with information that shows them what you can do for the company based on what is important in that position that has been written about in the posting. It’s imperative that you use the job posting information to know what is important enough to the reader for them to want to read your letter. In just a few short sentences, this is the opportunity for you to tell the reader why they want to read your resume.
This brings me to the point…
…of knowing the information in the job posting in order to respond to the posting through what you say in the second paragraph of the cover letter, short and sweet. It’s an invitation to the resume, not a biography of all the work in your history of employment with every detail!
The third paragraph is simply asking for the interview to explore your qualifications and the position in greater detail. That’s it.
Love and light,