|Although a strong resume can speak for itself, sometimes it speaks too softly. You can often raise the volume and level of interest by adding a strong cover letter, even if you are applying online. |
A cover letter is your opportunity to humanize the process and let the screener learn more about you as a person. It is a chance to show your enthusiasm, energy, and interest in the company and the position itself.
Structurally, try to address the letter to the screener by name, and keep the letter clear, concise, and never more than one page. The letter should not be a summary of your resume. Rather than summarize, it should tantalize.
Show the reader you have done some homework about the company, and use language that links your skills and experience to the job itself. If there is relevant information that is not mentioned in your resume, such as an impending move to the city where the company is located, be sure to include that in your cover letter.
At the same time, there are a few topics to avoid, such as salary and problems on previous jobs, along with expressions that have the ring of a clichÈ. The final touch is to check the spelling and grammar carefully. A well-written cover letter can help open the door, while a poorly constructed one will slam it closed.