What is a cover letter? Obviously, it is a letter. This letter gives your employer a background of its proceeding documents (resumes, bio data, etc) for possible employment. It gives the reader (in this case, the employer) an introduction on what to expect in the proceeding documents.
Since it is an introduction (that’s why it is called a cover letter) of your job application documents, it must be written as professionally as possible. This is because you want to impress your employer from the start so that you will be his choice for the job you seek. The following are points to ponder in writing a professional cover letter.
A cover letter is written in a one whole page. Thus you may want to include important information about yourself. Avoid irrelevant information, for they will fill valuable space (which is intended for the most important ones) in your one-page cover letter. Be general in your cover letter. Reserve the specifics in the resume.
In writing a professional cover letter, it is obvious to write it with correct spelling and grammar. Come to think of this: do you expect a professional to be wrong, especially in the most basic terms? Consider proper spelling of words, word association (like subject-verb agreement), etc. Also please use simple words that can be easily understood. Don’t use highfaluting words that cause “nosebleeds” to readers. Thus using such terms will bring you to nothing.
Unlike resumes, cover letters are written in a first person perspective. Thus the use of the terms “I”, “my”, and the like are to be maximized. A cover letter is a personal introduction about you. Thus you must personalize its form.
Generally, a cover letter is composed of three paragraphs. Each paragraph contains specific information about you.
An introduction of the self must be contained in the first paragraph. It tells about you as yourself. It also tells about your desire to work with the company you are applying to and why the company wants your services. It must be short, but not hurried.
The second paragraph includes your professional career history and educational background. It must be included in this paragraph the skill, experiences, educational background, and job history acquired prior to the job you are applying for.
The third and last paragraph must include the opportunities that the company has in having you. You must also include a sentence which expresses an appointment time with the company.
Landing an interview is exciting. Unfortunately, the hard work you put into applications and cover letters is now behind you and you must wow your potential boss with your smooth talking and appearance.
Dressing for an interview is just as critical as what you say during the meeting. If you arrive looking sloppy or unprofessional, the interviewer will be getting a clear message that the interview simply doesn’t matter to you. No matter what your personal comfort level with professional attire may be, be sure you know how to dress for an interview.
Once you’ve landed an interview for a job or career in a professional environment, you must show up looking the part. Even if the office is casual, you are not yet part of the office staff, so you must dress on par with management or even above management.
This means you should be wearing a suit, complete with suitable accessories such as panty hose for ladies or neckties for gentlemen.
Select a suit that is dark, but not necessarily black. If you don’t have a full business suit, it would be an excellent investment for the future. When you are shopping, be sure to buy a coordinated dress shirt, although white or ivory will always do, and a mens ties in a muted color or scheme. Dress shoes and dark socks complete the attire.
Remove your jacket while driving keep it from getting wrinkled, and be sure your tie is tied correctly and hanging at the right length. It should touch the top of your belt buckle. Tying ties and having it lie correctly can be irksome, so practice a few times before the day of or get help from a friend or family member. Before entering the interview, pull your jacket back on and button the top button. The bottom button should not be fastened.
Ladies have a few additional options for basic attire. They may wear a pants suit or a traditional skirted suit. A classic dress may be acceptable as well, but be careful not to be too casual or even too formal. Jewelry should be kept small and classic and any makeup should be carefully applied and tastefully limited as to not distract from the interview itself.
Ladies should wear professional shoes, meaning no sandals or even open toed shoes. Pumps or classic flats are acceptable, as are boots with a pants suit. Even if you despise them, pantyhose should be worn with dresses or skirts as they are professional and bare legs are not.