Getting your resume noticed over other applicants will require a well written cover letter to get the attention of the hiring manager. When should you send a cover letter you ask? Every time that you send out a resume, a tailored one page cover letter should accompany it.
The purpose of the cover letter is to get your resume noticed and the most effective way to do that is to tailor your cover letter to the job that you are applying for. The cover letter should portray your fit for the job as well as how you can fit the needs of the employer.
Your resume is only minimally tailored to the position that you are applying for and is used over and over again each time that you apply for a job. The importance of a tailored cover letter is that it personalizes you to the position and gets your resume noticed.
Put your personal brand on your cover letter by differentiating yourself from other applicants using an introductory cover letter, tailored to the job opening, that tells where you want to work and why you want to work there. This will get your resume noticed.
Always open your cover letter by directing the attention to a specific person or department head and avoid the general salutation, “TO Whom It May Concern”, if you want the hiring manager to know that you are interested enough in the job to research the company.
Keep your cover letter brief and interesting. The first sentence is the most important and should state why you are applying for the job. Include in the first paragraph something interesting about the company that you found out during your research that will get their attention.
In the following two paragraphs mention one or two of your accomplishments that will address the needs of the employer. Make the reader want to meet you. Offer presentation of evidence or examples of your experience at a scheduled interview.
Present yourself in a positive manner through your choice of words and while listing positive expectations by marketing your strengths and attributes. Encourage further reading of your qualifications on the enclosed resume and display your desire for the job.
In closing, state the action that you will take to follow up on your application. Give a specific date and time range as well as your method of follow up. Show your initiative and eagerness to contact them without being inappropriate or domineering.