In order for your letter to be at its most efficient (for short, getting the reader's attention), it must follow the basic guidelines of a business letter.
A business letter addresses three general issues. These are:
– why you are writing, indicated in the first paragraph
– what you can provide or offer to the company, indicated in the second paragraph
– how you will follow up, indicated in the third paragraph.
Let's start with the points that are located in the first paragraph. Why are you writing to them in the first places? There are some cases where a friend referred you to a possible employee. Make sure that you state this so that it encourages your reader to continue reading.
If you are responding to a job posting you saw online or on the newspaper, specify which position interests you. This is also your chance to let the reader know how enthusiast you are with this position. The credentials you mention must match the qualifications that they are looking for.
Then we proceed with what you can offer. When you are answering to an ad, you have to specifically pinpoint your qualities that match well with the qualifications they listed. Focusing on your experiences and abilities that are related to the position you are applying for gives you the edge among your competition.
Your cover letter must express not only a vast amount of interest in the position, but also your credibility. When written right, this will catch the attention of the reader, who is your potential employer. When he likes what he reads, then there is a chance you get called back for a job interview.
Finally, the last part of the cover letter is the closing. Here you end it with how you will follow up. You can close it by re -ating your interest in the opening. This is also where you let the reader / employer know how to reach you by putting down your phone number and your email address.
You can also try inquiring about a phone interview. Do not be come off too strong though. You can mention this in a subtle way by saying that you will be following up by phone and setting up the appointment at the employer's most convenient time. Make sure that you do call when you say would.
But there are some incidences when an employer does not allow phone calls. If this is the case, then your best effort to have a shot at the position is to personally drop by the office. At least in this way, you can confirm that all the materials you sent to eh company were received. It also gives you the assurance that you completed your application.
Here is an important point to remember:
If you are applying for a position outside the geographical area of the employer, specifically specific the town you'll be staying at at that given time. In this way, it is easier for the employer to meet up with you if he likes what he reads on your cover letter.
You also have more chance bagging the job if you pinpoint your references. Sometimes, these are attached to the resume. Sometimes, this information is available upon the potential employer's request. Either way, you must have writing samples or portfolio that will back up every claim written on your letter.