In most cases a cover letter is not required. Job postings usually don't mention cover letter as a requirement, they may just ask for sending resumes, sometimes along with application forms. You can just submit your best resume and still get interview. However, in today's highly competitive job market, you cannot ignore anything that makes your edge. Whenever applicable, you should always send your resume with a well crafted cover letter. Cover letter is a good tool to help your resume shine, therefore you should prepare it and use it wisely. The following tips help you write an effective cover letter.
(1) Make it short and straightforward. Half page to 3 quarter page long is good enough.
(2) Who to address - If you know the person's name, address your cover letter to him/her. Otherwise address to "Dear Hiring Manager".
(3) Write with confidence. Build your image with positive impressions: -- hard-working, self-motivated, highly skilled, a lot of experience, etc.
(4) Promote your skills and experience. Repeat your core experience from your resume: database, programming, systems administration, whatever they are, get them there.
(5) Reassure what you can do for potential employer and insist that you can make contributions: help them make more, help their client succeed, think what you can do for them and say so.
(6) Ending your cover letter by calling to action - ask for scheduling an interview.
Yes, you can deliver all the messages described above in a less than one page cover letter. The following is a cover letter example for an IT consultant to look for opening positions within a consulting firm.
Cover Letter Sample
|Dear Hiring Manager:|
If you are looking for self-motivated hard-working professional with extensive experience and latest skills in information technologies, please contact me.
As a senior IT consultant, I have proven expertise in software development, database design and administration, enterprise system architect and integration, e-business solutions, and many more. My up-to-date skills are certified by Oracle, Sun, and Microsoft.
With proven ability to deliver high quality products and services on schedule and under budget, I am confident that I can make a significant contribution to your company’s competitiveness and profitability in the marketplace.
Even though currently employed, I’m ready for new challenges. Would you please schedule an interview and let's discuss how I can make contributions to your firm and help your clients succeed?
Thank you very much!