Have you ever sent your resume to a company and found out when you followed up with the company representative that your information was either misunderstood, mishandled, or discarded? This is not an uncommon occurrence in today’s world where companies receive hundreds of resumes a day.

One of the best ways to guarantee that the hiring manager will actually see your resume is to make sure it is accompanied by a cover letter. The sole purpose of this one-page document is to personalize your resume and to introduce yourself to the company.

Cover letters must employ several key ingredients in order to accomplish this goal.

  • First, you must attract the reader’s attention by relating something of interest to them. This is typically whatever has triggered your interest in pursuing the company in the first place.
  • Secondly, you need to develop your reader’s interest by sharing your background, experience, or qualities which fulfill a need in the company.
  • Thirdly, you should validate your skills and abilities. A summary of your greatest achievements or accomplishments as they pertain to the position will assist in building your case for candidacy.
  • Lastly, a good cover letter will move the reader to action. Your objective is to entice the reader to view your resume and set up an interview. It is also effective to mention that you will be following up this information package with a call to determine if they have any questions about your background.

A good cover letter will always enhance your chances of preparing the way for the next step, the interview.