With the amount of people unemployed across the country it's hard to stand out in a crowd. Besides having a well written resume it's also important to have an eye-catching cover letter. Focus on your strengths and why the company should hired you over many other applicants. The cover letter should compliment your resume and shouldn't duplicate what you already have in your resume. Modify your cover letter for each position you apply for so it doesn't look like a form letter. Instead tailor it specifically for the position you are applying for and focus on your strengths specific to that position.
Cover your bases
Start off your cover letter with where you came across the position you are applying for and how many years experience you have in the field you are applying for. "I came across the position for Web Developer on your website and would be a great fit." Make sure you include your contact information at the top of your cover letter including address, phone and e-mail address. Always make sure you are checking your junk mail folder for replies because you wouldn't want to miss out on an interview.
Make it relevant and on point
Now list your skills that match with the position you are applying for to show why you should be considered over other applicants. List these as bullet points and underline each one and include about 4-6 points. You need to give them reason to call you and offer you an interview by standing out in a crowd. Point out your past accomplishments or problem solving skills in previous jobs and how they benefited the company.
- I created a simplified process that reduced company waste by $25,000 a year.
- I created and maintain the popular techie blog WebGuyGuru.
- I created, own and maintain the website MyVolunteer.com which has had over 3,000 visits year-to-date.
- I am highly familiar with search engine optimization and internet marketing techniques.
Don't put stuff like "I'm very friendly with people" as a skill. It's pretty much a given that they are looking for someone that's friendly with people. What skills do you offer that are relevant to the position and that others might not have?
Seal the deal with appeal
Finish off with a reason why you should be picked and also how you will follow-up with the potential employer. If the posting list any information on salary then include a brief expectation of your salary requirements.
"I am confident that my skills will make me a great match and look forward to meeting with you in person."
Save your resume and cover letters as a PDF and sent that instead of a Word document. Most everyone has the ability to read a PDF on any computer and not everyone is running Microsoft Word on their PC.
Use descriptive words that stand out like "confident", "eager", "leader", "energetic" or similar words.