COVER LETTER GUIDE
You should always include a cover letter along with your resume. The cover letter is often the first impression that an employer has of you - and often a first impression is a lasting impression! Don't spend so much time on your resume that you do a rush job on your cover letter. Prepare your cover letter with as much care and detail as you do your resume! We recognize that not all recruiters take the time to read cover letters, but many do (some even consider it more important than your resume) so why take a chance by leaving it out?
Cover letters should answer the all-important question: Why should we hire you? You must do some research before writing the cover letter to be able to customize your letter to meet the needs of the prospective employer. Show that you understand their organization and industry ... don't send form letters. Of course it is possible that some employers will skip the cover letter and head straight to the resume first, but don't take that chance and risk blowing your chance by cutting corners!
Cover letters should usually be no more than one page in length. The introductory paragraph states why you are writing and how you heard about the position. The middle paragraphs (may be 1-3 paragraphs) must relate your skills and experiences to the employer's needs. Choose the most important skills/abilities needed for the position and be sure to show where you demonstrated these. Show how you would be able to contribute to the organization, not how the position will help you! Try to demonstrate that you have an interest in and understanding of the organization. The final paragraph is used to re-state your interest in the position, thank the employer for their consideration and request an interview.
CanadianCareers.com has compiled a list of top 10 tips for cover letters:
Make the employer want to meet with you by showing how your skills and experience meet the needs of the employer. It takes time to create effective targetted cover letters, but it is definitely worth the time and effort.
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