13 Januari 2009

Check List untuk Cover Letter Anda

Checklist for Cover Letter Success

While an impeccable resume will definitely stand out, it is only 50 percent of what can get you that job. The other half is an impeccable cover letter.

People often spend long, excruciating hours poring over their resume. Finally satisfied, they send it to the employer and sit back, waiting for good news and often getting disappointed. While an impeccable resume will definitely stand out, it is only 50 percent of what can get you that job. The other half is an impeccable cover letter.

Experts admonish job seekers to always include a cover letter with their resume, even if the want ad may not have specifically asked for it. The cover letter is a powerful marketing medium in which to underscore your suitability for the position, something the resume cannot quite accomplish on its own. A good cover letter allows you to explain how your qualifications, experience and skills can contribute to the company’s goals and growth.

To ensure a results-oriented cover letter, we’ve created a checklist you can use to guide you in writing.

Is your cover letter addressed to a particular person?
Be sure to cite the name of the hiring official in your salutation. Don’t take the easy way out and write “Dear Sir/Madam,” “Gentlemen,” “Sirs,” “Mr. President” or worse, “To Whom It May Concern.” Your letter may just reach a most unconcerned person who’ll throw it in the dust bin. If you don’t know who to write to, find out through research, networking and even calling the company and making discreet inquiries. Warning: Don’t blow it by spelling the name incorrectly.

Is it brief and to the point?
Limit your cover letter to one page of up to five paragraphs at most (each paragraph having from one to three sentences). For brevity and conciseness, use simple language and action verbs. Remove all superfluous words, and be extremely wary about fancy phrases and complex sentence structures if you’ve not perfected the art of writing. Avoid cliches such as “Enclosed please find my resume” which just eat space that can be better utilized.

Is the opening paragraph an attention-grabber?
With the mountain of resumes the recruiter has to dig through, you usually have only 15 seconds to convince him to read through. That said, it’s important that what you say in your first paragraph should be of great interest to the employer. One way to do this is to highlight your main skills as they apply to the job, or to mention your knowledge of the company and tie this information in with the skills or qualities that make you the perfect candidate.

Is your cover letter personalized?
The cover letter is a way to tell the employer you know what he needs and this is what you can do to fulfill those needs. List the qualifications and requirements posted in the ad and indicate how you meet them. Stress that by hiring you, you believe you can help improve company services, enhance efficiency, or increase productivity. Give concrete examples and instances to prop up your claims. For an added touch, find out more about the company and insert this information to impress to the hiring official that you have expended effort to discover more about their organization.

Is the tone positive and confident?
You should never let negative emotions seep through. The cover letter is not the venue for venting frustrations or expressing bitterness or maligning previous employers. Instead it should emphasize your positive points-your skills, talents, capabilities and experiences as they relate to the position on offer. While you should not overstate your qualities, don’t underestimate yourself either. The cover letter is your professional showcase so present yourself the best way you can.

Is your cover letter spotless?
Don’t just rely on your computer’s spell checker. Check and recheck your letter for typos, misspellings, wrong grammar or inappropriate punctuation. If you have the time, set it aside and read it again after a couple of days with refreshed eyes. Request a better writer to critique your letter and catch anything you might have missed. For a professional look, use quality bond paper and letter-quality or laser printer. Avoid dot-matrix printers or manual typewriters.

Is it proactive?
Since you took the initiative to apply, make sure to follow through. Don’t wait for the employer to contact you; state in your letter that you will call within the week--and do so. Include your contact details--phone number, email address, cell phone number--to facilitate communication.

Did you sign it?
Always sign your letter, or the employer may feel slighted that you forgot to affix your personal signature or may assume it’s a form letter. If possible, use a sign pen.

Disadur dari jobstreet.com-Indonesia


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