by Ngeow Yeok Meng
Cover letter is a letter accompanying your resume in job application. It is a tool to project a professional image about yourself before the employer decides to see you face-to-face in an interview.
Sending a resume without a cover letter is like going to a job interview barefoot. It gives an impression that you don't take the employment opportunity seriously and you really don't care about anything concerning the job you apply for.
In real life experience, employers and HR personnel do judge a resume by its cover. A well constructed cover letter can impress the employer to take action on your resume. In other words, the piece of paper covering your resume actually generates prospective interview and increase the chances of you being employed.
A cover letter should be typed and confined to one page to catch the reader's attention.
You should convince the employer about your strengths, and support your strengths with evidence.
You should address to a specific person by name and position, and not "ToWhom It May Concern".
Your cover letter should reflect your personality and style – qualities that are important in the hiring decision.
Your tone should be professional, personal, positive, upbeat and value neutral throughout the letter.
You should be career-centered or employer-oriented by indicating your wish to progress with the organization, to be educated and trained on the job etc.
Avoid using self-centered statements about yourself, or flattering the organization you intend to join.
Where and when you learned about the position. Employers like to know where candidates learn about the vacancy in order to determine the effectiveness of their advertising strategies.
What are your special skills and experience directly related to the employer's needs. This will save the employer's time to search for these important elements in your resume.
Why you're interested in this position and/or the organization. Find out more about the organization so that you can state your objectives in line with the organization's goals.
Address your gratitude followed by your signature using good quality pen.