Marketing yourself begins with the cover letter. Employers seek candidates who present themselves in a concise, inspired, and professional manner. You write cover letters to grab employers` attention and get them to read your resume!
The cover letter ...
- is a formal business letter and marketing document that accompanies your resume when you are applying for a specific job or inquiring about potential job openings.
- customized and forceful. It should be between two and four paragraphs.
- is used to sell your skills and qualifications to the reader. It should focus on the “fit” and complement the resume, not repeat it. It should be able to stand alone.
- should make it easy for the employer to understand what you bring to the position. Use positive self-descriptive words to match employer’s needs and concrete examples of your claims.
- overuse “I”.
- undersell yourself.
- go beyond one page and waste the employer’s time with too much information.
- just “list” your experiences and characteristics. Show knowledge of the field, the employer and/or position.
Remember: Show confidence, but not conceit. You are attempting to persuade the employer to ask you for an interview.