5 Key Components of a Strong Cover Letter

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Having a strong cover letter is essential if you want a potential employer to look over your resume, and possibly invite you for an interview. Your cover letter serves as an introduction for you and is incredibly important. Just like you would be put off if someone was rude or too informal when you first met them, the same is true for a cover letter; the letter is your chance to make the best first impression possible. If you leave several grammatical errors in your cover letter, you can compare that to falling all over your words out of nervousness when first meeting someone; at the same time, you wouldn’t tell a new acquaintance your life story, and you shouldn’t do so in your cover letter either. So what makes a strong cover letter? Consider the following five suggestions the next time you sit down to write a great cover letter.

1. Be concise

The person reviewing your cover letter doesn’t have time to read a novella, so keep your cover letter short. Most people agree that a resume should be one to two pages, and your cover letter should be no longer than one page. If you can’t say what you need to in a page, than you are probably being too verbose. An average of about 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening (more or less depending on who you ask). Even if by some small miracle only fifty people apply for the job you want, and half of them are disqualified by entry-level human resource staff before the cover letters and resumes make it to the main reviewer, you are still competing with twenty-four other hopefuls. Be sure to make your cover letter short so that the reviewer actually reads it, and remember to break your points into paragraphs so that if necessary, it is easy to scan quickly for important information.