Great Cover Letters don't just happen; they're usually pre planned and well thought out in advance.
However, they all share some common elements. Specifically, they're usually concise and relatively short, with short being less than a page long...
many as brief as 3 to 4 paragraphs.
The format of great cover letters is shifting and ever changing. For example, if you have thirty year work history you may want to include more information than what a one pager will allow. Ultimately, it should come down to doing what you need to do to present enough information to get your resume noticed.
And there are other concepts and strategies used in creating great cover letters. For example, if you're sending a resume for a dream job your cover letter must be highly personalized and specific to the company that you are submitting it to. Consequently, visiting the company's website, if it has one, becomes a must.
Once you get to the website you should glean as much information as you can. Take notes about its mission, when it was founded, how many employees it has, how many offices and locations it has, what products it sells, who you need to send your cover letter and resume to, etc.
Next, weave the information into your cover letter to tell an interesting story as it relates to your desire to work for that company. Captivate your readers - draw them into your story. Help them to visualize it - to feel it and experience it with you; your task is to make it interesting.
Your resume cover letter is arguably as important as your resume itself. It needs to be interesting enough to get you considered as a possible candidate. If you fail to do that you fail - period. However, if you don't thing that you are a strong enough writer to do this then consider hiring someone to do it for you. Admittedly, you might think of it as a cost you don't want to incur, but if it makes the difference between getting hired for a $40 - $100,000.00 a year job it just might be worth it.
Finally, here's one more cover letter resume writing tip; use a good sample letter to save time and aggravation. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part of any task. However, a well written sample letter can jump start the writing process and help you save a lot of time and aggravation.
Following is a sample of a great cover letter.
[City, ST ZIP Code]
April 12, 2009
[City, ST ZIP Code]
Dear [Recipient Name]:
I am writing in response to your advertisement for a secretary in the March 1 publication of the My Neighborhood News. My resume is enclosed for your consideration.
When you review it you'll see that I have fifteen years experience working as a secretary. Most of it with one company, [name of company]. I am proficient in a variety of computer software programs, including Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point and am also efficient in the operation of office machines.
Then there is the matter of professional appearance, which my resume doesn't reflect. Professional demeanor and appearance is important in a business environment and I pride myself on dressing for success.
In me you'll discover someone who is detailed oriented, reliable, a good time manager and a hard worker. I look forward to hearing from you to answer any questions that you might have about my interest in the job as relative to your requirements.