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Cover Letter Writing Tips

YWCA Saskatoon’s Employment and Learning Centre remains closed for in-person programs in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.  We will continue to provide remote services via email, telephone, and social media (Facebook).

We believe it is important to maintain your job search momentum. As such the Employment and Learning Centre will offer you daily job search advice and support that you can complete from home.

Today’s post is another post in the series….

Your cover letter may make the difference between obtaining a job interview or having your resume ignored, so it makes good sense to devote the necessary time and effort to writing effective cover letters.

What Is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information on your skills and experience. The letter provides detailed information on why you are qualified for the job you are applying for. Don’t simply repeat what’s on your resume — rather, include specific information on why you’re a strong match for the employer’s job requirements. Think of your cover letter as a sales pitch that will market your credentials and help you get the interview. A cover letter typically accompanies a resume you send out. If an employer requires a cover letter, it will be listed in the job posting.

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

A cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. Its purpose is to add a personal touch to your application for employment. A cover letter is often your earliest written contact with a potential employer, creating a critical first impression. If your cover letter is error-free and perfectly written, if it is generic (and makes no reference to the company, or to any specifics in the job description) it may be rejected by a hiring manager.

Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences. Determine relevance by carefully reading the job description, evaluating the skills required, and matching them to your own skills. Think of instances where you applied those skills, and how you would be effective in the position available.

What to Leave Off Your Cover Letter

The letter is about your qualifications for the job, not about you personally. If you don’t have all the qualifications the employer is seeking, don’t mention it. Instead, focus on the credentials you have that are a match. Don’t mention salary unless asked. If you have questions about the job, the salary, the schedule, or the benefits, it’s not appropriate to mention them in the letter.

One thing that’s very important is to not write too much. Keep your letter focused, concise, and a few paragraphs in length. It’s important to convey just enough information to entice the hiring manager to contact you for an interview. If you write too much, it’s probably not going to be read.

Your Employment and Learning staff are working remotely through email or over the telephone.  Should you have any questions about cover letters, resumes, job interviews, job interview questions, how to prepare, or how to answer those difficult questions, feel free to contact any of your Employment and Learning staff for support.  You can reach us at:

Stay motivated; stay healthy as you achieve your employment goals.

You can view the full original article by Alison Doyle at The Balance Careers, at: www.thebalancecareers.com/cover-letters-4161919