Your Simple Guide on how to Write a General Cover Letter
How to write a General Cover Letter
While cover letters are supposed to be generic, there are instances when it is ideal to use generic letters. This is often true when you want to submit your resume yet the company you are targeting has not made any job advertisements. In such instances, knowing how to write a general cover letter can come in handy.
What is a cover letter?
This is the letter accompanying your resume for a given job position and it states the interest you have in a company. It also shows you have taken time to study the company and respect its reputation and work.
A general cover letter comes in handy when you attend a job fair and you have to give your cover letter and resume to a couple of potential employers for varying job positions.
Guidelines on how to write a general cover letter
There are a couple of things you need to bear in mind in order to know how to write a general cover letter and these include the following:
There are a couple of greetings you can put to use and they include:
- Dear Employer
- Dear Sir/Madam
- To Whom it May Concern
The salutation “Dear Hiring Manager” can be used as well though it tends to be an issue in the event the person reading the letter does not hold that title. In the first part of a general cover letter, be sure to include your contact information as it makes it easy for the employer to contact you.
The body of the general cover letter
You have to work on the body of the cover letter and in this case you are supposed to include:
- Special knowledge and skills you possess that lead to successful performance on the job
- The qualifications and education that has prepared you in order to carry out the tasks that are work related successfully
- Your strengths that will make you a great asset to anyone who employs you
- Your achievements that are work related
Step by step guide on how to write a general cover letter
Research the company you are interested in online. Read reviews, news articles and other information that is related to that company. Through social networking, you will be able to contact employees of the company and hence, get a sense of what their daily duties are and the kind of qualifications that employers look for while hiring staff.
The research will also be helpful in the identification of who is in charge of the HR department. More importantly, it makes it easy for you to write the general cover letter.
Once done with the introduction, the first step in knowing how to write a general cover letter is constructing the introduction paragraph. This should be written succinctly to describe your level of expertise, one or two accomplishments, your personality and the types of organizations or career opportunities you are best suited for.
Write a sentence or two regarding your attendance at the specific career fair. You should include the exact name of the fair, where it was held as well as the date. The reason for mentioning this is that majority of employers are known to track applicants and how they came to learn about the vacancies available in their company.
Once you state you attended a fair, it becomes easier for the company to track your interest in the company. What is more, you might get recognition as an attendee of the fair and the opportunity might be given to you for simply attending the fair rather than choosing to sit at home and simply dispatch resumes and cover letters through mail.
State your specific accomplishments and functional expertise. This should be done in just one or two paragraphs. If in the past you have worked with organizations that are well reputed, mention them in your cover letter. Prospective employers are likely to consider your cover letter if you have worked with companies known to use strict criteria while hiring professionals.
This is where you need to mention your job skills, clinical experience or functional expertise. You should use concrete examples that are related to your work history. If you recently graduated, use college and internship projects for purposes of describing your level of expertise.
If you are a middle-career professional, describe briefly how your expertise and job skills have progressed over the years. The key in this case is to make sure that you remain relevant. Another ideal example of a cover letter can be found at jobsearch.about.com. Reading these samples will make it easier for you to know how to write a general cover letter that is impressive.
Writing the conclusion is the last step in knowing the ropes of how to write a general cover letter. In this section, you are supposed to make a conclusion of your letter by adding information that is related to your personal career interests. For instance some of the big accounting firms are known to recruit in the course of campus career fairs.
There are other fairs that focus on industry specific areas like beverage and food, engineering and hospitality. If you are participating in a career fair, make sure you clearly state the interest you have in that industry and make your request for favorable considerations in regard to your qualifications.
By following these simple guidelines, it should be considerably easy for you to know how to write a general cover letter that is not only impressive but capable of selling you to prospective employers.
Additional tips on how to write a general cover letter
The process of knowing how to write a general cover letter also demands that you:
- Aim at grabbing the attention of the reader-You should make an attempt to show familiarity by incorporating phrases from the marketing materials used by the company. You can also name an initiative the company recently embraced or identify a connection that is inside the company. The aim in this case is to entice your reader immediately. Because the company has not advertised any open position, the recipient does not have any reason to read your cover letter. Therefore, make sure you include a compelling and unique aspect in the first line of the letter.
- Use the remaining part of the first paragraph to introduce yourself. You have to clearly state reasons that make you believe you are the most ideal candidate for the position within the company. If there are specific reasons that increase your desire to be part of the company, make sure you include them in the first paragraph as well. You should also take the opportunity to mention the specific positions you find appealing.
- In the second paragraph of your general cover letter, outline further the qualifications and skills that can be said to make you a compelling candidate. Be careful not to repeat information you have already indicated in your resume. One of the options you have is telling a brief story of how through experience, you were able to acquire your skills. You should provide details of how the skills you possess will be of use to the company. As earlier mentioned, you should research more about the company as this will make it easy for you to employ language that resonates with the management.
- Close your general cover letter by laying emphasis on the interest you have in the company. You should give the reader the chance to carry out a follow-up by making a suggestion of the next step. If you have plans to be within the company areas in the future, for instance, you can request a tour of the company. Also, mention you will follow-up with a phone call or email. If your purpose is to get hired in the near future, say upon graduation, indicate the time frame as well to inform the manager that you will be getting in touch with them when that time comes.
More importantly, as you get to know how to write a general cover letter avoid misstating or embellishing the depth of experience you have. Make sure that you are concise and accurate when writing a general cover letter.
You can also visit fc.sd46.bc.ca and read the sample general letter provided there. It is an ideal example as it points out all the parts and sections that must be included in the general cover letter.
It’s our hope that now you know how to write a general cover letter from the above guidelines.
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