Whenever a resume is sent out for a job, it is better to send a covering letter along with it. A covering letter gives the first impression of the person who has applied for the job. So one should take utmost care in writing a covering letter. It should be a compliment of the resume and should add a personal touch to the resume.
The covering letters are of 3 types:
1. A letter written applying based on job applications.
2. A letter enquiring about possible job openings
3. A letter to the personal network enquiring about possible jobs availablity.
The covering letter should be designed such that it explains clearly the reasons for the interest in the particular job opening. The letter should not be of a particular format and should not be sent to all the employers. Such letters are normally regarded as junk (be it sent in regular post or in email).
The covering letter should highlight the skills and experiences of the person and how it is suitable for the opening in that particular organisation. The job position that is applied for should be analysed thoroughly before applying and the covering letter should give the reader the knowledge that the person who has applied for possess the requisite knowledge.
Letter writing Format
Though one should not use a common form to send covering letters to all the employers, still a specific format should be followed while writing such a letter. The covering letter should follow the basic business letter format. It should contain-
1. Why the letter is written (Opening Paragraph)
2. What the prospective candidate is (Main Letter)
3. How the follow-up will be made. (Closing)
Why the letter is written
The opening paragraph of the letter should start with why the letter is written;
1. It could be a response to a job advertisement
2. The job could be referred to by a common friend or acquaintance. (In this case, the name of the mutual contact and the relationship between the candidate and the referrer should be mentioned).
3. The letter could also be an enquiry about prospective job opening in the company.
What the prospective candidate is
Whatever be the reason for writing the letter, the body of the letter should have the emphasis on the qualifications and how it matches the job opening available. The candidate should emphasis how well he/she could fulfill the requirements of the employer's needs and wants for that particular opening. (This shows that the candidate has a good knowledge of the organisation he/she is applying for).
Proper emphasis should also be given on the skill sets one possess which should include problem solving skills which can be converted to be used in the post applied for.
How the follow up will be made
The letter is to be concluded with the details where the candidate can be reached. Phone number, mobile number, email id all or either of them can be provided. Information about the availability of the candidate for an interview and a request for an appointment at a convenient time should also be added. If the applicant is from a different city or if the interview is to be conducted in a different city, then in the concluding paragraph, the available dates can also be added (if it is not specified in the advertisement).
If there is a number given to be called up after the resume is sent, the call should be made within the specified time.
Better not to make blind calls, unless and until specified as many employers may not encourage such calls. But still, the reception of the office can be reached to find out whether the job application has been received.
Clearly mention that you have proper references and it can be provided whenever required.
City with Pincode
Employer Contact Information (if you have it)
Dear Mr./Ms. XYZ
(Sub:Application for the post of Sales Manager in your organisation)
I came to know about the above mentioned job opening in your esteemed organisation. As a Area Sales Manager for UVW company for almost 5 years, I have a vast knowledge of the entire territory you have mentioned.
I have also managed a team of 50 people, and have been giving training on and off the field to them. I Have worked closely in the logistics also and have knowledge about the tastes and wants of the people of the territory.
References about my work skill can be provided. Looking forward to hear from you at the earliest. Thanks for the time taken.
Phone Number/Mobile Number