How to write a successful cover letter and resume

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It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.” – Carlton Fisk

A strong resume and cover letter can go a long way to getting you that coveted position at your dream firm. A lot of us are aware that a resume is critical, however, a strong cover letter is just as important. It helps persuade recruiters to shortlist your resume from the pile of others submitted. Both- your resume and your cover letter- should be given enough time and due thought in their preparation. While a cover letter allows you to approach the employer in a personalised manner, the resume lets you showcase your skills, experience, academic background, and interests relevant to the position you are applying for.  

The art of the cover letter

A cover letter will significantly change with each job application and company that you are applying to and it should never be a repeat of your resume. Writing a cover letter allows you to tell the employer what it is about the job that attracts you and why you want to work for that organization. 

You should also include the unique skills and qualities you bring to that job and the company.

Writing a comprehensive cover letter takes time, thought and a good understanding of the ethos of the company. Research well before you begin writing as employers love applicants who do their homework. Many employers and recruiters go through a cover letter in detail. There is a high possibility that they might not even go through your resume if they are not impressed by your cover letter.  

The cover letter should contain who you are, why you are applying and what your relevant qualifications are. If you believe that there are certain values that you share with the company then mention them as well. 

A standard cover letter is typically one page in length and will help differentiate you from similarly qualified candidates. It also offers you the opportunity to explain why your non- traditional background, if you have one, makes you a good candidate. 

Make sure to write your cover letter in a simple, clear and professional style and proofread it for grammatical and spelling errors. If you do not know the name of the person to address it to, then address the cover letter to “The Hiring Manager”. 

How to approach your resume

The resume or C.V. (Curriculum Vitae) is a brief document that summarizes your education, employment history, and experience in a nutshell. The typical length of a resume should be one page but two pages are also acceptable. Every resume should have your contact information containing your address in short, phone number and email id. Importantly, your resume must be relevant to the particular job that you are applying to and be tailored accordingly. 

Please keep in mind that you should quantify your achievements in the work experience section with specific details instead of generic claims. They are to be written in a concise manner using bullet points rather than long sentences and paragraphs. It is also helpful to convey your achievements through actions that would help showcase your contributions. In the work experience section, match your training and experience to meet the employer’s needs and expectations.  Please spend enough time on formatting and the layout design as first impressions count! 

And finally, do not forget your online presence

In addition to writing a strong resume and cover letter,  employers will also check your online presence. In particular, they would visit your LinkedIn profile so make sure everything there matches the resume you have submitted. Please keep your online profile and resume updated and relevant at all times. 

That’s all from me on guidelines to write a resume and cover letter. I hope you found this article useful. I’d be happy to assist you with your doubts and concerns regarding the same. We’d love to hear from you! 

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