An effective cover letter should generate genuine interest in the reader to go through your resume. This eventually guarantees you an interview call. Hence, follow certain guidelines to write a successful one: A concise letter appeals most. Therefore, do not exceed a page while writing a cover letter for your resume.
It is only a summarized presentation of your capabilities, qualifications, and experience. It therefore entices the reader to read your resume with greater interest. Besides, content should not be repetitive of the details as present in your resume.
Although you cannot possibly give new or separate details, presentation of information counts. You should impress your enthusiasm for the job. You have to express your desire to work for the company explicitly.
However, in your enthusiasm to show your willingness to work, you cannot override the needs of the company. You have to highlight your suitability to the needs of the employer. This emphasizes that you are ready to help them in development and working of the organization. Before writing a cover letter, research well into the organization, their line of business, and project a good knowledge of the company. This shows your genuine interest in the company. Use appropriate keywords and phrases to express your familiarity with the company.
Nevertheless, take care not to overdo anything as it then creates a poor impression. Your cover letter should state that you would follow up after few days to know the status of your resume. This further highlights your interest in the company.
However, you should restrict it to two or three paragraphs but include all relevant and necessary details succinctly. This shows your capability in presenting matters in a very brief but assertive style. Do not mail it out with just the address of the company. It is essential to address your cover letter to a specific person in the organization. Also clearly specify the particular job you are applying for in the organization.
Your cover letter should be free of any spelling or grammatical mistakes. An ill-written one will not draw even a glance at your resume. Therefore, check it well before mailing.
In your enthusiasm, do not cramp all information and details into the cover letter. Instead, present it as a brief but inquisitive prelude to your resume. This coerces your prospective employer to look through your resume and call you for an interview thereby satisfying the basic purpose of your cover letter.
John Murray publishes a site filled with helpful articles about how to write a great cover letter.