How to Craft the Perfect IT Cover Letter
Something happened over the last few years and cover letters seemed to disappear from the job search lexicon. However, they are making a comeback and individuals who can master the art of the cover letter have an advantage in the marketplace. The cover letter is intended to provide a snapshot of you as a candidate and should include things that your resume doesn’t specifically highlight. Here are a few tips for writing a killer IT cover letter.
- Personalize it. Before you write a cover letter do research to determine the recipient’s name. If it is not available in the initial job posting, LinkedIn has become an excellent resource for this type of information. If you are absolutely unable to find the name of the person with the open position start the letter with a simple “Good morning,” or “Good afternoon.” Never begin with “To whom it may concern.”
- Introductory paragraph. The first paragraph is your opportunity to sell yourself as the right candidate for their open job. Use the job description to paint a picture about why you should be considered. Include a little bit about your background and why your experience fits in to what they need. Make sure that you use similar language as they used in their job posting.
- Get to the meat. Once you have enticed them with the reasons you match their needs, you should take some time to showcase your past accomplishments. This paragraph is the “wow factor” that will make them feel the need to call you immediately and talk more about what you’ve done in your career. Use data and numbers to back up the things you’ve done professionally. Keep it to one or two killer examples.
- Conclusion paragraph. The final paragraph of your cover letter should sum everything up once again. Reiterate your interest and specifically why you want to work for their company rather than just take any job offered. Do some research on the company culture and demonstrate in this closing paragraph that you really understand their company and industry. Also, include your phone number and email in this paragraph as well even if you have it in your email signature so they have it at their fingertips.
- Electronic versus paper. The biggest debate in the cover letter conversation is whether or not to send a resume via email or through the mail. It is perfectly acceptable to email resumes and many recruiters prefer having them in an electronic format so they can be easily uploaded into their database. However, a paper resume may get more attention because they won’t receive nearly as many through the mail. Choose whichever you feel will make you stand out more as a candidate.