Formatting a cover letter can be confusing for those who have never written a resume before. There seems to be so much information packed into a page or two that most can become overwhelmed by the task. How do you say everything that is needed in the right format without becoming overbearing or too understated?
This is a problem for most who are writing their first resume and cover letter. Even some of the pros have trouble with the cover letter of a resume. There are some formatting tricks that can be used to do this effectively and without creating any headaches for the beginning resume writer.
1. Free Writing –
When you start your cover letter, do not start with the format you plan on ending up with. This can put too much pressure on you. Instead, do some free writing by jotting down all of your attributes in a list. Look at yourself in a realistic manner and set it up like you would a pros and cons list. Leave out the cons and only list your pros. Once you have everything about yourself written down, look at what the company is looking for in an employee. Take those pros that you listed and match them up with the company’s needs and drop the pros that are irrelevant to the position. Keep this pro list handy as you may need to use different ones for each cover letter you are writing.
2. Create a Draft –
Once you have all of your pros that you using for the particular position, begin writing a draft. This is the working draft that is formatted later on. You want to make sure that you have included everything that you want to say without worrying about grammatical or spelling errors. This is a draft that is built upon. Read it through. If there are any wording issues, take care of them at this time. The first paragraph should jump right to your pros list. You can utilize this list throughout the cover letter. You want every paragraph to highlight your capabilities and skills.
3. Write the Final Draft –
This is where you need to pay serious attention to what you are writing. You want to fix any grammatical errors such as fragment or run on sentences as well as word usage. All spelling errors should be corrected and the entire document needs to have a flow to it. Do not use an overly large font. A Times New Roman or Calibri font set at 11 or 12 points is the perfect size for a resume and cover letter.
Beginners do not need to spend days on a resume when they use the above tricks to put together their resume cover letters. Each step need only take an hour or two for even the slowest writer. By following each step, there is continuity to the cover letter that may be lacking otherwise. Just make sure that it is completely proofread before sending it out to any employer as one small mistake can mean the difference between getting the job and getting passed by for someone who pays more attention to details.
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