You have a desired job in mind and all you want is a golden opportunity to be interviewed for the job, but what can you do on your own part to get the chance?

All you need is a cover letter and your resume. These two documents are important tools to bring you closer to your dream job.

 

Cover Letter

A cover letter is a vital letter of introduction of yourself attached in front of your resume. Do not belittle this letter. It is like a personalised sales pitch on paper, where you are the product and you get the best chance to sell yourself and your skills.

The cover letter is where you can make the best and critical first impression to your future employers. It is also the earliest representation of your written communication skills. In addition, it is an excellent opportunity for your resume to be read and get an interview before landing the job.

To prevent your resume from being ignored, you have to make a difference and stand out from other job seekers. You only get one shot to narrate your resume in your own voice, thus do not blow your chance.

Writing enticing and effective cover letters takes time and effort. You have to show your personality, curiosity and enthusiasm all at once. Note that your cover letter should complement and not duplicate your resume.

For your introduction, create an interest in yourself explaining why you are writing. If you have an inside contact in the company, you may want to include his/her name in it too.

The body of the letter is where you get to reveal advantageous details about yourself. Explain reasons for your interest in the company and the position you are applying for. Be an angel and answer the prayers of the company by focusing on their needs. Be specific and confident as you highlight your skills and experiences. Then, relate them to your job and make connections to their needs.

As for the final paragraph, end off by repeating your contact details and indicating that you will follow up. Restate your interest and thank your prospective employers for their time and consideration.

You should keep your cover letter clear, concise and to the point. It is recommended for your letter to be within a page. Use action verbs and simple language, and avoid overloading your letter with too many adjectives.

Make the reader of the letter feel special. Take the initiative and ring up the company to find out who will be receiving your cover letter and resume.

The style of your letter is equally important. Select a standard font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman and the font size should be about 10 to 12 point. Distribute your information neatly on the page. For hard copies, print your letter out on good quality paper that matches your resume and envelope.

The tone of your letter should be conversational and engaging, yet professional and respectful at the same time. It should be filled with positivity and enthusiasm to attract the attention of your future employers. You can brag a little about yourself but not too much. Always remember to be humble and down to earth.

Most importantly, read your letter out loud. This is to catch typos, awkward phrasing or any grammatical errors. Get other people to help proofread your letter too. A bad spelling mistake by you will not make a favourable impression on them.

 

Resume

Try dazzling your potential employer by showing them the best in you. Present to them your marketing tool, which is none other than your resume, or curriculum vitae (CV).

A resume is a living document which you should take time to customise for each job application. Tailor your resume accordingly and it will end up as a great tool for you to enhance your employment opportunities.

Your resume is a big database and it is critical that you use consistent formatting and display the content in a neat and flattering manner. Your content should consist of your contact details, employment history, education and training qualifications, skills and achievements.

Use striking keywords to grab your future employers’ attention and action words when describing what you have done.

Your resume should cover 2 pages and not exceed 3 or 4 pages. Employers usually do not have much time to read lengthy documents. Want to be original and stand out? Try printing on a well-designed paper of a different colour or size.

Honesty is the best policy. Be objective and show proof to back up your claims. You will not want to be caught in a sticky situation when your employers found out you lied after they have hired you.

Just like your cover letter, it is important to proofread your resume again and again.

Success does not come easy. Put in the effort and in time, you will definitely clinch a job interview and be hired.

For more career-related articles, visit www.STJobs.sg .