Monday, March 23, 2015

What is a Cover Letter?

A resume cover letter highlights your key skills and experiences, specific to the job role for which you are applying. Many potential employers look for a cover letter in your job application and do not entertain resumes that are not preceded with it. However, some find cover letters less important; so, you can avoid cover letters when the job advertisement specifically forbids the use of one. In all other cases, cover letters needs to be included. Cover letters are usually a single page document that is used by employers to screen applicants and select only those, they would like to interview.

Difference between cover letter and resume

Cover letters and resumes serve the same purpose of providing information; that shows, you are quite suitable for the job role. However, both need to be tailored in a manner, that make these two documents appear to be related yet unique. The basic difference between the two are:

  • A resume states who, what when and how; whereas, a cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain each of them
  • A cover letter is a platform, you can use to express more subjective information; such as, the basis of your interest in any particular position, your values that motivate you to pursue a job, or why the culture of a company appeals to you
  • Your cover letter sells your qualification; whereas, your resume provides data to back your letter
  • If you are having large gaps, or want a transit from one profile to another, or are conducting a long distance job search - cover letters can be more useful than resumes. It is because resumes provide restricted scope to explain these things positively.
  • A resume provides information regarding the jobs you worked for in the past, your educational background and skills. Cover letter provides information as to why you are a good candidate for the job.
  • Many employers use cover letter to interpret your background and the way you introduce yourself
  • It is only through cover letters that you are able to formally request employers to consider your resume and call you for any interview. This indicates that you have a good sense of etiquette.
  • Finally, a cover letter explains why you are sending your resume and how did you come to know about the job opening

How to write a cover letter?

Here are certain guidelines that can help you write a good cover letter:

  • Begin with a letterhead: Add a letterhead at the top of your cover letter. Mention your name, address, contact information and email id. Your name needs to have a bigger font size as compared to rest of the information in your letter. This is followed by name of the hiring manager, office address and date. You may use a line to bring visible clarity in between the two sections of this letterhead.
  • Include a salutation: If you are aware about the name of concerned hiring manager, your letter needs to start with a salutation "Dear (name)" followed by a comma. If you don't know the name, you can use "Hiring Manager" instead. Be very careful with proper use of "Mr.","Ms.","Dr."etc..
  • First paragraph of your letter: This section comprises of only two to three sentences. It is here that you state about the purpose of sending a resume, the profile you are applying for and how did you find the job listing. You may start the sentence in this way:"I am writing in regards...."
  • Writing the body of your letter: This section is of two to three paragraphs. You need to have complete knowledge about the company and job role you are applying for. It is in this section, that you mention all your skills and experiences related to the profile. This section is the heart of your letter. Never state what you want from the deal; this will kill the interest of your employer. End this section with a positive statement that will convince employers to invite you for the interview. Always remember to direct the interviewer to your resume attached and welcome them to get in touch with you for the process.
  • Give an appropriate ending: The closing lines of your letter need to express your gratitude towards the employer for his/her valuable time. Always write "Yours Sincerely" ,"Respectfully" or something similar; followed by your signature. Use notation "Enclosure(s)" at the bottom to indicate that your letter contains related documents.

Detailed description with examples for writing good cover letters has been provided in various sites. You can visit these sites for any guidance.

Cover letters don't just support your resume. They present you an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and persuade the recruiting team to invite you for further rounds.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How to Write a Computer Forensics Investigator Cover Letter

As a computer forensics investigator, you have to get into the psyche of the crime doers. You do this on your job regularly to reveal crimes committed electronically. Similarly, when you are writing a cover letter, your mind and thoughts must be channelized towards one goal – securing a berth for an interview. You must wake up your subconscious mind and make it do the something that is unique and real. These tips on writing a computer forensics investigator cover letter will help you use every part of your mind.

Reasons for writing a cover letters:

There are three reasons to write a cover letters. One, that you write it in response to a job advertisement. Second, you are applying as an inquiry for the job opening and to convey your interest for the same. Third, you are seeking an internal promotion. The writing style will depend according to the reason of writing.

We will assume here that you are applying for the job in response to an announcement in a newspaper or official website. If you want to see the how to write an unsolicited and internal vacancy cover letter, you may refer to

Catch the right pitch from the start

A cover letter must be conversational and personalized without compromising on professionalism. The reader should feel that it is written for him only. While reading, your personality should start appearing in his or her mind like it happens when we read a story or a novel. However, you don't have to write a story or copy the style. Just consider yourself in the recruiter's place for a while and imagine what you want to see in a candidate for the job. Run the images or thoughts in your mind and try to know whether you have them. Note down the similarities you found and use it in describing yourself.

The start of the cover letter for an announced vacancy can be in this way:

The job advertisement for a Computer Forensics Investigator position in today's TimesNews has spiked my interests to the summit. Without wasting any time as not to lose this golden opportunity, I am immediately applying for the advertised job position as the skills and experience you mentioned correlates with mine to a greater extent. You will see in my resume that I have contributed in solving numerous computer crimes through my investigative, analytical and computer skills. I can confidently say that you have to look no further once we meet up and discuss the types of electronic crimes and tools to handle them.

Fortify your claims in the body paragraphs

When the starting of the cover letter is so dynamic, you must maintain the tempo throughout. Moreover, the readers will be desperate to know more about your skills. However, just do not reveal everything what you hold. Try to raise the curiosity of the readers about you and leave something for a personal discussion during the interview.

Describe how you enter in the computer forensic field in one sentence and how you developed your skills in another. Further, what you specialize in, and how you solved the most challenging case of your career must together forms the body paragraph. You can also add one more paragraph if the job application remains on one page.

State briefly why they should hire you

Some traits are peculiar to the profession. In the computer forensics occupation, honesty, dedication, perseverance, patience, flexibility, etc. are looked for in candidates. Tell them what you have to succeed in the job in the last paragraph.

Show your confidence by stating your follow-up plan. You can say that you will call at particular date and time to inquire if you have been shortlisted for an interview. Provide your contact number and thank the reader.

Like said above about the possibility of knocking your subconscious mind with these tips for writing a computer forensics cover letter, we hope you earn success in the job search.