Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cover Letter: Huh? What is That?

Coming back to our Resume Q&A series, another most frequently asked question was about Cover Letter. What is it? When do one write a cover letter? What do you put inside the cover letter? Dead rat?

Before that picture this if you will: back when there was no internet, no mobile phone (there was but usually they are used to wedge car tyres on a slope) and worst, no satellite TV channels and you are already squirming.

Well, here’s the worst part. Those applying for job has to write in. Yes, write physically. Use pen or a typewriter to write a prose which basically says that you are looking to fill certain vacancies you saw in a newspaper and persuading them to give you an interview where they grill you to concede that you are not the right person for the job. Okay, I am kidding, but that was the cover letter used for…and here’s even more troubling part, you have to post them in what is now known as snail-mail. Those days it was known as snail-on-chain-mail, because it was even slower and sometimes they never even get delivered.

Well, if you had enough of the above horror let me reiterate to you that cover letter have not existed and in fact, very much exists….a reminder especially for those who only apply job through job portal through ours. Let’s get to the questions

So, what is a cover letter in nutshell?

And introduction of yourself, and your intent in having an interview session. Here, you inform them who you are, which vacancy you are looking at filling, and what can you contribute to the organisation.

Contribute? Like Contribution Statement?

Precisely. Remember Contribution Statement from the previous Q&A? Use that here after introducing yourself, it will be a good prelude to the mail receiver before reading your resume.

In fact, some may even not read your resume because you have an impressive cover letter and an awesome Contribution Statement. But remember, you have to be true and persuasive, any smell of bull dung may motivate them to delete your mail. Unlike the old days of getting into rage, tearing your letters to pieces, balling them and aiming the wastebasket and missing it, all it takes these days is just one click and they would do it happily.

Do we really need to write a cover letter?

Not if you use the online recruitment services like JobsDB. Sure, we encourage you to use our search function, go through many job offerings and just click on your job of choice.

It also helps if you also write them a personalised cover letter, cite where you found the job posting (posted on JobsDB on [date]) and upload a resume tailor-made for that particular organisation.

Can you give samples of cover letter?

There are many online, but we encourage you to start from scratch. Here are few introduction paragraphs, just to give you an idea:

“I am writing to introduce myself to you as a student of International School of Construction (ISC). I'm responding to your advertisement in the local Employment News for want of a senior project coordinator for your on-site department.”

I am writing with reference to your advertisement in JobsDB.com for want of a Senior Accountant. I consider that my credentials and interests matches with your requirement and want to apply for the same.”

Or a simpler one like this:

“My name is Bob Tan and I am currently working in XYZ Bhd as a sales manager. I am writing in reference to your job vacancy posting in JobsDB.com for Sales Director position”.

For more info, you can write to me, rakeshkukmar@jobsdb.com.my.

Alternatively, you can come to our resume workshop. Details as follows:

Venue: Jobseekers’ Advocate Training Centre

Date: 14th August, 2010

Time: 10 am – 1pm

To register, write to Bertrand Chua at suisoon@jobsdb.com.my or call us at 03 – 2161 0000.