The perfect resume and letter of intent has never been more important than in the age of web-based job competition. A letter of intent, or cover letter, is the first contact you will have with a potential employer. Your letter of intent is used to explain your relevant work experiences and skills and the reasons you are seeking a position with the organisation or company.
Do Your Homework: Research the Position
Research the position you are applying for and the company. Understand the job requirements and duties. Highlight words in the job description to use in the letter of intent. Employers want to see that you have previous experience and knowledge about the position for which you are applying.
Review Your Resume
Refine your resume for the job you are applying for. Review your past experiences to correlate to the position you are interested in. Add action words used in the job description, such as facilitated, managed and directed. Sharing a similar language demonstrates your full understanding and capabilities for the job you are applying for. Because your previous job experiences will be summarised in the letter of intent, it is helpful to review your resume vocabulary and strengths.
Writing the Letter of Intent--Format
To demonstrate professionalism, write the letter in business letter format. In the header, include the name of the company, place, date and proper salutations. Take special care with this part; your potential employer will notice and take offence at a misspelled word, especially a name, in this section. Use a proper closing at the end of the letter.
Writing the Letter of Intent--The Body
The text of your letter of intent is the place to explain why you want this position with the organisation. Describe your relevant skills, education and work experience and explain how these can benefit the company and the job for which you are applying. Be clear and concise; the letter should not be more than one page.
Letter of Intent: Do's
The letter of intent conveys who you are to a potential employer before you are selected for an interview. Check for spelling, grammar and detailed information about the job and location. Re-review your resume and the job description to clarify your purpose for applying. Employers want to see an attention to detail that can be demonstrated by a refined letter of intent.
Letter of Intent: Do Nots
Avoid clichés and generalisation. Try not to use a form letter; use your own words to describe yourself and career goals. Don't include too many details or talk about your weaknesses or discuss salary requirements unless prompted. Don't mention previous employer names in the intent letter unless they are well-known and impressive. Don't include personal information or reasons why you left previous jobs.