Mario Churchill asked:

Looking for a job is easier nowadays, what with the advent of the World Wide Web, fast searching for jobs online, and more job opportunities. What has not changed, however, is politeness. No matter what employer you go to, no matter which company you apply to, you have to follow protocols in your job application.

One such protocol is the polite and quintessential cover letter. A cover letter is your first impression: your chance to catch attention and make yourself seen amongst the thousands of other applicants. If you can grab your prospective employer on the first page, then your resume will look all the more attractive – first impressions count even in paper correspondences, so you have to make a great cover letter to go along with your credentials.

What are the essentials of a good cover letter for your resume? Before you start typing or writing that resume cover letter, take note of the following:

You have to have the company’s complete address. Never address your prospective employer as simply “Sir” or “Madam” in the letter; and never address the letter recipient simply as “To Whom it May Concern.” This shows that you do not care about the company – so why should the company care about you?

Do your research before writing that resume cover letter. Who should the letter be addressed to? Is this person a man or a woman? Should this person be addressed as Doctor or Attorney? Your initial address not only shows politeness – it also shows that you are willing to know more about the company.

Be brief but polite. Businesses are very busy, and they have only a few people to sift through thousands of letters every day. Grab attention by being very brief. Introduce yourself in one sentence, state your interest in the job posted in another sentence, and state what you have attached to the cover letter in the third. Brevity is indeed the soul of wit – it can also be the key to that job.

Know your career goals and let these goals guide you in writing your cover letter. A cover letter may be short, but if it does not speak of someone well focused and willing to meet their goals, then a company may turn you down. Be focused on those goals when writing your cover letter. Your enthusiasm and willingness to do a job will shine through.

Provide all your contact information in another paragraph. Make sure that all the information you provide is correct. If you might be out of the house, indicate when and where the company can reach you. Remember that you have to be reachable: you are the one in need of a job, but do not grovel and throw yourself at the company’s feet like a slave. Strike the balance among strength, politeness, motivation, and a willingness to work.

Sign your name above your printed name. This shows that you are not sending out the same letter to thousands of other companies – and it shows that each letter has your personal touch. Remember, a company will not care about who you are and what you know – until it knows that you care about the company first.

Last, and most important: watch your grammar!

Are you ready to get that job you want? Then start typing that cover letter! Before long, you will be sitting at that much desired desk, or conducting that field survey you’ve always wanted to do, or simply acting as the boss. The power of the cover letter is up to you.