Upon graduating from high school or college, many graduates make a resume to distribute in hopes of landing a job, but new graduates need a cover letter in addition to the resume. Find out why and how the résumé's cover letter should be done.
To begin, be sure to personalize your cover letter. "Dear Sir or Madam" isn't personal. Sometimes, it is hard to find out who the company is when a blind ad is placed, however, Human Resources Department or Hiring Manager can tailor your resume to the correct department if no physical contact person, department or company name is given. If at all possible, try to get as much information and greet that person on your resume by name, title and department; so your resume will get to the right person and looks like you took the time out to investigate the company.
Verify to make sure you are qualified before typing anything up. Observe the employment advertisement from your desired job and company. What skills does it want you to have for the job? Write them down and turn that into a paragraph based on what you are able to do (your personal knowledge and experience of these skills) and what you can bring to the company (x years of experience or certified in ___).
Don't get creative; stick to the exact language desired by the company. Make sure the terms you use coincide with what the company wants. Optical scanners and not humans are sometimes used to pick up on keywords in resumes that most closely match a job description. Allow terms to match both on the job description and on your cover letter.
Companies are not mind readers. Provide contact information on the cover letter. Present your full name, email address as well as telephone numbers on your cover letter. New graduates need to make sure their name is the same as their transcripts as well as professional certifications. Nicknames can be mentioned after an offer of employment is made. This is to not confuse the Human Resources Department with thinking there are two different people and being asked to submit documents twice.
Remember to change your cover letter with each job. It does not have to be re-written completely, but as a new graduate, you will want to align it with the job description as best as possible in order for your resume to be seen.