The cover letter is a powerful tool that helps a candidate to procure a job, therefore it needs to be used as a powerful aid to promote oneself as a deserving candidate, and also to portray oneself in an overall positive light. These letters also help you showcase your skills, experiences and education.
A well-written cover letter displays the applicant's etiquette as well as his/her letter writing skills. A proper format should be used for drafting it.
One of the important parameters of a good cover letter is to use an appropriate salutation, as it shows the detailed effort put in by the aspirant. A poorly formatted letter with a wrong salutation, can significantly weaken the position as a potential candidate.
One needs to be formal and professional whilst addressing the recipient, and not be too informal or sound too personal as it may hamper the chances of getting an interview fixed.
For writing a proper salutation for cover letters, the name of the addressee should be known. If the first name is unknown, the last name can be used and implied in this way:
- Dear Mr. Jones
- Dear Miss. James
- Dear Mrs. James
- Dear Dr. Jones
- Dear Sir
- Dear Madam
- To Whom It May Concern
The designation of the recipient can be used in case of skepticism, for instance:
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear Personnel Manager
- Dear Gentlemen
- Dear Sirs
- Dear Ladies
Ending the Letter
There are numerous ways to end the letter but the use of correct finishing lines is of utmost importance and are elucidated as follows:
- Yours faithfully, - Written in case the name is unknown.
- Yours sincerely, - Written in case the name is known.
- Best wishes/ Best regards, - Written in case the recipient is known personally as a business contact or a friend.
After writing the closing line, a comma needs to be added, followed by the handwritten signature; bordered by the typed name in the next line. The address and telephone number can be included succeeding it in the next line if not mentioned elsewhere.
Edit and proofread your cover letter twice, before submitting the final copy. Care should be taken as it adds substance to your letter and provides you with an edge. Minutest details should be reviewed as this shows the seriousness towards the work.