What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information on your skills and experience. A cover letter typically provides detailed information on why you are qualified for the job you are applying for. Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences. Good cover letters demonstrate the following:
- Knowledge of the company
- Effort and enthusiasm for the job
- Writing and organizational skills
A cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. Its purpose is to interpret the data-oriented, factual resume and add a personal touch. A cover letter is often your earliest written contact with a potential employer, creating a critical first impression.
What is a Thank-You Letter?
A thank-you letter should be sent to an employer immediately after an interview. Make sure you thank the employer for taking the time to interview you and reinforce your interest in the employer and in the position. Also, mention some key point that was mentioned during the interview. If you forgot to mention something important about yourself at the interview, you can mention it in the thank-you letter.
Remember that references are customarily furnished upon request. If your references are requested, it probably means you've made a good impression. It's a good idea to call each of your references and let them know who may be calling them and what position you've applied for. Always keep in touch with your references and make sure they are happy and willing to say great things about you. And, of course, make sure that like all your other documents, your reference sheet is structured and formatted professionally.