Though there are many formats, full block format with open punctuation marks is the most popularly used forms in today’s business communication. Full block format means, aligning all the parts of the letters in the left margin without indenting. One line space has to be left between the parts. Open punctuation refers to using punctuation marks only in the main body of the letter in order to ensure clear comprehension and omitting punctuation marks like commas and full stops in all other parts (date, address, salutation, subscription, etc.)
How to Write an Effective Cover Letter?
An effective cover letter must convince the employer that the candidate possesses the requisite skills for the job and ensure him that he is the suitable person for the post. So the cover letter should highlight the most relevant skills/achievements/performance, needed for the job. The cover letter is usually written in three or four small paragraphs with enough white space in between.
In the first paragraph,
(i) mention the subject and reference. In other words, the name of the post you are applying and the source of information (name of the newspaper and the date) are to be mentioned. In case of some other sources like personal contacts, due acknowledgement has to be made. (ii) Express the reason to apply for the post or your willingness to be considered as a candidate. Some sample openings:
1. Your advertisement for the post of Software Engineer in the June 25, 2008 issue of The Times of India interested me as I am confident that I possess the requisite qualification and skills. I wish to be considered as a candidate for the same. 2. I understand from Mr. Rajgopal, one of your faculty that there is an opening in your esteemed organization for the post of Marketing Executive.. 3. I was very interested to see your advertisement for the post Software Engineer in The Hindu of 29.06.2008. I have been seeking for such an opportunity as this, and I think my background and your requirements may be a good match. I am very much interested in working as a Software Engineer in your esteemed concern.
In the second paragraph,
(i) highlight your academic and professional skills which are more relevant for the post you are applying now. (ii) Give specific and the most important details of your achievements and inform the employer that your resume is enclosed for the other details of your qualification and experience. Some samples:
1. As my enclosed resume indicates, I have a B.E in Electronics and Communication Engineering. I was a University rank holder and was awarded a merit scholarship by the University. I did my internship at Reliance, Bangalore, during the summer vacation. My project work has helped me acquire a wide variety of skills that would benefit your company.
2. My education includes a B.E .in Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi and an MBA from IGNOU, New Delhi.
During my undergraduation, I did a summer project in Network Security, at BSNL, Coimbatore. and received a letter of appreciation for my vision and ability to multitask. I wish to begin my career with Polexcel and I believe that my employment with you would be highly beneficial to your company and also add value to my career.
In the third paragraph/concluding paragraph,
(i) motivate the employer for taking action, i.e., calling for an interview (ii) express your convenience to attend the interview.
Some Sample Closings:
1. I look forward to the opportunity of attending an interview when I can provide additional details. 2. I would like to meet you and discuss the employment possibilities at your company. I expect your reply and appreciate your consideration. 3. I shall be pleased to provide any further information you may need and hope I may be given an opportunity of an interview. 4. I wish to begin my career with SR Industries and I believe that my employment with you would be highly beneficial to your company and also add value to my career. 5. I have been looking for an opening like this one, which provides a fast moving, dynamic work environment and accelerated and challenging growth opportunities. (ii) RESUME
A resume is a selective record of a candidate’s academic, professional and personal background. It is basically, a professional employment seeking document that presents the summary of an individual’s education, professional training, experience, skills, abilities, achievements and references. The length of the resume should be between 1 and 2 pages long.
There is no specific format for writing a resume. The resume should have an effective design with a focus on readability and adaptation to the expectations of the prospective employer. Though the parts and the format of a resume differ from person to person and company to company, the standard parts of a resume include the following:
2. position sought,
3. career objective,
5. work experience,
6. special skills,
8. activities, and interests
Some sample objectives
1. To work as a System Manager in a leading IT company where I will have opportunities to use my knowledge in VB, ASP, NET, XML and SQL server. 2. To be a part of a fast growing multinational company that will enable me to use my analytical, interpersonal and communication skills. 3. Entry level position is design and development of microprocessor circuitry; eventual advancement to positions as Technical Manager or Project Leader.
There are three acceptable resume styles: Chronological, Functional and Hybrid (a combination of both) Chronological Resume: This is the most commonly used resume style. It focuses on education and experience and the details are arranged in reverse chronological order. Functional Resume: Functional resumes highlight accomplishments and emphasise skills. The requisite skills are demonstrated by means of the experience the candidate possesses. Combination Resume: As the name suggests, it combines the best features of chronological and functional resumes. This style is very rarely used.
In short, the style of the resume depends on the nature of the job and the skills and qualification of the candidate.
Points to Remember in Writing a Resume
Make the design and format readable with main sections noticeable and the individual components distinct, separate and clear. Give well defined headings
Leave enough white space between the parts.
Align everything to the left
Leave at least one inch margin
Use standard font, preferably, Ariel or Times New Roman with 10 or 12 font size. Be specific, factual and objective.
Edit carefully for grammar, vocabulary and spelling errors.
Avoid punctuation as much as possible.
Avoid columns, vertical, horizontal lines, or boxes.
Avoid decorative designs, and typography
Make the resume computer-friendly.
Thus the success of employment search largely depends on a candidate’s ability to design an effective cover letter and a persuasive resume.
LETTER OF APPLICATION
In response to your advertisement in The Times of India of 29.06.2008, I wish to apply for the post of Software Engineer in your reputed concern.
My academic record reflects my sincerity and strong determination. I graduated with a B.Tech in Information Technology from Anna University, Coimbatore with distinction in May 2008. I received the Chief Minister Merit Scholarship during 2006-2007 for my academic performance. As a dynamic and extroverted student, I took active interest and participation in many extra curricular and co-curricular activities and won prizes. I have enclosed my resume for the details of my qualification for your perusal.
As I have a sound academic background, good oral and written communication skills, proficiency in computers and high degree of commitment, I would be able to contribute to the growth and expansion of your company. I look forward to having the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications for the post of Software Engineer at your firm.
To obtain a challenging position as a Software Engineer in an innovative software company where I will have opportunities to utilize my computer proficiency, communication and interpersonal skills to contribute to the growth of the company and also enhance my career prospects.
Anna University, Coimbatore
B.Tech. in Information Technology, May, 2008.
SH Senior Secondary School, Chennai passed Higher Secondary, April, 2004
Programming Languages: C, C++, JAVA, PERL
Technologies: HTML, Java Security, JDBC Operating Systems: Linux, Unix, Windows 95/09/NT, DOS
Won Chief Minister Merit Scholarship for academic proficiency in III tear Won First prize in Inter – University elocution contest, in 2007. Secured Second position in Debugging’ contest, held at IIT, Chennai.
Was the Student Secretary for the Society of Information Technologists Had been a member of National Cadet Corps for three years during my school Have participated in many extra – curricular activities and won prizes
Age & Date of Birth 21 years &
Marital Status: Single
Languages Known: Tamil, English, Hindi, German
Interests: Reading fiction, Web designing and Listening to Carnatic
REFERENCES 1. Dr. V.Thanuvalingam
Dean (Academic) Anna University Coimbatore
2. Dr.K.Viswanathan Professor& Head Department of Information Technology Anna University Coimbatore
Assume that you have completed your degree and draft a letter of application to be sent to your dream company. Prepare your own resume to be enclosed along with the cover letter.