What should I write in the federal cover letter so it becomes an additional argument in favor of the applicant? Hiring in the federal sector is very different from hiring in the private sector, so you should approach writing a federal cover letter with all responsibility. But first, make sure that your resume is tailored to the standard in accordance with the federal resume sample. Here are some tips from HR representatives.
Linda Breadford, HR Director, InterStep
There was a time when I perceived the federal cover letter as something not obligatory, not important, but only as an introductory part to the resume, from which we could draw something that was not reflected in the application form. But this is an important document and you need to create it consciously, following the appropriate instructions: https://federalresumeguide.com/how-to-write-a-cover-letter-for-federal-jobs/
Now I pay attention to federal cover letters more often than before. And the first thing I check is the presence of grammatical and stylistic errors. The resume can be quite dignified, edited, but in the federal cover letter there are such mistakes that it is ridiculous, because usually the resume is sent by specialists with higher education. Of course, there are misprints, but sometimes you want to laugh for a long time, and then refuse, without even going to the resume itself.
It is not clear why professional experience is copied in a federal cover letter. Such a doubled argument is unlikely to enhance the positive impression of the candidate.
It is interesting when a job seeker seeks work outside the scope of his existing experience. Sometimes a well-written federal cover letter helps to understand the motives of the candidate. Although there is a very convincing federal cover letter with arguments in their favor, a strange person comes to the meeting. Nevertheless, when a young lawyer suddenly wants to work in the field of sales himself, an interview is possible.
The number of pronouns “I” in the letter suggests that the candidate has a slightly overestimated opinion of himself. You should not be so straightforward when presenting your professional accomplishments. The agency is looking for an employee with baggage, not his own statute-book. You will have time to show your achievements lately.
If you really want to reflect something worthwhile in the letter, then start from the interest in the vacancy, a chance to multiply your knowledge and experience. It is important for the hiring agent to see the interest in job functions and goals, and not just the reaction to salary and location.
Helen Riley, CEO of Concept Agency
In the recruiting practice of agencies, for an initial acquaintance with the applicant, a resume of one or two pages is enough. If the size is larger, no one reads the rest, because it seems that the applicant cannot concretize and generalize his professional experience, highlight the main thing in the work, and correctly indicate the priorities.
A federal cover letter copied from templates with typical phrases carries absolutely no information. Most electronic job search resources are designed in such a way that you can only respond to a specific vacancy, so writing that you responded to this particular vacancy in addition is really odd. Whether or not the hiring agent disregards your resume depends on how much you fit into the vacancy profile. If you are a hairdresser both by education and experience, and you are sending a resume for a dentist job with the longest and most detailed federal cover letter, your resume definitely will be ignored.
Well, if you have a desire to add something to the resume, just fill in the “Additional Information” column, in which you may write what you want to indicate in the federal cover letter.
Jessica Decland, Federal Employment Agent
Typically, a federal cover letter is the first thing an employer sees when they receive a lot of resumes by email. So if you are in doubt whether to write a letter, the answer is unequivocal, it is mandatory to write. Whatever position you apply for, a competent, concise, and most informative federal cover letter will be the right step of a self-presentation and should encourage the employer to read further information. Do not make the letter too long, copy parts from the resume or set out an autobiography. It is better to write briefly and to the point, using a businesslike and respectful tone without any familiarity. Stamps and platitudes should be avoided, try to show individuality, and not rewrite ready-made templates, which are many in Internet sources. And, of course, not only the content of the letter is important, but also its quality. Carefully check it to make sure there are no spelling, punctuation and stylistic errors, re-read it several times before sending. If you follow all these simple rules, the first impression that you can make on the employer will be extremely positive, distinguishing you from the total mass of candidates for the position you are interested in.