Before you submit your application for a correctional officer job, you’ll need to ensure that you include not only a copy of your most recent and highly targeted resume for the particular job that you are applying for, but to ensure the best results, you should also include a cover letter as well.
Corrections officers submitting an application for a new job can definitely benefit from providing a cover letter along with their resume, but what if you’ve never wrote up a cover letter? Where do you start, what do you include, and is it really necessary?
Continue on for answers to those questions and much more about completing your correctional officer cover letter.
WHAT IS A COVER LETTER
A cover letter, as the name would imply, is basically a letter that accompanies your resume that serves as your introduction to a potential employer that your would include with your corrections officer job application and resume.
Your cover letter should highlight your skills, abilities, knowledge and experience as it relates to the job in which you are applying.
Cover letters provide you the opportunity to make a great first impression on the hiring staff for a corrections job, so make sure that you market yourself as the best job candidate. You can achieve this by explaining exactly how you are qualified, detailing your experience and skills, significant accomplishments and roles, current educational status and a current job title if you are currently employed.
So why is a cover letter so important? Well according to the Society of Human Resource Management, employers may eliminate as much as 70% of potential applicants prior to the interviewing process just on their cover letter, or lack of a cover letter. It could be said that the cover letter is of equal importance of your resume. So with that said, if some employers are using it as an additional job screening method, it becomes very important that you get yours right, immediately.
WHAT TO INCLUDE
In your cover letter you will want to include a brief explanation of why you are submitting you resume, which obviously can be addressed by stating the specific job position that you are applying for, but make that you always submit a cover letter along with your resume unless of course it is otherwise directed that it is not required by the employer.
With all the information and details about you employment and life history that you could possibly include, it is best to refrain from having your cover letter run over a single page of content. Make sure that your information is clear, concise, and easy to read in its entirety in about one minute.
Target each cover letter to the specific employer. You might also want to mention how you heard about the position, either for a recent job announcement, an online job posting, or a website online.
If a job announcement of posting is requests certain information or asks that you address a particular question, take this opportunity to provide it within your cover letter.
DO’s & DON’Ts
Keep your cover letter within an acceptable and professional appearance by using standard font types and sizes like Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, or the default Cambria found in Microsoft Office at a font size ranging from 10-12pt.
Use matching premium heavyweight resume paper for your resume, cover letter, and the envelope if mailing to an employer. Avoid using loud, fluorescent colored paper for your hiring documents but instead use the standard, and more common colors available from specific resume paper providers.
Make your resume and cover letter work together, paying close attention to detail throughout, such as misspelled words, varying use of fonts, and information that doesn’t match on both documents.
CLOSING IT OUT
For your closing paragraph you should include some type of gratitude to the reader for their consideration for the position you are applying for as well as your contact information with an email and primary phone number along with the hours in which you can best be reached. Follow this by your valediction and your name and signature.
SUBMITTING YOUR COVER LETTER & RESUME
You should submit your resume in the preferred method that’s stated by the employer in the application process. Normally employers today will request that after completing your application online, you will also submit a digital copy of your resume and cover. For this method of submission stick with standard formats like DOC or PDF files.
If you are allowed to submit your documents by mail, it is best to use an oversized, sturdy envelope to avoid having to fold your resume which in turn makes your resume easier to read and also gives out a better impression to the hiring staff.
Be sure to check out our other resources for completing your correctional officer resume.