Even in the age of digital job applications, cover letters are still relevant. How To Write A Great One!
Writing a resume is difficult enough (although our series of resume guides will help), but a potential employer also expects you to send her a cover letter explaining why you are right at work. How can you write a compelling letter for every job you apply for?
The key is not to approach each letter as a whole new document. Although cover letters require more customization than resume, there are still some formulas you can use to make the task easier.
Whether you are writing your first or 50th cover letter, we can help. Here's everything you need to know to write good cover letters and get more job interviews!
Formatting the cover letter
Your cover letter should follow the standard letter format and contain some important basics. The good news is that once you create one cover letter, you have a template that you can use for the rest.
The correct business letter format contains your contact information at the top of the page. Include name, address, phone number and email address.
Skip a line and enter today's date ("January 1
Skip another line and add your greeting ("Dear Mr./Ms. [Name]", or use their full name if you do not know gender). If you don't know who you're writing the letter to, you can use something generic like "Dear Hire." Avoid "Who it may concern" as it sounds dated. It's always best to use a name, if possible – and the Internet usually makes it easy to find out who you're sending the letter to.
After that, you can begin the letter, which should include three paragraphs. Then you include a formal ending, like "Sincerely," or "Respectfully yours," followed by name and signature.
Your cover letter should fit on one page and must be in a standard font and size (10 to 12 points). If you think formatting your letter is a challenge, you can download a template and fill out your information, just like with a resume.
No matter how you do it, you must format the letter correctly. Hiring managers often throw out poorly formatted without ever reading them.
Writing Your Cover Letter
Now is the time to write the cover letter. While formatting remains the same for each job application, the content of your letter should change. The content nevertheless follows a formula. You always need these three sections:
- Introduction : A winning hook that notifies the hiring manager of your potential as a candidate.
- Body : One paragraph (or two briefs) that supports your statements with specific examples of your experience and qualifications.
- Conclusion : A brief summary suggesting the next action for the hiring manager to take.
Details may change, but the basic information often stays the same when applying for jobs in the same field. This means that you do not have to write a whole new cover letter for each application. You just need to make the right adjustments so that your cover letter fits the specific job and company.
Let's take a closer look at what to include in each section.
Briefly state why you are writing the letter. Focus on what you bring to the company, rather than what they will do for you. For example, it is not technically wrong to say, "I write because I want the [Job Title] position on [Company Name]." But it's much stronger to say, "I'd like to use my unique [industry] skills as the new [Job Title] on [Company Name]."
Make sure you include the title of the position you are applying for. Some connections with the company, you can name them by name in this section Give some short details about who you are and why you are right in the job, for example you can mention relevant major in college or your current professional title and years of experience.
The more compelling the first paragraph, the more likely it is that the hiring officer will continue to read. interest, so she continues to read.
The middle section of your letter sheds light on the professional experience you have that you think will help you get the job.
unify this section from what's on the resume, but make sure it doesn't just reshape the information. Instead, take the opportunity to go more in-depth about your achievements or explain any gaps in your resume.
For example, your resume mentions that you grew the company's customer base by over 300 percent. In your cover letter you can explain how you achieved it. Or maybe the CV has a work history gap because you didn't have a job for half a year. In your cover letter you can mention all the courses you took during the six months to prepare for a career transition.
The more specific you are, the better. Don't say you're good at customer service. Instead, you can offer an anecdote about a time when you showed outstanding customer service in a difficult situation. Show why your experience is relevant and how you help the company you are seeking to solve their problems.
You should also show that you have researched the company you are applying for. Try something like: "I love following [Company Name] 's Twitter account, and with my proven social media marketing skills, I want to make sure these posts get a lot greater reach. "
It's clear that everything in your cover letter must be factual, just like on the resume. Make sure you feel confident talking about it if it is recorded during an interview. And just like on a resume, try to quantify your performance with measurements and numbers when possible.
In your conclusion, you can swing to discuss how your experiences will help the company reach its goals. When you feel that you've written convincingly about your potential as a candidate, you can move on to a call to action. For example, you could say, "I'd like to talk more about what I can do for your brand online. To set up an interview, you can contact me at [your email address]."
Show confidence here and write as if you think they will contact you. Avoid weak wording, such as "I hope to hear from you soon." Instead, remind them why they should hire you, and then provide the best way to reach you. link to your portfolio or write samples as a call to action.
Don't forget to thank the company for considering you before closing the letter. Keep the tone safe but formal and courteous. Something simple, like "Thanks for your review, and I look forward to hearing from you, "works well as a closing sentence.
Editing and proofreading your cover letter
Now is the time to edit and polish. One of the hardest parts of this step is to make sure you hit the right tone.
When you first begin To write a cover letter, it is best to get the important information down and worry about how you will say it later. You can even start with an outline and use lists or bullet points to organize the details. However, once you have printed the information, make sure it is well formulated.
Work to achieve a balance between formality and relatability. Your letter should be authentic and interesting, but conversational and friendly. Try reading it aloud to see if the words flow naturally.
Just as with a resume, it can also help to add some industry-specific keywords or phrases during this step. Work these terms in your cover letter if they fit naturally. If something sounds unnatural or robotic, it's best to leave it out.
Send cover letter to a few friends, mentors or family members for feedback. Make changes where you need to, and then resubmit the final version so they can help you check for typos or other errors. Proofreading should be the last step, but make sure you don't skip it!
Just before sending out the polished cover letter with an application, double-check all names, addresses and dates. If you use the wrong company name or date, you will quickly discard your letter.
Together with your resume, the cover letter creates your first impression with a new company. The stronger the impression, the more likely they are to request an interview. With practice, you will learn how to set the right tone for a compelling cover letter. And a solid cover letter can often be fine-tuned for multiple job applications, saving you time and effort.
But be prepared: When you use these cover letter tips, there will probably be a flow of interview conversations. Be sure to hone your interview preparation skills with this guide!