How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job
We bet that you each time you have to write a cover letter you may think something like “Does anyone read this at all?”. Well, yes, mostly they do! And it is your responsibility to write a cover letter that will make your resume stand out among all the other candidates’ applications. In fact, some hiring managers pay even more attention to cover letters than to a CV.
If you are still not sure whether it is worth spending your time, let us explain why a good cover letter is so important. The reason is only one, but it is crucial. Your cover letter allows you to show your prospective employers who you are and why they should hire you. It is your chance to introduce yourself as an essential part of their team (in prospect) and reveal all the professional achievements of yours.
And here are some useful tips for you that can help.
- Write a fresh cover letter each time
It means that, whenever you are applying for a new job, you have to compose a new cover letter even though the previous one was written a month ago. Why so? Because usually, employers want to be sure that you are truly interested in the position they offer – which means that your cover letter must match the specific features of each new job.
However, it is ok to adopt several strong phrases from your previous cover letter (or letters) to make the new one sound better.
- Use templates
No one prohibits you from using cover letter templates and samples when writing your masterpiece if it helps you to get inspired and gives more handy ideas.
- Add the hiring manager’s name
When addressing your cover letter to HR, put his or her full name using Mr. or Ms. (for example, “Dear Mr. Peter Jones” or “Dear Ms. Kathryn Wales”).
In case you are absolutely sure that the company you are applying to is more casual, you can use only their HR’s last name (for example, “Dear Emily”). However, if you are not quite sure whether to use Mr. or Ms., just skip the title.
One more tip for you: never ever use generic greetings like “To whom it may concern”! They are old fashioned and sound archaic and stiff. Anyway, your cover letter must be unique and customized, remember?
- Make sure your opening line makes it burn!
There is no need to start with your name as the HR already knows it from your resume. Instead, mention the position you are applying for, mention your previous accomplishments and drop a line about how excited you are to apply for a job with their company. Remember to give all the necessary information in the first sentence.
- Tell more about yourself
When it comes to the body part of your cover letter, god save you from simply repeating what you wrote in your CV! Your cover letter’s body is the place where you can expand and let the HR know you closer and better.
Here it is very welcome to tell more about your previous experience and achievements, as well as to say why you think you would be the perfect match for their company and for this particular position.
- Put the company first
Many applicants make a mistake when writing about how the desired position can be useful for them. What you have to do instead is to tell the hiring manager how and why you could be useful for the company and how they can benefit from hiring you. To do that, try to find the company’s weak points – some issues they need to be solved – and emphasize your skills and experiences that correspond to solving these problems.
- List the right experiences
When mentioning your professional skills, pay attention to the requirements that were listed first in the job description. You must present yourself as a useful employee, right?
- Education can wait
It is simple: there is no need for you to mention all the educational establishments you have graduated from. HR can find this information in your resume. What is much more important is to indicate your work experience.
- Highlight your strengths
Never apologize for the lack of experience in your cover letter! Your goal is to draw HR’s attention to your strengths, so show them!
- Add some numbers
It will be good to add some statistics to your cover letter. If you made more deals than your peers or made a working process 30% more efficient, mention those numbers!
- Be flexible with the format
If you are applying to a traditional company, then writing a cover letter of three or a maximum of five paragraphs will be just fine. However, if your target is a startup or a more creative job, then you would probably need a different approach. Take that into account.
- Avoid being too formal
Yes, you are applying for a job. It is a serious thing, but make sure your cover letter doesn’t sound too stiff and formal. Otherwise, you risk making an impression of an insincere person.
- Stick to the company’s tone
It would be useful for you to get familiar with the website and social media of the company you are applying to. Like that you will know what tone and language they use and will be able to make your cover letter fit them.
- Work on how you finish it
Your cover letter must not be longer than one page. Make sure your last paragraph and lines don’t remind a throwaway. Instead, use your chance to once more emphasize your excitement about the position and how great you would fit the company.
And of course, remember to double-check and edit your cover letter, as well as check the grammar and spelling after it is finished.