How to Write A Great Cover Letter

Updated on Jul 17, 2019 144 views
How to Write A Great Cover Letter

How do you write a great cover?

You know including a cover letter in your job application is not overrated therefore it is important for you to know how to write one.

Writing a good resume for the job you are searching for seems to be an enormous job, getting the right words that would catch the employer’s attention and make them accept you as the best candidate for the job is always the goal but a good resume can get a bad review if the cover letter is written poorly with little or no skill put into it.

The competition out there is thick; you must write putting that in mind because this is what gives you the cutting edge.

A cover letter may be short but it is the first thing the employer sees. How you present yourself in the cover letter is how you will be addressed and taken seriously. You may have great skills but you have to know how to communicate that to the recruiter.

You want to make sure that every cover letter you write for each job at least lands you an interview; as this is the first step of having any of getting the job. This article will help you craft a fantastic cover letter.

 

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a one-page document submitted with a job application, a resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV). This is the most important part of your job application where you can tell much more about yourself, what you have done and details you couldn’t mention in your resume.

 

What makes an effective cover letter?

What makes an effective cover letter is the extra effort you put into it that separates yours from the one that was casually written.  The interviewers look out for those things and they can tell those who did the mindless lifting of their letter from those who took time to creatively craft their own cover letter. You might want to highlight and promote your career achievements; your strong team spirit and how well you can perform and be an asset to the company you are applying to.

Another interesting aspect to be covered is that you make a research of the company or industry you are applying to, understand what they do, the position you are applying for and the job description, know the terminologies they use and intentionally use those words in your cover letter.

It will also be great to know the problem you would be solving if you are given the job, as must as you talk about your effectiveness, remember your humanity and don’t overblow things by sounding too mechanical or so one directional, even if you are following a template gotten on the internet, you must be able to blend in your uniqueness as an individual.

A number of things make a cover letter effective and I will be highlighting them for you to take note of.

1. Never forget why you are writing the letter: It is important for you to remember the reason you are writing that letter which is to get the reader to call you for an interview, everything in the cover letter should point to that single purpose; if not, it is simply a total waste of time.

2. Do not copy and paste directly from your resume: The essence of a cover letter is to have something more spectacular and not just a repetition or a duplicate of the resume attached. You can tell a story that will draw them in while keeping tabs on the main points.

3. Know your employers: Do not address your letter with “To Whom It May Concern”. Go an extra mile to know the name of the person you are writing to and address them properly with the appropriate title. It makes your letter feels less generic and more personal or if you like, specific.

4. Start by enumerating the problems you intend to solve: This will show them you understand what you are coming for. You do this by highlighting the right experiences by listing the most important requirements and how you can perform the task

5. Focus more on what you are offering: A good cover letter sells you and what you are about to bring to the table. The focus is on how to get the recruiter to see how you can fit into their organization, so focus on that instead. Avoid the use of too many sentences that starts with “I”. Rewrite or restructure your sentences so it doesn’t seem like it is all about it when it should be about what the company will get from you.

6. Do not sound too complex: It is important to make your letter easy to read and understand, use a legible font size and construct simple sentences. You don’t need to impress anybody by using vocabulary that is not part of everyday use. That doesn’t mean you should use street lingo; construct grammatically sound sentences but keep it simple. Do not forget to break down your sentences into paragraphs for easy comprehension and assimilation.

7. Be as brief as possible: Make your cover letter from 300-500 words; anything lengthy will be ignored. Knowing you have little space to present who you are, you might want to be smart by using the right words.

8. Don’t be sorry about your missing qualifications: It is likely that you do not meet all the requirements listed; don’t start using negative words like “Due to my limited experiences…” or any other thing to show what your limitations, focus on and illuminate your strong points instead. It is not enough to simply highlight your educational requirements alone; skills are as important as a degree – if not more important. The recruiter is looking out for your job experiences that show you will know what to do about the job role, so highlight those points.

Cover letter templates

One of the issues job seekers have is that they cannot write from scratch, they may have enough information and just would not know where to start. Today, there are many free templates on how to construct your own cover letter, downloading one of them and using that as a format to writing yours is not a bad idea, this will at least be better than you writing by yourself especially if you can’t make sense of it alone. You must, however, note that many cover letter templates you find online are written with different jobs in mind, so before you decide on just choosing anyone, make sure you have a number of options that suits the kind of job you are applying for. This will help you a great deal. If you still can’t get it done by yourself, you can seek professional advice, the idea is to get a cover letter that would at least get you to see the interviewers, they might have called you back out of curiosity to see if what you wrote and who you are correlates, so do your homework so you don’t embarrass yourself at the end of the day.

There are different templates for different categories of people, there is a cover letter for students, for interns, for those seeking a job without experience, there is for those with experience. There are also templates on how to write a cover letter for a job that has not been listed as a vacancy, some companies may not place ads but they are hiring and even if they are not, they can consider ones there is an opening. It is now your job to follow up and check if there is anything for you.

The other two aside the paragraph cover letter are:

The Specific needs cover letter which can be started and finished with opening and closing paragraphs but the difference is the middle, how it is constructed. Rather than writing in paragraphs, you go straight to what the one hiring asked for and how you can beat that record. It is mostly in a two column format.

The Grocery list cover letter: This is the aggregate of the first two. That is it is both a paragraph and specific needs cover letter. You start and finish with paragraphs but the middle is not in columns, you list out the requirements like your experience, attention to detail, ability to remain within the specified budget. You highlight each point and give the corresponding answers for example

Experience: for over seven years I have worked as a manager and event coordinator overseeing the planning, organizing and coordinating of all events in the company.

You can then go on and on listing the other points.

 

Here is a template you can follow to begin your letter

Your Name

Your Address

Your City, State, Zip code

Your Phone Number

Your Email

Date

Name

Title

Organization

Address

City, State, Zip code

 Below is a cover letter example you can consider

 

Joseph Q. Applicant

123 Main Street, Any town, CA 12345 · 555-212-1234 · [email protected]

June 1, 2019

Jude Stephen

Director, Human Resources

Fit Living

123 Count Avenue

White City, BC 54521

 

Dear Mr. Stephen,

I’m writing to apply for the position of Social Media Manager for Fit Living, as advertised on your website careers page. I have three years of experience as a Social Media Assistant for Young Living, and I believe I am ready to move up to the manager position.

In your job posting, you mentioned that you want to hire a Social Media Manager who understands the Internet and social media trends. During my time at Young Living, I was given the responsibility of increasing follower numbers on Instagram. I explained to my manager that I would be happy to do so and that I would also work hard to increase follower participation because engagement has become an important metric.

Within six months, I increased our followers by over 50 per cent and increased engagement by 400 per cent. I’m very proud of that accomplishment. Currently, I’m working to build a following with the best influencers in our niche.

When I saw the job opening, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to offer you both my social media marketing skills and people skills. I’ve included my resume so you can learn more about my educational background and all of my work experience. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Please feel free to email me or call my cell phone at 555-777-5555. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

 Signature

Joshua Q. Applicant

 

 

Components of a good cover letter

Now let us consider what makes up a good cover letter, from the beginning to the end of it, we will take it bit by bit for more accuracy and comprehension.

Contact Information: Basic cover letter for job information includes your details, such as your name and email address (if you do not want to include a postal address). About email addresses, ensure you have a professional email address that has your name and surname not something unprofessional like [email protected]. No normal employer would take you seriously, that will be one of the things they would notice, so take time to open another one if your current email doesn’t suit what a corporate setting will be comfortable with.

Also, you should know the contact address of your employer so they know you are serious, the name is very important and every other detail, state and city of the target company.

Usually, there are three types of cover letter format, though one is widely used. They are the paragraph cover letter which is used by many who do not have enough job experiences. This style also allows you to engage the reader by stylishly telling a story using three or four paragraphs.

Salutation: Address your cover letter like a professional. Do not write “To whom it may concern.” That would show that you have not done your homework well. Do not also write “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam” or “Dear hiring manager”. It is better you don’t put any of the above if you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to.

The Introductory Paragraph: Your cover letter introduction should grab the reader’s attention (in a good way). Show to them that you understand the job description and describe the problem your position of hired will solve. Most people make the mistake of starting on the note of self-appraisal; remember it is not about you so you need to be careful in the way you present that first paragraph.

The Second Paragraph: A good cover letter has body paragraphs that showcase your abilities and how you fit into the company’s future. Try to connect your background to the job, enumerate nothing more than three examples showing how your background connects to the job you are applying for, don’t be monotonous and don’t just form an experience you do not have, you can tell of the skills or experiences you have that relates to the industry you are applying to. This would give you a cutting edge.

The Third Paragraph: This is the part where you get to be more specific, enumerate your top 3-5 achievements listed on your resume, summarize or rewrite to suit the job you are applying for. Do not copy and paste, you can list them using the bullet format, for more clarity and organization.

Call-to-Action: The best cover letter lets the hiring manager know when you’re available to interview and that you will follow up if necessary. You should let them know you look forward to being called back for an interview, that is actually the plan or the bottom line of it all.

The Sign-off: A cover letter closing should consist of “Sincerely,” “Regards,” or “Best Regards,” + your name. Before you say goodbye, you have to remember that this is the last opportunity for you to leave a lasting impression. Don’t just settle for the “I look forward to hearing from you.” ending. You can use this last paragraph to show what you are willing to sacrifice for the growth of the industry like saying you can relocate for the sake of the company.

Edit your work

After you must have written the letter, make sure you proofread a number of times, you can even give it to someone else, A professional to look into it, spell all names and addresses correctly, you don’t want to be misleading in all these little things. Use your computer’s spelling and grammar to check for unlikely errors you might have missed out. Be as thorough as possible.

You cannot go wrong by following the instructions, we have taken care to cover most points, you should start drafting out that cover letter and go get the job you desire. There are many more templates that you can download online to give you several options on how to go about it.

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