When applying for a job, writing a cover letter is one of, if not the most important piece of your application. It is the first image of you that a company or a hiring manager will receive, and often what determines your chance of moving forward in the selection process. This article will tell you everything you know about writing a strong cover letter that will make you stand out from the crowd.
What is a cover letter?
Basically, a cover letter is an introduction to your CV. Rather than a list of your accomplishments; it is a brief piece of writing that explains what type of person you are, what inspired you to apply at that certain job, and indeed, your accomplishments. Since it is a written and narrated piece, you can use this as an opportunity to show the reader your personality through your writing style, most interesting work experiences, and general interests.
- Personal Information
Including your personal contact information is a step that is surprisingly often forgotten, yet one of the most important sections of your cover letter. It is essential to write your full name, email address, phone number, and home address at the beginning of the cover letter since this shows the hiring manager different ways to contact you. No matter how good your cover letter is, you may risk not getting called back if they do not have your information.
- Work Experience
Besides handing in a cover letter when applying for a job, it is most common to have to hand in your CV as well. Your CV should include very brief and short explanations about your past work experience. Be careful not to write the same thing in your cover letter! Differently, when writing your work experience in your CV, your cover letter should specify instances of outstanding professional success. On the other hand, you’ll have to be careful about providing relevant and even measurable results about your time at previous jobs.
- Mention the company
In your cover letter, show the hiring manager at least some basic knowledge of the company you’re applying to. By being able to demonstrate an interest in the company and previous research capacity you will almost automatically create a good impression, and improve your chances of getting hired. You may also want to state the ways in which you can contribute towards the workplace. Make sure to mention how your previous studies, personality, and motivations are helpful towards the overall development of the company and beneficial towards your potential coworkers.
You can find out about the company by visiting their website; particularly their “About Us” page. If you wish to find more information about it, you may want to turn to the company itself to ask whatever questions you may have or ask any of your peers if they know anything about it.
In your opening sentence, avoid addressing the letter to “Whom it May Concern”. This could be interpreted as a lack of interest for who is actually reading the letter, or as a generic or impersonal letter that you’ve sent to various companies. The name of hiring managers is usually available in the company’s website; so make sure you address it to that specific person. If there is no name available, do not hesitate to call the company directly and ask for a name. Again, this will give you extra points as you will be demonstrating eagerness and authenticity in wanting to work for them.
Don’t forget to state what position you are applying for. You can write the position as the subject of the email, or in your opening sentence. For example, “I am writing to apply for the *** position”.
When closing the letter, try to sound excited to hear back from them, yet not desperate. Rather than saying you’re looking forward to hearing from them again, write that you’ll be
You have to remember that hiring managers look at dozens of applications every day. This can be a very repetitive task, so it can become easy to overlook long letters. This said, your cover letter should not be longer than a page. As well as making it easier for you to write, it will be a much more pleasurable experience for the hiring manager.
If you’re struggling to find the right structure for your letter, don’t worry. There are hundreds of good cover letter examples and templates on the internet that you can use.
What not to include
- Me, Myself and I
Be careful with using “I” or “My” too much. This may cause the letter to sound less professional, or even in many instances self-absorbed.
- Other Job Applications
You want the hiring manager to realize how much you want to work in the company. Even if you’ve applied to another place, avoid mentioning this altogether. If you do, you may risk sounding desperate for any job; giving the impression that you’ll settle for anything that pays. Instead, you want to make sure the reader knows you actually use your skills and intellect for the benefit of that specific company.
Hopefully, these tips will help wrap your head around the best ways to improve your cover letter skills. These are very important abilities to have at any point in life. If you want an expert to write a custom letter for you, don’t hesitate to contact an online letter writing service for help and enjoy your life. Good luck!