When you apply for a position, your cover letter is the first thing employers see after the highlighted keywords in your resume ( check out our guide to writing the perfect resume ). Your cover letter's content will make you stand out from the competition. A cover letter is more than just a summary of your resume; it also draws the reader's attention to your skills.
And, before you begin writing a cover letter, make sure you understand what the letter is about.
What is a cover letter?
Any resume you send out should be followed by a cover letter. Cover letters are used by employers to test applications for vacant roles to decide which candidates they wish to interview. If a cover letter is requested by the employer, it will be specified in the work posting.
And if the company does not want one, you should still include one.
The letter describes in-depth why you are suitable for the position you are applying for.
Give clear information on why you are a great match for the employer's work criteria, rather than just repeating what is on your resume. It will demonstrate that you put in more effort into your application.
How to write a cover letter?
Although the content of cover letters can vary, all cover letters must have a few main elements in order to successfully fulfill their objective and show the top reasons to recruit you.
They should also stick to a standard structure to ensure that the knowledge is well-organized and available to prospective employers.
To demonstrate your talents, a perfect cover letter follows a systematic development of ideas.
To meet employer standards and showcase the best qualities, every cover letter should contain the following seven sections:
A header with your contact details appears at the top of every cover letter.
To maintain continuity in their submission, often people use the same header for their cover letter as they do for their resume.
A header should begin with your name and have separate lines for your email, phone number, and address, regardless of the exact format you use.
If the information is important to the job, certain people have links to their portfolio or social media.
Your cover letter's salutation or greeting is the first opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates by addressing the correct person. To demonstrate that you have put thought and effort into your submission, look up the name of the recruiting manager for each position.
This piece of information is usually available in the work posting, on the company website, or by contacting their office and asking.
If you can not find a particular name to send your letter to, personalize the greeting by specifying the department in which you will be employed.
If their name is not available, "Dear Hiring Manager" is a traditional greeting. If possible, use honorifics or titles in your greeting to keep it brief and professional.
The first paragraph of the cover letter should provide basic information about yourself and why you are applying for the position. Have the title of the role you are applying for, as well as a general explanation of why you will be a good fit for the position and why you are excited about it. You should mention how you learned about the job and why you wanted to apply, which is a particularly effective technique if you were introduced to the position by another employee.
After the introduction, concentrate on your background and qualifications. This helps you to quickly catch the employer's attention by explaining how you can improve their team
Include examples of related tasks or scenarios that demonstrate how you solve challenges and do well at work.
Describe how you contributed to the progress of previous projects and emphasize the importance of your decisions.
The following paragraph should show that you are familiar with the company's mission and have done your research on the job.
Concentrate on how your priorities match with theirs and how they relate to the aspects of the company culture that you admire. Explain how your job will help both the career and the needs of your current boss. This part of the cover letter helps you to prove that you can not only do the job well but also that you can communicate well with others and have a good outlook.
Finish with a professional closing term and your name typed or signed.
If you are sending your cover letter via email, remove any unwanted email signatures.
When writing a cover letter, a little research and preparation will get you off to a pretty good start. It is better to plan a presentation that shows how you can satisfy the company's expectations when you have a good understanding of what they are.
- Research the work ad to become familiar with the business. Consider how your skills match the position you are applying for.
- Keep it brief and to the point.
- Be positive and optimistic, but keep your vocabulary professional.
- Where needed, use a bold font or bullet points to attract attention to key points.
- If someone from within the organization recommended you or guided you to contact the HR boss, mention it early in the letter.
- Keep each cover letter unique, don't use the same template for every company.
Example of a cover letter
Hiring Manager Name
Are you searching for a software developer who has a track record in developing high-performance technologies and scientific breakthroughs? Please take a look at the resume I have attached.
Since 2015, I have worked with (mention previous Company) as a tech developer, where I have been recognized for designing creative technologies for multimillion-dollar, internationally distributed software and systems.
Known for excellent client-facing skills, I have participated in proposals and presentations that have landed six-figure contracts. I also excel in merging business and user needs into high-quality, cost-effective design solutions while keeping within budgetary constraints.
Cross-platform experience (Windows, Unix, Linux, and VxWorks); fluency in 13 scripting/programming languages (including C, C++, VB, Java, Perl, and SQL); and advanced knowledge of developer applications, methods, methodologies, and best practices (including OOD, client/server design, and self-test automation) are among my professional skills.
What’s the Purpose of a Cover Letter
When recruiting managers to pick up your resume from the stack of resumes, the cover letter is the first thing they see. Many job seekers, however, are ignorant of the value of this critical application text.
Learn why cover letters are so critical for landing the work you want, as well as cover letter tips to help the next cover letter shine!
Have you ever asked why a cover letter is called that? People used to apply for career applications on paper. The cover letter acted as the resume's real cover sheet.
Of course, it is not the case today. Now it is just a clever way to show your best skills, explain what is missing from your resume, and say a little bit about yourself. It shows your dedication to the possible job in 2021, as writing one takes additional time on your side.
Regardless, a cover letter is still needed and necessary. This is why:
- A resume alone, according to 53% of employers, is insufficient.
- A cover letter is seen by 49% of recruiters as a consideration that will lead them to pay more attention to the application.
- Nearly 70% of employers want work applications that are half a page or fewer, and 70% of employers spend less than five minutes reading them.
- Cover letters for resumes are now considered “highly important” by 26% of recruiters. So, if you do not submit a cover letter, you have already lost your opportunities with a quarter of employers.
And even if the recruiting manager does not read the cover letter, a cursory look reveals your level of attention to detail.
It also helps a recruiter to see the written communication abilities, which are one of the most high-demand soft skills in today's business world, according to studies.
Formatting and addressing the document correctly was immediately visible.
Sending a resume with a bad cover letter is just as bad as turning up for an interview in a ripped or rumpled shirt, and missing the step entirely is almost as bad as not wearing a shirt at all.
Learning how to write a cover letter is a crucial skill to master because it lets you make a positive first impression on the recruiting manager.
A well-written cover letter allows you to demonstrate to the employer:
It is necessary to have a strong first impression. Your first opportunity to stand out and be considered a good choice in a crowded field is to write a clear and convincing cover letter.
Emphasizing your core qualities right away will help you ‘sell yourself,' catching the reader's attention and increasing the chances of moving on in the selection process.
2. Unique Fit
A cover letter is an important tool for demonstrating how a particular set of qualifications and expertise match the job description's core criteria.
The next move is to explain why you are the perfect choice for the role.
You will achieve this by stating that the company requires a qualified applicant to fulfill its objectives, and then list three or four explanations that you are the qualified candidate that the company requires.
The aim is to get straight to the point of why you are the best match for the job. Do not spend time looking for the message you are trying to convey; recruiting managers just do not have the time.
Your cover letter's wording will reflect your individuality in a way that your resume cannot.
The sound of the letter provides the interviewer with valuable information about your attitude and the kinds of qualities that will benefit their team.
It helps you to say why you are the right candidate for the position in your own words.
A cover letter is a valuable document to include in your career search toolkit because it allows you an additional opportunity to demonstrate that you are the right candidate for the job.
It gives a factual CV or job resume character and essence. Most employers are looking for candidates who can bring value to their business, and a cover letter can help you demonstrate how you will provide them with just what they want, as well as even more.