How To Write a Cover Letter That Gets You Hired
Your cover letter is an essential part of your resume. It is one of the first things a potential employer will see, and it's an opportunity to showcase your best qualities.
“The cover letter is one of the most important documents in your career”John D. Covey
Everyone knows that writing a great cover letter is essential for getting a job, but developing a winning cover letter can be challenging. But if you get it right, you'll be able to make a big difference in your job search.
Cover letters are a great way to sell yourself to the company that hires you. You know the old saying: “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. This applies to cover letters too.
In this article, I'll teach you how to write a cover letter that stands out from the crowd and gets you noticed.
What Is A Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a short letter or statement that introduces a document to a reader and serves as a reference or introduction to the document's content.
Your cover letter is often the first impression you leave on a hiring manager. They're unlikely to continue reading if they don't like what they see in the first few seconds. You want to ensure that your cover letter stands out so that your resume gets read.
How to Write a Cover Letter
There are three main ways to write a cover letter:
- Personal: This is the most common cover letter format. Personal letters are typically written to a specific individual. You write them in your own words.
- Marketing: This is a marketing cover letter. Marketing letters are meant to sell you. Instead of writing about yourself, they focus on selling your skills.
- Combination: Some people use marketing and personal cover letters to emphasise their strengths and skills. These cover letters are usually based on sales, marketing, or customer service jobs.
Cover Letter Samples and Examples
You can get some ideas for cover letter samples by checking out LinkedIn, Monster, or Indeed. If you don't have a job or internship listed on one of these websites, it might mean that the company isn't looking for people.
Instead, you should check Career Builder and Craigslist.
You can also look for a cover letter example by searching for the company name + job title on LinkedIn or Google.
If you're having trouble coming up with a topic for your cover letter, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What would the hiring manager say is vital to me?
- What do I want to accomplish with my cover letter?
- Do I have anything that would make me stand out to this employer?
- What are my top qualifications for the job?
- How can I highlight these qualifications concisely?
- What can I do to help the employer decide that I'm the best candidate?
What Makes A Good Cover Letter?
In today's job market, the cover letter is one of the first things potential employers see when reviewing your application. A cover letter allows you to express your interest in a job and shows your ability to write clearly and concisely.
While writing a cover letter for the first time can be intimidating, there are some tried-and-true ways to make it successful.
How Can I Write a Successful Cover Letter?
First, write your cover letter before you start applying. It may seem counterintuitive, but having a draft of the cover letter on hand allows you to focus on what you want to say instead of feeling pressured to write something already written.
Second, consider what the employer is looking for and tailor your cover letter to meet their needs. Employers will be more likely to read and consider your cover letter if it speaks directly to their needs. This might include providing information on why you are interested in a specific position and how your skills and experience relate to the job.
Third, avoid writing a generic cover letter. In other words, don't simply copy and paste the same cover letter for every job opening you apply to. Each job application requires a unique approach, so tailor it specifically to the position you're applying for.
What Are Some Things To Include In A Cover Letter?
Let's assume that you are applying for a new job. If your cover letter doesn't contain anything remotely useful, it's doubtful that the hiring manager will want to meet you. Your cover letter is the best opportunity to differentiate yourself from other candidates.
This does not mean that every cover letter should be the same. The main components of a cover letter include:
- An introduction that shows that you know what the job entails.
- A summary of your qualifications and skills.
- A discussion of why you are an excellent fit for the job.
- A closing that summarises the benefits you bring to the organisation.
You can learn how to write a cover letter that will attract your desired employer.
How To Write A Cover Letter That Attracts Your Desired Employer
The best cover letters are written so the hiring manager knows what you can offer them. A cover letter is an excellent opportunity to discuss your experience, achievements, and strengths. Use it to highlight the things that set you apart from the other candidates.
A cover letter should be brief. Do not go into unnecessary details about your education or previous work experience. Instead, focus on discussing your skills and qualifications that are relevant to the position.
Think about what makes you stand out. Are there ways that you can showcase your skills that no one else possesses? What are your skills that employers would appreciate? Use your cover letter to highlight these traits.
Use your cover letter to explain why you are qualified for the job. Focus on the accomplishments that you've made that relate to the position, and share your expertise.
Include a sentence that provides the reader with a glimpse of your personality. This is the perfect time to describe your hobbies and interests. Talk about the unique aspects of your personality that make you a valuable employee.
Keep your cover letter brief and to the point. Too much information will get in the way of your goal — the reader will be interested in reading more about your application.
To sum up, your cover letter should:
- be informative and focused
- highlight your experience and qualifications
- provide a reason to hire you
- be short and to the point
If you're still not sure how to write a cover letter that attracts your desired employer, check out these tips:
- Include a summary of your qualifications and experience
- Include specific examples of what you can offer the employer
- Don't over-qualify yourself
- Be personable and friendly
- Include a reference to a recent success
What Should You Avoid In A Cover Letter?
If you're looking for a job in the marketing department, you may want to steer clear of anything that sounds too much like advertising. If you're applying for an internship or a research opportunity, there are more specifics to consider. If you're applying for a writing position, the cover letter is your chance to set yourself apart from other applicants, so putting your best foot forward is vital.
Avoid using words such as:
“We look forward to….”
Instead, write something that will encourage the hiring manager to read further. Here are some examples:
“I am enthusiastic about this opportunity because….”
“I understand that….”
“I would like to work with….”
“This is the perfect opportunity for me because….”
Avoid writing a cover letter that sounds like an advertisement.
If you can't think of anything unique to say, focus on the benefits you bring to the company. Your cover letter isn't a sales pitch, so don't pretend it is. Instead, highlight your strengths and how they will benefit the organisation.
Avoid Using Exclamation Points in Cover Letters
Using exclamation points can express enthusiasm, but the emphasis placed on a single exclamation point is a turn-off.
It's OK to use exclamation points sparingly. But avoid piling on too many! For example, a line like “Unbelievable!” or “Wow!” is unnecessary.
Also, remember that any exclamation points will be removed when the cover letter is sent to the recipient. That means you must be as concise as possible when using them.
Avoid Sending the Same Cover Letter To All Positions
If you're applying for multiple positions, consider sending a different cover letter for each application. Doing so will make you appear interested in the role, even if you are applying for many positions.
Instead, send the same cover letter with the same information to each application.
Make sure your cover letter is tailored to each position and that you've included relevant information about the job.
Avoid Using Excessive Words
If you're using too many words, you may sound overly formal or dull.
Instead of using long sentences and complex vocabulary, stick to a conversational tone and avoid technical terms.
Avoid the Common Cover Letter Errors
Don't use clichés like “dynamic,” “passionate,” or “outstanding” in your cover letter. Also, avoid including irrelevant information such as your hobbies or pets.
The goal of a cover letter is to make the reader want to learn more about you. Make sure the cover letter is well-written and makes an excellent first impression.
How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?
In general, a cover letter should be 1-2 pages. While your cover letter should always have a professional tone, the length of your cover letter will depend on your qualifications and experience.
Cover letters are an excellent opportunity to explain your experience and skills that distinguish you from other candidates and highlight why you are a good fit for the job. Make sure your cover letter is concise and to the point, but don't sacrifice quality for quantity.
A typical cover letter should include:
- summary of qualifications
- Experience and Education
- Why you are an excellent fit for the job
Ensure your cover letter includes relevant information highlighting your qualifications and experience. If you have a unique qualification or skill that sets you apart from other applicants, this should be highlighted in your cover letter.
Do you need to write a cover letter?
In most cases, you should write a cover letter. Your resume is enough to explain your qualifications and experience, so a cover letter is unnecessary unless the job posting asks for one.
If you are applying for a position with an employer or recruiter, the cover letter should include details demonstrating your interest in the position.
If you are self-employed and you are the only applicant for a job, the cover letter is a way to describe your background and what makes you a strong candidate.
You may receive several resumes per day from job seekers. Use a professional and direct tone to introduce yourself and showcase your skills and experience.
You should also mention any relevant certifications and licenses that you hold. For example, explain on your resume if you are a certified nursing assistant.
What Kind of Cover Letter Is Best?
There are many different types of cover letters, depending on the role and industry you are applying to.
You may want to write a more informal cover letter explaining your qualifications and experience for a design role.
However, if you are applying for a financial role, you may prefer to write a more formal, business-like cover letter that focuses on your skills and qualifications.
A cover letter is an excellent opportunity to highlight your experience, so use it to your advantage. Don't forget to mention relevant certifications or licenses that set you apart from other applicants.
Do You Need A Cover Letter?
A cover letter is usually necessary for every application. This is especially true if you apply for a job with an employer or recruiter.
There are some exceptions, however; in some cases, a cover letter is optional. For example, if you are applying for a position that requires a resume, you may not need to write a cover letter.
When writing your cover letter, focus on your strengths and how they align with the role. This will help you write a compelling cover letter.
When you start applying for jobs online, you'll probably encounter many applications that require cover letters. Cover letters are a critical part of your job application, and, in many cases, you'll need to write one yourself.
The first step is to identify your target job. Then, look over your resume to ensure it's clear and concise. Next, consider your strengths and weaknesses. Where do you need to improve? What is your greatest asset? Your cover letter should answer these questions. It can be as short as three sentences or as long as a page.
Include a summary of your skills and experience. You can use these sentences as the basis of your cover letter. If you have specific examples of projects or activities that you've completed, include them. Use your experiences to show how you've improved your skill set since you graduated. Make sure to proofread your cover letter thoroughly. A mistake can ruin your chances of getting the job.
Learn how to improve your job application with these tips.