What Is A Cover Letter?
Have you been applying to job after job without much luck? Have you been including a cover letter? If not, that might be your problem. The purpose of a cover letter is to include additional information, explanation and personality in a job application that does not come across in a resume. It is a personal communication from the job seeker to the employer to elaborate why they are the right person for this role. Unless specifically told not to send one, you should be sending this type of letter with every job application you submit.
Tips For Writing A Cover Letter
There are plenty of major and minor details to keep in mind when writing a winning cover letter. These tips have been proven to work thanks to collected data and years of experience, and should be very helpful for anyone looking to produce a quality introductory letter that lands interviews.
- Elaborate points brought up on your resume – don’t repeat them.
- Sell yourself. Tell the company why you are the right candidate for this position.
- Include positive traits and both hard and soft skills. Be as specific, action-oriented and quantitative as possible.
- Feel free to tell a brief story about your experiences with this company and why you want to work with them.
- Get your personality across. You want to make an impact on the hiring manager and show what kind of person and professional you are.
- Write a custom letter for every position, or at least heavily tweak and customize an existing one/template.
- Use a template to get yourself started.
- Write as close to the company’s voice as you can.
- Address and explain any red flags that might appear on your resume, including gaps in employment history and job hopping. Note that some red flags, such as criminal history and prior termination, might be best brought up in an interview.
- Have an assertive closing that reiterates your fit for the position and asks for an interview.
- Use keywords strategically to get your letter noticed by applicant tracking systems.
How To Write A Good Cover Letter
You should put together a cover letter when you go to apply for any job. Even if one is not requested in the job description, it’s still best to include one. This is especially true if you are simply submitting your resume via e-mail: the body of the e-mail itself is the perfect place to include a short introductory letter.
Above all else, be sure to make your letter personal rather than stiffly formal. Come across as an interesting, engaging, qualified professional they will want to hire. The other element of all good cover letters is how well you catch the interest of a hiring manager by relating your skills, experience, why you would like to work for them and why hiring you will benefit their organization. Candidates who can manage these things are much more likely to get positive responses.
There are other smaller, but no less important, details to consider. For example, always make sure that your letter is formatted correctly and contains no spelling or grammatical errors. Taking the time to produce an error-free letter will make you appear professional and like you honestly care about your work. You should also always write a custom letter wherever possible, or at least heavily tweak ones you’ve used before or gotten from a template, depending on the role you’re applying for.
Examples Of Content
Like any business letter, a cover letter that is going to be sent through the mail should be formatted properly and formally. Margins should be 1″ all around and paragraphs should not be indented.
Here’s an example:
_____________ (your address)
_____________ (address of the person the letter is addressed to)
Dear (Recipient) (ALWAYS use a specific name if possible)
I was excited to learn that a ___________ (position title) position has opened up at your company and I hope to be invited in for an interview.
I have been working in the ______________ (name of industry) industry for several years and have had great success in ____________ and _____________ (list specific accomplishments). I am also highly proficient in ___________ (name of relevant tech or software) usage and was often called upon to train other employees in its use.
I have been using your company’s products for many years and have always been very impressed with the products you produce. Because of this, assisting in the growth and success of your company is something I would love the opportunity to do. I believe I am an excellent candidate to fill the position because _____________ and _____________ (list specific traits).
Thank you for considering my application and I hope to hear from you soon to schedule an interview.
__________ (your signature)
__________ (your name)
Example Using Template
_____________ (your address)
_____________ (address of the recipient)
August 15, 2017
Dear Mr. Samuel Martin,
I was excited to learn that a customer service position has opened up at Tech Enterprises and I hope to be invited in for an interview.
I have been working in the customer service industry for several years and have had great success in assisting customers with their questions both in-person and by phone. Most conversations I have had with irate customers have resulted in the customer walking away from the encounter placated and I have been recognized as the customer service employee of the month on more than one occasion. I am also highly proficient in Oracle Service Cloud. It is used in my current company and I am often called upon to train other employees in its use.
I have been using your company’s products, especially your headsets, for many years and have always been very impressed with what you offer. Because of this, I am highly familiar with your company’s products and am well-equipped to assist your customers. Being involved in the positive relationship your company has cultivated with its customers is something I would love the opportunity to do.
Thank you for considering my application and I hope to be invited in for an interview soon.
Cover letters sent by e-mail can be a lot less formal in their formatting, and are often more brief, to the point and concise.
Dear Ms/Mr ____________,
This application is in response to your online job posting for a ________ (position title).
I am currently employed as a __________ (name of position) at ___________ (name of organization/company) and I have developed skills in this position that I believe make me an ideal candidate, such as ______________ and ____________ (list a couple of relevant skills). I am looking for a greater challenge in my career where I can be part of an organization that works to better the lives of others and I have consistently been impressed with the work your organization does, particularly ___________ (name a specific example). I am particularly qualified to do ______________ and ____________ (name a couple of specific examples from the job posting), as these are things I already exceed expectations for in my current position.
My resume is attached. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon. I would love the opportunity to interview with your organization.
(Name of signing authority)