When you’re applying for a job, the Cover Letter is one of the most essential pieces of your application. It’s your chance to stand out from the other applicants and show the employer why you’re the best candidate. In this article, we’ll help you with how to write a cover letter to make you stand out from the crowd!
What is Cover Letter?
A Cover Letter is a one-page document that introduces you and highlights your qualifications for a job. It’s usually sent along with your resume when you apply for a position. It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself to the employer and explain why you’re the best candidate.
Asking for a cover letter is common in countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia. Cover letters are not as common in other countries, but they’re still a good idea to include one if you can.
The purpose of a cover letter is to:
- Introduce yourself to the employer
- Explain why you’re the best candidate for the position
- Sell your skills and qualifications
- Make a good impression
So, whether the vacancy announcement asks for a cover letter or not, it is a good idea to send a cover letter to stand out in the crowd.
Importance of Cover Letter
Your cover letter is all about you. It is like a leaflet describing you and your suitability for the specific job. The Cover Letter is your chance to pitch yourself to the employer. It’s an opportunity to make an excellent first impression on the employer.
A survey in the US conducted on the employers found these:
- 42.9% of employers wanted their candidates to submit a cover letter
- 29.8% of them felt that cover letters were not important
- 27.4% of the employers had no preference
Here are some points describing the importance of a cover letter in getting a job:
- A Cover Letter is an opportunity to introduce yourself to the employer.
- It’s a chance to make an excellent first impression on the employer.
- It is an opportunity to sell yourself to the employer.
- Cover Letters help you stand out from the crowd.
- They are an opportunity to describe yourself in your own words.
- Cover Letters give you a chance to highlight your strengths and skills.
- You get more space to pitch yourself.
A good cover letter encourages the recruiter to give your CV the deserved attention.
What to Add in Cover Letter?
A cover letter answers many questions that the recruiter needs to know about the candidate. You need to arrange information in your CV following the regular practices. Your cover letter needs to complement your resume and add additional value.
Here is a list of things that you need to add to your cover letter:
- First, add whatever the employer wants to have in your cover letter. In some cases, the recruiter will mention the required areas.
- Then, add information answering why the company should hire you.
- Show your skills that are relevant to the job description.
- Describe what interests you about this job
- If you have a gap in education or career, mention what you were doing.
- How you would add value to the organization
- Share your Availability at Work: how quickly you can join and if you have any preferences (part-time, full-time, etc.)
- Your career plan and how the job supports that plan
You cannot write everything you want due to the limited space within it looks professional. So, you need to be creative to briefly accommodate all the required information.
How to Write a Cover Letter?
Writing a cover letter is not challenging, but it is tricky. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to design your cover letter.
Before writing your cover letter, research the job you want to apply for and the company. Also, collect information about their competitors. This will help you understand what the company is looking for, its values, and how you can show that you’re a good fit.
Here are a couple of things that you need to explore:
- The vacancy announcement
- The company website
- The company’s social media
- Glassdoor or other employee review sites
Now that you understand the company, you can start writing your cover letter.
2. Address to the right person
Always try to address the right person who will receive the job application. You will find that in the job advertisement. If you cannot find the name, use a generic title such as “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Hiring Manager.” But do not use “To Whom It May Concern” if you can find the person’s name.
Use Mr./Mrs./Ms. And the person’s last name only if you know the gender of the person. If you are unsure of the gender, use the full name (e.g., Chris Smith).
When in doubt, it is always best to err on formality. Address them as “Dear,” followed by their first and last name. Example: Dear Mr. Smith,
3. Open properly
Your cover letter should have a solid opening. The first sentence is your chance to make a good impression and engage the reader.
- State the job you are applying for
- Mention where you found its advertisement
- The opening sentence should be short, clear, and to the point.
- Do not use clichés or informal language.
- Be careful with your tone and keep it professional throughout the letter.
Bad example: “I’m interested in the job that I saw on your website.”
As you can see, this example is too informal.
- I am writing to apply for the job of marketing manager that you have advertised.
- I am interested in the position of sales representative at your company.
- I saw your ad for a web developer on Indeed.
4. Describe yourself in the second part
In the second paragraph, you need to pitch yourself. You have to convince the employer that you are the right candidate. This part holds your details but concisely.
- State your qualifications
- Explain how you fit the job requirements
- Mention your skills and strengths
- Use numbers to back up your achievements
- Provide examples of your work
- Show reasons behind your interest in this type of job
- Explain how the company could be your right option
Bad example: “I am a good fit for this job.”
This example is too vague and does not provide any evidence to support the claim.
“As a recent graduate of XYZ University with a degree in marketing, I am confident that I have the skills and qualifications you are looking for in a candidate.
In my internship, I increased the company’s social media following by 20% through my innovative marketing campaigns. I am confident that I can bring my creative thinking and drive for results to your company and help contribute to its success.
I am interested in this job because it emphasizes creativity and innovation, two of my strengths. I am also excited to learn more about the XYZ industry and grow my skills in this field.
In addition to my qualifications, I have strong interpersonal skills that allow me to build relationships with customers and colleagues. As a result, I am confident that I can be an asset to your team and contribute to your company’s success.”
5. Close with care
After making your case, it is time to wrap up your cover letter. Again, the closing paragraph should be short and to the point.
- Thank the employer for their time
- Reiterate your interest in the job
- Include a call-to-action
- Mention that you will follow up
- Start with “Dear Mr. X,” then end with “Yours sincerely.” If you start with” Dear Sir or Madam,” then end with “Yours faithfully.” At last, sign off.
Bad example: “I look forward to hearing from you.“
This sentence is too formal and polite.
“Thank you for your time and consideration. I am confident that I have the skills and qualifications to get the interview call.
You can reach me at [phone number] or [email address].
Thank you for your time.“
Now that you have a general idea of how to write a cover letter, let’s look at some tips on making your cover letter stand out from the rest.
How do you grab attention in a cover letter?
You can do a few key things to make your cover letter stand out from the crowd.
- First, make sure you address the letter to the right person. The last thing you want is your letter to go to the wrong department or get lost in the shuffle.
- Second, open your letter with a strong opening sentence to grab the reader’s attention.
- In the second paragraph, describe yourself in a relevant way to the position you are applying for.
- Finally, close your letter with a strong closing sentence that will leave a lasting impression on the reader.
Another way to stand out in your cover letter is to tell a story. Cover letters are an opportunity to give the person reading a glimpse into who you are as a person, not just a list of your qualifications. For example, telling a story about a time you went above and beyond or faced a challenging situation can help the reader see you as a well-rounded individual.
Last but not least, be sure to proofread your cover letter before sending it off. A well-written cover letter can differ between getting your foot in the door or being passed over. But a cover letter with typos and grammatical errors will only make you look unprofessional. So, take the time to proofread your letter carefully before hitting send.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your cover letter will stand out from the rest!
You want to come across as confident without sounding arrogant. One way to do this is to focus on your accomplishments and quantifiable achievements.
Another way to highlight your skills is to use positive adjectives such as creative, innovative, or resourceful.
A few things can make your cover letter stand out from the rest. First, make sure that you understand the purpose of the cover letter. Then follow the step-by-step guide for writing the cover letter properly. Finally, rewrite the letter to make it concise and informative, covering all the required points.
When describing yourself in a cover letter, it is essential to be clear and concise. In addition, you want to make sure that the person reading your letter gets a good sense of who you are and what you can bring to the table.
One way to do this is to focus on your strengths. Cover letters are not the time to be modest – you want to sell yourself as the best possible candidate for the job. So, focus on highlighting your skills and experience relevant to the position you’re applying for.
In general, employers spend around half a minute reviewing a job application. So, you have that 30 seconds to grab the interview call using your cover letter.
When you start your job search, you should start with your cover letter. Then, make several templates for different industries. It will help you add in the required information within a few minutes and submit a job application.