The cover letter is a tool to help you introduce yourself in a memorable, personal way during a job application. A well-crafted cover letter goes over the information on your resume and expands this information for the reader, taking them on a guided journey to some of your greatest career and life achievements. Its purpose is to broaden the information contained in your resume while influencing your personality. Unlike a resume, a cover letter introduces you to the hiring manager, provides context for your achievements and qualifications, and explains your motivation for joining the company. So how do you pique the interests of your future employer and hiring manager, while uncovering your true self? When starting to write any cover letter, it is always best to plan the content of your letter based on the requirements of the job for which you are applying. This blog tells you tips for cover letter writing.
What specifically is a cover letter and why is it essential?
Your resume is meant to state the facts, but your cover letter is meant to convey more personality. The cover letter is your first introduction to the person who might be hiring you, and it should aim to make you as memorable as possible. A cover letter is a short (one page or less) note you write to a hiring manager or recruiter to go with your resume and other application materials. Well done, a cover letter allows you to speak directly about how your skills and experience match up with the specific job you're pursuing. It also allows you to signal to the reviewer that you are likeable, original, and likely to be a great addition to the team. Cover letters are essential if you want to give yourself the best chance of landing a job.
Tips for Cover Letter Writing
If you are applying for internships or entry-level jobs, you may be wondering how and when to write a cover letter. While many jobs no longer require a cover letter, in cases where a cover letter is required, writing a well-crafted letter can be an important part of landing an interview. You can compose the ideal cover letter with the aid of these 10 guidelines:
1. Get off to a strong start.
In addition to telling your reader what position you are applying for, your first sentence or two should identify the qualities and experience that make you a strong candidate for the position. If you do not have relevant prior work experience, briefly describe how your research or extra-curricular activities have provided you with the foundation you need to establish your career. Address the letter to the hiring manager by their name if you can. If you cannot find direct contact, address the letter to the department to which you are applying.
2. Keep it short.
Take the necessary space to specify what an organisation has to offer, but don't overdo it. There is no need to go beyond one page, and your letter should consist of at most three or four short paragraphs. Your first opportunity to show that you can communicate clearly is with a succinct and interesting cover letter.
3. Language matters.
While your cover letter should not read as if you cut and paste a job description, it should reflect the language that is used to describe the skills and qualities required for the position. Hiring managers and algorithms that are being used to parse job applications are looking for particular keywords, so be sure to use them.
4. Know your audience.
Remember that you are writing for a potential employer, not your best friend or family member. The language you use when you close a quick email or text is not appropriate for a cover letter. It's okay to be conversational in tone, but you don't want to be too casual. You also don't want to be overly formal. Try and strike the right balance between flashy and professional.
5. Customise the content.
You may be wondering whether you need to write a separate cover letter for each job you apply for, the answer is yes. While there is a general formula for what your cover letter should look like – an introductory paragraph, a paragraph or two explaining what you have to offer to the organisation, and a conclusion – each company has its own culture, which should be visible in your content needed.
You wouldn't send the same cover letter for a job at a startup providing services for millennials as you would an established investment firm serving retirees. Customising your cover letter is not as hard as it sounds. Once you have a template or two, you'll be able to easily customise each letter by swapping out a few key phrases and company-specific information. And if you still do not have it, then help can be taken from CV writing help services.
6. Make it new.
Don't just rephrase what's already listed on your resume. The cover letter is your opportunity to expand on that information meaningfully and let your potential manager know what kind of employee you will be. Relate to specific anecdotes or figures that highlight your abilities and strengths.
7. Avoid clichés.
If you describe yourself as an "out-of-the-box" thinker, the hiring manager probably won't believe it. This is because the phrase itself has become so overused that it no longer suggests creativity or originality. Instead of relying on hackneyed language to describe yourself, take the time to relate an example where you presented a creative solution to a problem you encountered. Just make sure it's relevant to the position you're applying for, or that it reveals qualities you consider a good fit for the company.
8. Make it about them.
Avoid the error of talking about what a particular firm can provide for you rather than what you can provide for the company. Employers are not so much interested in how much you will learn on the job, or that the position is a necessary step to make it in a particular industry. They want to know how you will contribute to the organisation, so make sure the focus of your letter is on how great you are, not the company.
9. Follow the instructions.
Before sending your materials, re-read the job ad. Does it require additional content, such as a link to a portfolio, writing samples, or recommendations on your LinkedIn profile? If you don't follow the instructions on the application, hiring managers may have the impression that you are unable to do what is asked of you. Make sure you are not one of them by following the instructions.
10. Sweat the little things.
There is no room for error when it comes to your job application materials. After you draft your letter, give yourself some time out of it and come back fresh to revise and edit. Read it aloud to catch missed words and awkward phrases and ask someone else to proofread it.
In this blog, we have discussed cover letter essential tips. You must do your research before writing your cover letter. While it is essential to read the job description thoroughly, it is often not enough. We want to recommend services that will help you achieve your career goals, to help writing personal statement, CV Writing, Cover Letters Writing, LinkedIn Profile Writing and Professional Bio.
Keeping your cover letter short (around 250-300 words long), specific and upbeat will increase your chances of success. For jobs that require the submission of a cover letter, remember that you are getting a valuable opportunity to describe your abilities and share a glimpse of an authentic personality. Take advantage of the opportunity to let your greatest strength shine while showing that you respect the hiring manager's time and attention. These tips will ensure that you leave a lasting and favourable impression as you start applying for the positions. And once you've gotten that first internship or entry-level job, you'll have more material to work with for future cover letters.