A cover letter is a formal letter that you attach with your resume when applying for jobs. There are times when you don’t need to submit one, but it’s always a good idea to write one. You stand out in the crowd when you write a cover letter. With a cover letter, you introduce yourself to the hiring manager and you can add things that are not in your resume. It’s a supplement to your resume.
In addition, cover letters should be tailored to each job description. However, most don’t know where to start or how to write one. Cover letters don’t have to be long – one page will do the job. You don’t have to be a great writer or very creative, but follow these few simple steps and form:
Header: contact information
- At the top of your document put your contact information: name, last name, email address, phone number, website link (i.e. LinkedIn page), address. You can always choose a template so you don’t forget about that when you write your second cover letter
- You should also include the name of the hiring manager, their title, the name of the company that you are applying to, and the company’s address.
- Add the date when you wrote and sent out your job application
- In the first paragraph of your cover letter, you should address the hiring manager. Dear Sir or Madam is very generic and it shows that you didn’t do the research. Find the hiring manager by searching LinkedIn. If you can’t pinpoint the right person to address then use the following: Dear Hiring Manager, To whom it may concern, Dear Department Hiring Manager, etc.
- This is your chance to grab attention. Mention your top achievements and how these skills will benefit you for the position that you are applying to. Also, try to add metrics to your achievements (i.e results).
- In the opening paragraph say why are you interested in this position and what makes you the perfect candidate. This is where you show that you’ve done your research and that you tailored the cover letter to the job.
Body of the cover letter
- In the main section, explain why you are the right person for the job, how your skills and achievements will help the company overcome its obstacles
- Explain why you are the perfect fit for the company. You need to explain how you resonate with the company’s culture. You need to show what you like the most about the company and the job that you are applying to. For example, if you saw that the company is innovating quickly – mention that and explain why you can relate to that.
End: call to action
- In the last paragraph, you should thank the hiring manager and finish with a call to action. You should ask them to take some sort of action. You can always repeat your email address and phone and say that you are happy to answer any questions or uncertainties.
- Your cover letter should finish with formal closing such as Thank you, Sincerely, or Best Regards and then your name again.