Do you send a cover letter together with a CV contacting an HR manager to obtain desired position or title? If you think that a cover letter has no sense, we will ready to swing you around. In what way do you want to stand out from other applicants if you never send a cover letter proving your motivation? Cover letter is the thing that catches attention of a manager receiving resumes. And if composed competently, it is a significant step to land with interview invitation. So how to write a cover letter for this document to open doors of your professional growth and development? Let us get all this straightened out.
In last few years, cover letter has become an indispensable element in employment in any industry. It is a useful communication tool that helps employers understand the essence of each applicant. It is a good way to draw attention to your resume, supplement your professional image, and stand out from other candidates. In this post, we will talk about cover letter writing, its importance in any business environment, and tips to follow. Read further our guide.
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job?
It is impossible to understand how to write a good cover letter without having any idea of purpose it should serve and data your potential employer would like to read in it. Having answered these questions, you will understand what information to concern in it.
What Makes Cover Letter Important
Cover letter is sent as addition to the CV and should be in line with it. Articles are aimed at hooking an employer and demonstrating your competency and professionalism. Resume cannot introduce you appropriately. The task of CV is to share basic information about the objectives of the job search, conditions the candidate is seeking, his experience and skills. Required structure of resume is often regulated and doesn’t provide an opportunity to demonstrate character of an applicant. This is when cover letter comes to play. The mission of cover letter is to put information about candidate's motivation and interest in a vacancy.
What Functions Does a Cover Letter Perform?
- Cover letter section gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your unique qualities and set of key achievements.
- It is a great way to prove your competency.
- Cover letter proves professionalism of a candidate, although if he may be a student.
- Cover letter is a good platform to show your interest in the company, project, and vacancy.
It would be silly to miss this opportunity to prove that you are senior candidate to choose to the position being opened by a company.
Cover Letter Writing – What Aspect Matter?
Just like any kind of writing, cover letter has its own writing standards and requirements; being compliant with all the nuances is a key to your professional success.
Cover Letter Size
There are no strict requirements to the size of cover letter. Whether short or long, this piece of writing should contain specific information that coincides with the requirements. It wouldn’t be a good idea to veer off on irrelevant tangents; try to be informative, concrete, and charismatic for the reader.
Cover Letter Style
In the overwhelming majority of cases, the cover letter should be written in an official/ business format. Deviations from the rules are possible if you are applying to a position involving creative work. Humor and creativity will be quite appropriate. It is always necessary to strike the right balance and make the piece sound awesome.
Structure and Contents
There is no universal template for writing a cover letter. This type of writing requires individual approach. It takes a lot of time and efforts to write a piece that would catch the attention of a person who reads it. Before writing cover letters, read the vacancy description and try to demonstrate yourself as the perfect candidate to occupy this position. Compare jobs requirements with your related experience, focus on relevant competencies in the letter.
To facilitate the perception of the text, the cover letter should have a clear structure to determine. It should be as follows:
- Write the official greeting to the recruiter (dear sir/ madam) - it is a polite opening part.
- Mention the name of the vacancy you are applying for; do not forget about adding the name of the company here as well posting a cover letter.
- Explain why you are interested in this vacancy in several paragraphs.
- Describe the relevant experience of yours; in case of its absence, focus on discussing skills and qualities necessary for successful work in this position. Place other information that may be of interest to the employer and convince him to stop his choice on you. Justify why your experience and expertise will allow you to work effectively.
- Thank for the attention paid to your application.
- Leave a sign and indicate your contact information.
What Employers Pay Attention to in Cover Letters
There are some basic things which marketing employers care reading cover letters sent by applicants. These small details say a lot of about candidates applying to a position; so your writing is to meet the criteria.
The cover letter should be open, literate, and short; the amount of content in it shouldn’t exceed half a page. The piece should clearly and concisely formulate your best qualities and role you can offer the team.
2. A Little Bit about Personal.
It would be good approach to bring in the cover letter your best professional points and strong personality traits/ culture - proactiveness, focus on results, ability to search and find effective work handling. Showing yourself from a human perspective will help you create the positive impression of you. On top, after reading the cover letter, the employer should have a holistic picture of how your professional qualifications and personal qualities will assist you in dealing with the company's work. You should avoid common expressions to be included here. Reinforce your words with small generalized examples from your work and life. If you do not know how to write a cover letter, think that it is article/ story that is sincerely written and leaves an impression of you being an expert.
Be sure to highlight the interest precisely to the company and position you are applying to. Explain why it interests you. So, if you are knowledgeable about a specific project of the organization, your chances of being invited to the interviews will increase at once. If you indicate your taking into consideration the company being a leader in its field, then the example of a project that impressed you will only confirm your words. If you indicate your love to that field specifically, it will be a big plus for you.
4. Easy-to-Perceive Style
Do not use long expressions and hard to understand language. Write in short sentences and on a personal note; it is best to achieve this if you imagine that you are talking to your future employer. Do not overdo it and stay within business tone.
5. List of recommendations
If you apply to a large company, there is a probability that HR managers will ask you to provide contacts of people who can give recommendations and references. If you get ahead of his request and include this information in a cover letter, this will add weight to your candidate. Increase chances of getting an interview invitation. Making cover letter according to sample will persuade the company to hire you.
6. Individual approach
Cover letter is more than summary; it requires an original approach and adaptation to each individual position you are applying to and need to fit. Writing it will require some preparation from you. Before working on this piece of writing, try to understand what the company is aimed to find. Carefully study requirements and note most basic targets you need to cover in your CV and cover letter. Match them with skills of yours and focus on them (do not forget about supporting examples!). We strongly recommend using in cover letter so-called keywords – basic terms based on which the company describes requirements for the candidate.
7. Substantial Information Only
Do not write any extra (unnecessary) information in cover letter. Text should be only a concise description and address your most powerful qualities, without telling about your personal information or habits.
8. Uniqueness for the Company
You should always remember that the company wants to know what it will get by hiring you. At this point, you should indicate reasons why you are excited about obtaining this position. Turn your rationale for your choice into unique offer for the companies. If you write that your work is vocation to which you have devoted many years of life, pay employer's attention to how you can use your many years of previous experiences to improve efficiency of his organization.
9. Contact information
Despite the fact that your resume contains your contact information (including email/ phone), it is necessary to duplicate it in the body of cover letter. Let the employer have as many opportunities as possible to contact you quickly. There should be call to action.
10. The SMART principle
To better understand how to articulate your achievements, successes or strong qualities in cover letter paragraph, try using the so-called SMART principle. This is a known method of setting smart goals, which can be excellent assistant in compilation of your text.
Writing a cover letter is a challenging task, which requires preparation, research, analytical thinking, and proficient writing skills. It cannot be written in several minutes. An understanding of what an employer wants to check in the text of the cover letter and functions the piece performs can help one to create a really winning text.
Before to start writing a cover letter, check free online examples for job seekers on a website. It will ease the process. It would be one of good ways to you to learn formatting specs, simple steps of the writing process and addressing all main professional points of yours. Checking a number of templates on a site, you can get advice on how to write a cover letter for a job, understand how and introduction/ summary should be formatted, and avoid generic mistakes.