Writing a cover letter is an important part of applying for any job, just like resumes, this is where applicants need to include top relevant and accurate information clearly. It should contain a number of specific parts. If any of them are missing, it may disqualify job seekers from consideration and affect their chances to be hired by the chosen company or employer. What are the important parts of a cover letter? Follow general and helpful guidelines to address them all when writing cover letters to let them bring desirable results.
The importance of a cover letter
A cover letter can contribute to your successful job application in many possible ways. It serves as your introduction to a hiring manager. It’s your opportunity to convey your viability as a good candidate and ability to communicate relevant information in a professional and polished manner. Your cover letter should note a specific position and it can highlight relevant qualifications to further explain backgrounds or unusual circumstances. It must demonstrate your top professionalism. That’s why you need to ensure that this document in its content and structure meets all expectations.
What it can do for job seekers
This document always does the following:
- Proving potential employers with your understanding of the chosen position in search;
- Communicating with hiring managers on why your skills and working experience are relevant to it;
- Indicating that your backgrounds can add more value to the company resources;
- Convincing employers about your sincere interest.
Make sure that the written grabs attention quite fast because most recruiters spend only minimal time on the job applications they receive. Why are you a good fit? Your cover letter should offer a better insight into your qualities and skills that make you a perfect candidate among others.
What are the parts of a cover letter?
All job seekers should understand that a cover letter is comprised of several parts, including:
- Contact details;
- The main body;
- A strong closing;
What to include in each one? When writing all of its basic parts, don’t copy facts or statements from your resume to get any of the jobs you want.
The oppening section should include your personal contact data, like your address, full name, phone number, email, etc. Feel free to include online professional profiles. Choose a proper style and go with something simple and official. Keep this part of your cover letter professional, especially when it comes to your email address because it should be written to reflect your professional identity.
Although it’s not necessary to use the landed addresses of potential employers to send your cover letter by email, you need to get a proper name to address it. Avoid generic words, like “Dear sir”. They will only make it seem like you don’t want to make an effort to find out more about a given vacancy. What is the best way to learn contact names? Call the front office of your chosen company or review its official website or use effective solutions if you can’t find any contact person.
The main body
Its main purpose is to let employers or hiring managers learn the following:
- The position you’re applying for;
- How you’ll follow up;
- Why they should choose and invite you for a future interview.
How to write it correctly? This part should consist of a few paragraphs:
- The first paragraph serves as an attention grabber and your chance to make recruiters want to read more (provide them with focused and specific information about the job you want to get and highlight a few important strengths to prove your suitability for it);
- The second paragraph explains your offer to employers, and you should use it as a hook where you demonstrate the best examples of your work and its final results (include your key competencies or quantifiable achievements and use bullet points to draw readers’ eyes to your professional successes);
- The third paragraph is all about your knowledge of a particular company (show that you conducted your in-depth research and prove your clear knowledge about it and understanding of how to contribute to its main mission);
- The fourth paragraph serves as your closing where you need to sum up everything you can bring to a position and indicates further steps by suggesting a call or requesting a meeting.
You should finish your cover letter with a formal closing, like “Yours truly” or “Sincerely”, to make it work and stand out. It’s a part of professional correspondence. That’s why job seekers shouldn’t use any type of informal closing in the papers they write when applying for open positions.
The way you sign this document depends on whether you send an email or a paper letter. In this case you choose to send a standard letter, so it’s necessary to type your full name after a salutation and leave enough space for your handwritten signature. If you send an email, type your contact data and name after a salutation, and you’ll never go wrong with these basic options.
How to write a cover letter?
First, you need to conduct your research. Find out more about the position you’re applying for and the chosen company because you require these details to tailor this paper accordingly. There are certain things that you need to learn before you start writing it:
- Company competitors;
- Its targeted market;
- The focus of the company;
- Job responsibilities and duties;
- Important skills.
Why is this information so important? Use the above-mentioned details to make it clear how your professional abilities and skills match up with the requirements of hiring managers or recruiters. Your research will provide you with the knowledge necessary to tailor your cover letter and demonstrate your genuine interest in a specific role.
How to format it properly?
This document should be concise, professional, and to the point. To format it correctly, use a simple font with no embellishments or pictures that will only distract readers’ attention. Ensure that your cover letter has the right length and clear paragraphs.
How to address it
Address it to the person or people dealing with receiving and evaluating job applications. This information is usually indicated in job ads. If not, you can use different methods to find it out. Go to the official websites of companies to track down the names of relevant recipients or call and ask them directly. This basic step will let you address your cover letter accurately and demonstrate your genuine interest or initiative in a given position.
What should you do before sending your cover letter?
- Include your professional title, name, and contact data;
- Highlight key achievements and skills;
- Write all the above-mentioned parts;
- Use a good balance of the white space;
- A consistent look between your cover letter and resume;
- No punctuation, spelling, or grammatical mistakes;
- The length of about half a page (excluding contact details);
- Demonstrate why you’re the best match for an open position;
- Uniqueness because you should tailor it to one job offer.
Don’t do the following:
- Include clichés or be vague;
- Reuse the same cover letter for different job applications instead of personalizing it;
- Use your unprofessional email;
- Simply repeat the information you state in your resume because your cover letter should indicate how your previous achievements and professional skills meet the requirements of job ads;
- Include all kinds of images, graphics, or tables;
- Go over a single page because recruiters and potential employers prefer concise and clear papers.
The closing note
Now you understand how to write a cover letter. All of its parts should reveal important information about you and tell hiring managers why you’re a perfect fit for their job openings. Give each part enough time and attention.
The process of writing this personalized document is one of the most challenging and difficult parts of job searching. Can you make it easier? The good news is that you don’t have to complete this process yourself because there are many professional companies that can help you.
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Cover Letter Sample
926 West Berry Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
July 13, 2019
Dr. Gail Smith
Director of Human Resources
Fort Wayne Community Schools
123 Clinton Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Dear Dr. Smith,
I am writing to express my interest in the fourth grade instructional position that is currently available in the Fort Wayne Community School System. I learned of the opening through a notice posted on JobZone, IPFW’s job database. I am confident that my academic background and curriculum development skills would be successfully utilized in this teaching position.
I have just completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Higher Education and have successfully completed Praxis I and Praxis II. During my student teaching experience, I developed and initiated a three-week curriculum sequence on animal species and earth resources. This collaborative unit involved working with three other third grade teachers within my team, and culminated in a field trip to the Indianapolis Zoo Animal Research Unit.
In my work with the ninth grade classes, I stressed critical thinking and the incorporation of mathematical and science units into the course. The student response was very encouraging, as we had a 100% passing rate for this section. In addition, our team met state curricula guidelines and received numerous positive comments from students’ families regarding the class material. Both my cooperating teacher and my supervisor from the teacher preparation program complimented me on my enthusiastic classroom presentations.
Please consider this resume; and the completed application form as an expression of my sincere interest in pursuing any fourth grade vacancies that may arise in your district.
I am confident that as a teacher in your school system, I can create a productive learning environment that is student-centered. I welcome the opportunity to discuss with you in person my ideas and qualifications. If you have any questions or would like to arrange an interview with me, I may be reached at (260) 403-1499 or [email protected] Thank you for your consideration.