Cover letters have been part of standard job applications for decades. However, with time, there have been some changes in its appearance and the list of “do’s and don’ts”. So, we are here to bring the reviewed and renewed tips for writing the best cover letters for you!
What to Include in a Cover Letter?
Before you press send on the email with the cover letter, make sure it checks out all the following points:
- Introduces you
This is the first time your potential recruiter is coming to know about you. In case they have the habit or custom to go through the cover letter first and CV later, this will set up the premise for all that is yet to come. So make sure you hit the right notes with the introduction.
- Gives your contact details
Make sure you include your mobile phone number, email address and physical address all in the cover letter. It is better to make a separate compartment with your full name as its title for presenting such details in an eye-catching template and color palette. This will draw attention from the readers in an instant! If you don’t do so, how will they let you know that you are shortlisted? Some companies ask for only a cover letter and no resume. To not miss a chance with them, it is better to build a habit of including these standard contact details in your cover letter.
- Addresses the job in question
Read the job description carefully if there is one or get in contact with the respective recruiter to know more about the vacant post. Make a phone call to them, email them or if you found the post on a social networking website, knock them there in the message section. After you have figured out what the job really requires from the candidate or the position-holder, touch all those points in your cover letter. Make it clear to the employer that you have fully understood what the job position is called, what it is about, what will be your responsibilities and what possible setbacks come with it.
- Mentions the employing company
There are hundreds of companies posting thousands of jobs every day. The company will obviously be curious about why you are interested in this particular one. Go to their official website to get an idea about their quirks and perks. Mention them in your cover letter without being too upfront about it. Your goal will be to make the recruiters feel like you know all there is to know about this organization and to clearly state which of its aspects inspired you to apply for a job here. This is the reason cover letter experts would tell you to make a different one for each company since all of them differ a lot from the other.
- Matches the listed requirements to your qualifications
From the job description, you must have figured out what specific talents or skills the recruiters are after. So tactically let them know in the letter – how your qualifications fall perfectly in line with their mentioned requirements. Don’t list them down like bullet points. That structure is strictly for a resume. A cover letter is where you can incorporate those points into a bit more elaborate and elegant explanations.
- Connects the company environment to your personality traits
Many times the job postings or the company website mentions the kind of personality they are looking for. For any office, the nature of their employees is extremely important since that sets the tone of the whole environment. This is the workplace where all of these people spend most of their time each week and thus it needs to be as peaceful as possible. Figure out if effective communication is a significant trait for them or punctuality. Let them know that you are a “people’s person” or a “team player” – whichever is more emphasized in the relevant sites.
- Encourages the recruiters to read it
The recruiters you are aiming at pleasing are the same people who will get your letter among a pile of other cover letters. So, needless to say, you have to try your best to leave a lasting impression on them on the very first read with a unique cover letter format. This may be done with your style of writing, the structure of topics you cover in it or the design. Whichever among them is your strongest suit and can hold their attention for a longer time, is the one you should utilize. But remember to not include something bizarre or amateur in an attempt to be “noteworthy”.
- Ends with summary and a call to action
After you are done with implementing all the above points into the cover letter, it is time to write goodbye properly. Not literally of course, never sign off with “Goodbye” in a cover letter. Save that for interaction with friends only.
Rather, end your cover letter with a brief summary of why they should hire you or why you are fit for the job. Also, put a line there about how you are looking forward to meeting them in person or in an interview. This will let them know you are confident of your chance for this job but not too confident that you will stop trying.
The Underlying Rules of a Great Cover Letter
The unavoidable rules are the ones we have stated above. But there are also some unofficial ones which are not so hard and fast, but following them will exponentially increase the chance of bringing your cover letter to the positive light.
• Not longer than a page
Never let your cover letter exceed the page it started from. In this busy day and age, no one has the time or the interest to go through a cover letter where they have to turn the page. No matter how many achievements you have had in your career, state them in brief on the single page.
• Lingual similarity
If you belong to a country where English is not the first language, try to respond to the job posting with a cover letter written in the same language as the post’s. Often when a recruiter is posting a job, he does so because that is the language with which the whole organization feels comfortable and that is also probably the language they use for official transactions. Thus he will, of course, expect the recipients or candidates to show their authority in the same language.
• Free of formatting errors
This is an absolute necessity! Even if you ignore everything else in this section, please follow this one while writing a cover letter. A cover letter having even one grammatical error or wrong spelling will ruin all the impression you have been building so far. It will make the recruiters squint at your letter and trigger the possibility that you are still an amateur. They will move on to the next cover letter immediately nullifying all of your efforts.
Making a perfect cover letter is not so hard but not so simple either! The true magic lies in striking the perfect balance between over-selling and under-selling yourself. Follow the above points to make your smooth way into the corporate world and to increase your chance against other job-seeking competitors.