How to Write a Cover Letter
A cover letter is a formal written document sent with a job application providing additional information on the applicant’s credentials and demonstrating their interest in the open position. There are other terms used to represent this type of a document, such as a covering letter, letter of motivation, motivation letter or motivational letter. A cover letter is usually accompanied by a curriculum vitae or resume. Unlike a resume, which summarizes the applicant’s overall qualifications, a cover letter allows them to present themselves professionally and apply their skills and experience directly to a particular vacancy.
A cover letter is intended to introduce the applicant’s curriculum vitae and illustrate the enthusiasm they feel for a job opening. When writing a cover letter, it is significant to remember that there are nearly 60 seconds the applicant has to grab the prospective employer’s attention.
- Maintain a businesslike, yet friendly and enthusiastic tone.
- Use power phrases to emphasize your qualifications and convey your experience, such as “I have a talent for” or “I have extensive experience in,” and others.
- Highlight your biggest accomplishments, using bullet points.
- Use active verbs rather than passive verbs.
- Keep the letter brief, not exceeding one page.
- Use simple words and uncomplicated sentence formation.
- Start too many sentences with “I”.
- Repeat the information contained in the resume.
- Mention your salary expectations if it is not requested.
- Include irrelevant job experience or personal information.
- Exaggerate your achievements or contradict your resume.
- Cram too much information when you have a small space.
Guidelines – How to Write a Cover Letter
- Research the company. Find out about their values, products, and locations. In your introductory paragraph, show that you have taken the time to conduct some investigation about their company.
- Personalize the letter. Make an effort to get to know the hiring manager’s name, and begin the letter with a proper greeting. Define the person’s name using “Mr.” or “Ms.” Avoid such impersonal constructions as “Dear Sir, or Madam” and “To Whom it May Concern.”
- State the reason you are contacting the employer. The position you want to obtain should be clearly indicated, accompanied an explanation how you learned about it.
- State the 2-4 reasons why you are suitable for this position. Speak to the requirements of a specific job opening. To make your cover letter memorable, illustrate your qualifications with concrete examples.
- Include that you are available for a job interview at the hiring manager’s soonest possible convenience. Indicate when you can start working if there is no set date in the job description. You should also welcome your potential employer to contact you if they want to clarify information.
- Read the letter attentively. Check if there are no grammatical mistakes or typos. Make sure the name of the company is spelled properly. Ask a person you trust to proofread and critique your cover letter.
- Follow up after submitting your cover letter and resume in order to reiterate your interest in a specific position. For instance, if you write in the letter that you will call the receiver on a certain day, you should do it.
A cover letter serves as an indication of your achievements and character, so if it has clear organization and is carefully written, the hiring manager will perceive you as a diligent and well-disciplined person who takes work seriously. With a strong cover letter, you can create a positive first impression on your prospective employer and motivate them to hire you.