How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job You need to write a cover letter, but what is a cover letter, exactly? And what’s the best way to write it? Learn how to write a cover letter with expert tips and examples.

 

What is a cover letter?

I was ready to apply for this great position, but while reading the job advertisement, I came across three words: Attach a cover letter. Now you’re scratching your head and wondering: What is a resume cover letter? How do you write one?

Don’t panic. We’ll tell you everything, from start to finish.

What is a cover letter for a job?

A cover letter is a document attached to a job application that aims to present the candidate in a more personal way. It should complement the information on a CV or resume, expand on skills and achievements and highlight a selection of the most relevant accomplishments.

You see? It’s not rocket science. It is just a message supporting your job application.

What is the purpose of a cover letter?

There are many reasons why hiring managers ask for cover letters and why job candidates should write them. The main reason is that a cover letter can provide additional information and more personal information, which is difficult to understand when reading a resume.

Here are some other things a cover letter used for:

  • Makes you stand out from other applicants
  • Expresses your interest in the position
  • Shows your knowledge about the company
  • Presents how your skills and experience can assist the company
  • Proves you understand the needs of the company

And that’s why it’s worth spending some time writing a great cover letter that does all of the above.

Now that you know what a cover letter is and what’s the purpose of a cover letter, it’s time to learn other things.

 

How to Write a Cover Letter?

Watch a video to unmask the hidden truths of writing a cover letter for a job:

 

Without further delay, let’s move on to detailed guidelines on how to write a successful cover letter:

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

1. Start With a Header

Yes, basically First, the cover letter header should include the following:

  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address
  • The date
  • The name of the hiring manager/company and their professional title
  • The name and address of the employing company to which you’re applying

Optionally, you can add:

  • Your professional title
  • Your home address
  • Links to your professional websites
  • Your social media accounts (applicable only for LinkedIn and Twitter)
  • Your place of residence (it’s not compulsory but adds some professional touch— so include it on your cover letter if it is highly official)

Just remember to keep it professional:

  • Use an email address from a respected and reliable service provider—that means either Gmail, yahoo, Hotmail, outlook or your personal domain (if you have one.)
  • Your email address must only include your first and last name— example,  ChinasaNjoku@outlook.com  coolvanessa@gmail.com or johnlikesgoats@hotmail.com will be deal-breakers.
  • Don’t ever use your current work place address to send your email cover letter. It’s catastrophic and impolite to both your current and potential future employer.
  • Make sure your contact information is same and consistent across your resume, cover letter, and social media profiles.

2. Address the Reader 

Who do you address a cover letter to?

You address your cover letter directly to the human resource or hiring manager who’ll read it.

The greeting part of the cover letter (i.e., the salutation) will likely be the very first thing the human resource manager sees. This makes it one of the most important if not the most important parts of a cover letter. There’s this great, sure strategy to make your greeting catch the human resource manager’s attention:

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

Dear Katherine,

 

Yeh! That’s right. Their name.

 

As humans, when we hear or see our name, we tend to react. There’s a lot of science behind this:

 

Once the human resource manager sees his/her name in the greeting part of your cover letter, he/she will have this feeling like they’ve found something designed absolutely for them. It will likely feel personal; they’ll have this mind set that whatever comes next might just be the exact information they are looking for.

 

The following are very good examples of a professional cover letter greetings:

 

  • Dear Katherine,
  • Dear Miss Jones,
  • Dear Ms. Smith,
  • Dear Mrs. Ford,
  • Dear Mr. McConnor,
  • Dear Engr. Uche
  • Dear Dr. Orduda

How can a job seeker find out the human resource manager’s name?

Do some research!

Look into the job specification or description to see if the recruiter left their name or go to the company’s LinkedIn or twitter page. You should find the recruiter responsible for uploading that particular job offer.

 

There are multiple ways to find out who your human resource manager is.

See also  Greenwich Merchant Bank Graduate Trainee Recruitment 2021; Apply Online

Who to address a cover letter if no human resource manager’s name is provided?

 

If you can not find any name by any means possible, opt for Dear Human Resources Manager. Avoid starting your cover letter “to whom it may concern.” And if you are not a resident of Victorian England, do not start a cover letter with “Dear Sir or Madam.”

 

Have a look at those example cover letter greetings:

 

  • Dear Sales Team Human Resources Manager,
  • Dear Human Resource Manager,
  • Dear [XYZ XYZ XYZ Company] Team,

 

Done with the greeting and header? Now it’s time for the chicken and chips. The central or main paragraphs of your cover letter.

3. Show Your Enthusiasm in the Opening

Here’s the bitter truth:

These very few sentences at the starting of your cover letter will determine whether the human resource manager will read on.

 

You must have to make your cover letter introduction attract and hold the human resource manager’s interest.

 

There are some few different, effective techniques for your cover letter opening. You can pinpoint your achievements, show case how well you understand your prospective employer’s needs, or base the intro on your enthusiasm.

 

You can have a look at these two examples cover letter opening paragraphs:

WRONG
In response to your posting for the Community Sales Assistant, I would like to express my interest in being part of the recruitment process. As a Community Sales Assistant with 6+ years of adequate experience, I am positive that I would excel and succeed in this role.

Why is it so bad?

 

Because it provides little or no value and details, the summary is: “I’ve already done this job and I think I’d fit in.” And it’s not enough for someone with more than six years of experience to get the job.

Now, below is a properly written cover letter opening example:

RIGHT
As a lifelong enthusiast of XYZ’s marketing Foundation, I was elated to see your posting for the position of Community Sales Assistant. I am positive I can help with XYZ marketing foundation’s upcoming challenges. I have experience with some leading successful community campaigns with budgets over $300,000. What is more, I have succeeded at expanding ABC Digital Network’s client base by 19% since year 2011.

“Wow, you’ll have to be a lunatic not to hire such job seeker!”

Now, that was the response this cover letter’s first paragraph will bring.

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

Let’s look at  creating a cover letter for an internship and don’t have any achievements to present? Don’t worry.

4. Explain in Summary Why You’re the Perfect Fit

What is expected in a cover letter’s second paragraph?

As a  job seeker, you need to get the human resource manager exactly what he/she is looking for. You have to display that you will satisfy the company’s specific and immediate needs.

Remember Judith, our community marketing assistant candidate? The XYZ marketing Foundation to which she’s applying needs:

  • First of all, a savvy community marketing assistant (1).
  • And, in addition of that, someone who can supervise the development of its new online portal (2).

Let’s look at how Judith managed in showing that she’s both:

RIGHT
In my current position at ABC, I have assisted in the supervision of all phases of our online marketing initiatives, both technical and creative (1). Last year, my key challenge was to design and optimize nine community based product websites for ABC’s most strategic products and improve our Search Engine optimisation (SEO) results as well as enhance the UX (2). Here we are a year later:

 

  • Specifically, Eight of the nine websites I optimized for ABC Company have achieved and secured their spot in the top page results on Google search (2). These are organic, direct traffic, non-paid results for 10+ key search terms;
  • The incoming search engine traffic to all nine websites comprises 47% of the total direct and organic traffic (2) for key terms and phrases.

See how it’s done?

In the first sentence of your cover letter, show case that you are an expert in your own field. But don’t make it look like you are bragging. The other part of your cover letter’s second paragraph should be everything about how your previous experiences will help your future employer achieve ahead with their plans.

Job seekers impress employers by identifying transferable skills related to new jobs. People often apply for new positions, so you probably don’t have the exact experience required. But employers prefer to know how your past experiences will influence future decisions. Are you a hostess? Combine these administrative and organizational skills with the position of executive assistant.

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

Now see what you should not do:

The websites my team worked on performed best on Google for key terms and phrases.

 

You should quickly understand the real difference. There is a digital marketing leader with results, that’s right. But the hiring manager is looking for key metrics, numbers, and accomplishments that this particular candidate is missing.

5. Show Your Motivation to Join the Company

Your future employers have needs. If they are willing to hire you, it is because they think you will meet those needs.

But they also want you to enjoy working with them. They want your future job to be rewarding for you – that way they know you’ll stay with them longer.

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

The third paragraph of the key to writing a perfect cover letter for a hiring manager explains why you want this job, not just any job. This is especially important when writing a cover letter for beginners. Enthusiasm and passion helps you demonstrate that you will be ready for action right away.

Above all, you want to avoid writing too much of a generic cover letter. Generic doesn’t win jobs, but custom and targeted win.

 

Here’s the easiest way to do it:

 

  • Start with a company fact – for instance, an upcoming project (1)
  • Say why you find it interesting (2)
  • Reiterate that your experience and knowledge will let you succeed with the project (3)

 

Have a look at this cover letter example:

RIGHT
I know XYZ’s current projects include the development of a comprehensive online portal focused on healthcare issues (1). This project fits perfectly with my personal and professional interests and an exciting opportunity to create a unique online knowledge base for patients and healthcare professionals (2). I would like to leverage my knowledge of SEO marketing and online growth marketing to drive breakthrough results through this initiative (3).

And now check this one:

WRONG
XYZ sounds like a great opportunity to me. I thrive in fast-paced environments and want to take advantage of my existing skills to work better for your business.

What did you say of the year? It’s not from the beginning. Recruiters don’t want to see generic cover letters created for anyone. They want to read cover letters written with their own requirements in mind.

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

6. Close With a Promise

How to make the best cover letter ending?

Long story short: by providing value.

 

Tell the human resource manager that you are looking forward for a meeting in person and discussing how your knowledge and experience can help your prospective employer in fulfilling their goals.

 

Like in this cover letter example:

RIGHT
I would welcome the chance if you don’t mind to discuss your digital marketing objectives and demonstrate to you how my success at ABC Company can translate into community marketing,  digital and online marketing growth for XYZ.

Two worst cover letter mistakes a job seeker can make in the final paragraph are:

 

  1. Being needy means focusing on how much you want the job, not what you have to offer.
  2. Repeating the cliched phrase “Thank you for your attention and time.”

7. Stay Formal in the Closing Salutation

Once you’ve written the body of your cover letter, all you have to do is put a formal conclusion at the very end.

Write “Best regards” followed by your full name. Adding your handwritten signature is optional, but recommended for more formal cover letters.

If you’re not a fan of the hackneyed “Best regards,” feel free to use any of the following synonyms:

 

  • Thank you,
  • Best regards,
  • Kind regards,
  • Sincerely,
  • With best regards.

 

These ones listed above are likely going to be your safest bets. Still not what you’re looking for?

 

  • Thank you for your consideration,
  • Regards,
  • Sincerely yours,
  • Yours truly,
  • Respectfully yours.

8. Add a Postscript

 

All of the above sections are must-haves in a good cover letter format. But there’s one special trick you can use:

The postscript.

Why the “P.S.” is it so important? Because it’s like a magnet for the eyes of the recruiter. He shouts, “You must not disregard this information.

Use the postscript to tell the hiring manager something compelling about your career (1), even if it’s not directly related to the job posting.

And say that you would like to give them more details (2) if they find it interesting.

Like in our cover letter example:

RIGHT
P.S. —I would also be grateful if given the opportunity to show you(2) how my e-detailing solutions grew the combined sales of three ABC flagship products by a mind blowing record-breaking 13% in one year (1).

Key Takeaway

For the final thought on how to write a cover letter:

 

  • Ensure your contact information is correct.
  • Personalize the cover letter and address the hiring manager directly.
  • Open your cover letter strong with an accomplishment you’re most proud of.
  • Explain your fit for the position by describing your relevant experience and professional successes.
  • Close with a call to action and sentiment.

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

Thank you for taking the time to read my article!

Do you have questions about writing a cover letter? Would you like to share a sample cover letter? Write us in the comments and we will be happy to get in touch with you!

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Write a Cover Letter

 

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a formal letter that accompanies a resume or curriculum vitae. It includes a candidate’s introduction and an overview of the candidate’s qualifications, skills and achievements most relevant to the position sought. The cover letter also serves to express the candidate’s interest in the position and the company and the desire to contribute to the success of the company. It may also help explain employment gaps.

What are the four parts of a cover letter?

  • Cover letter header with your contact information such as full name, phone number and email address 
  • An introduction to the cover letter with your hiring manager’s address and a hook that will have the reader hooked so they can’t stop reading 
  • Body of the cover letter, describing your key accomplishments and the strengths you will bring to the table. (Warning! This is not a copy of your CV.) 
  • Cover letter that ends with a call to action and your signature

What should a cover letter say?

That you’re the only one that you want them, but they want you too. That you are the solution to their problems. Your cover letter should say so.

 

And you actually can achieve all these by having a number of things in your cover letter:

  • action verbs and power words
  • accomplishment statements
  • organized cover letter layout, and
  • enthusiastic but determined tone of voice

 

How to write a simple cover letter?

  • To make writing a cover letter easier, there are a few things you need to know first:

 

  • Create an appropriate cover letter format before submitting words. They make sure it is properly structured and fits on one page with your cover letter. 
  • Find the name of your hiring manager or recruiter. Personalizing your cover letter gives you a better chance of getting the job. 
  • Make a list of job keywords that you need to target with your application. Look at the job posting and tick the words that speak of the required qualifications and characteristics. Then use them in your paragraphs. 
  • Never lie in your application. 
  • And finally, research the company as thoroughly as you can. The intricate details of their mission, values, and vision will help you put your perspective on writing your cover letter.

 

How to write a cover letter for an internship?

A cover letter for an internship resume is a fantastic way to scare off your competitors. So don’t hesitate any longer and write a cover letter for an internship you’ve been dreaming of for a long time.

First and foremost, prove to your potential employer that you are worth hiring and that this is a great company to work for. Do your research and don’t be afraid to show off what you’ve learned. Use this knowledge later to reveal your connection to the company and its values. Show off your transferable skills and accomplishments and let your determination and motivation shine through.

How to write a cover letter for 2022?

 

Write your cover letter in 2022 by following these simple steps:

  • Create a cohesive look by mirroring a resume header on your template.
  • Create a clean cover letter layout to leave enough space on the page.
  • Find an angle to write your cover letter – motivation to grow, shared values or mission statement, current developments in the industry. Thorough research always helps.
  • Start your cover letter with a relevant accomplishment that will keep the reader going.
  • Create a smooth transition from the hook through your strengths to motivation in 3-4 paragraphs.
  • In the final cover letter, call up your recruiter and ask to meet with you.

Is a cover letter necessary?

Yes.

Almost half of recruiters reject applications without a cover letter. Cover letters are a treat for those who still want to hire dedicated professionals. (And you are, aren’t you?)

It’s no surprise, however, that you wonder if a cover letter is required. The whole application process can be tiring, so submitting fewer documents always seems like a good idea. But not this time.

Produce always seems like a good idea. But not this time.

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

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