Did you know that you can have an impressive and perfect Resume/CV ready for that your desired jobs, but it’s your cover letter that gets your foot in the door for interview? A perfect cover letter can be the key to getting you that first job interview. In this article, you will learn the 6 steps necessary to achieve a good cover letter.
In this modern era, cover letters in whatever form remain as relevant as they’ve ever been. A cover letter is the formal letter that accompanies your application. It introduces you to the hiring manager and tells a unique story about you and what makes you the perfect candidate for the position while at the same time trying to leverage your qualifications and your skills to fit yourself into that position.
When writing a good cover letter, you should:
- introduce yourself i.e Contact information about you
- mention the job (or kind of job) you’re applying for (or looking for)
- show that your skills and experience match the skills and experience needed to do the job
- encourage the reader to read your resume
- finish with a call to action (for example, asking for an interview or a meeting).
How to Write a Good and Professional Cover Letter
Include your full contact information so you’re certain the organization has it, don’t just rely on your email address making it cleanly through an email trail. Your email address should create a professional impression. Don’t use an email address like [email protected] If you don’t have a professional email address, you can make one with a free email provider. Make it simple, something that includes your first name and your last name is very good. Always include a date, so that your communication has a solid reference and can be found for queries in the future.
Salutation / greeting
Be formal and use ‘Dear …’, not ‘Hi’ or “Hello” or “Wassup”, at least until you have a well-established dialogue with someone. Write to a named individual, it shows respect and you’re more likely to get personal attention. If necessary, ring the organization and ask who to address your communication to. It demonstrates thoroughness and professionalism.
At the start of your cover letter you need to say which job you’re applying for. You can do this on a line by itself (for example, ‘Regarding: Application for Stock Controller position’). You can also do this in the opening paragraph (for example, ‘I am writing to apply for the recently advertised Stock Controller position’.)
Your opening paragraph will make or break your chances with the hiring manager. You want to keep it short and sweet and get to the point. At the same time, you need it to stand out and grab the attention of the reader. This paragraph is your chance to capture the attention of the hiring managers and make them want to read more. Generally, your opening paragraph should address three main things. These include how you find out about the position, your experience, and what you can bring to the company. For example, a simple opening paragraph may sound like this:
“I was excited to see that [Company Name] was hiring a sales manager skilled at tapping into new markets and growing the customer base. I have been to many of your company’s networking events myself and always found invaluable connections. With over five years of experience attracting new customers and promoting brand loyalty, I believe I would be the perfect fit for this role.”
Once you have the attention of the hiring manager, it is time to convince them you are the perfect fit for the role and company. The body of your cover letter should highlight why you are more suitable than other applicants, and why the company is right for you. Essentially, this is the most critical part of your cover letter. In the second part of the body, expand on why you chose this particular company. Explain why you would like to work for them – have you attended their events? Did you like their marketing campaigns? Mainly, show that you are genuinely interested in the company, and don’t be afraid to point out what in particular you like. Then, tease what you could bring to the company as an employee. Base this on your experience and recent news about the company. For example, propose a solution to a problem they have been facing. Show the hiring manager that you are valuable and would fit right in.
Much like in an essay, your closing paragraph should summarize your main points and conclude your cover letter. In other words, your ending should be short and to the point. Thank the hiring manager for consideration and reiterate your excitement about this opportunity. When summarizing your experience, focus on the value you would bring to the company. Finally, don’t forget to structure your closing paragraph as an offer. You have explained your value in the body of your cover letter, now offer that value to the hiring manager. For example, tell them how excited you would be to discuss how your area of expertise could help the company grow. However, avoid trying to sell yourself too hard. Sometimes, this can be seen as disrespectful and could decrease your chances of getting the job.
Complimentary close and signature
Use ‘Yours sincerely’ if you have a person’s name at the start. If you’ve started with ‘Dear Sir’, or similar, use ‘Yours faithfully’ to sign off. On a document, include a copy of your signature, even if it’s just an added image, and put your full name below it. If your cover letter is an email or an online form box, sign off with your full name, not just a first name.
The guidelines and sample examples provided above should be enough to get you started writing the perfect cover letter for a new job. You should also read this article titled, “What to include in a Perfect Cover Letter”
by Scholars Hub
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The aim of setting up this interesting site is to help Scholars/Students, mostly from developing countries, by sharing and giving you some guidelines to write professional CV, Professional Resume for Job application, including some Common Interview Questions and Answers.
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