Getting a decent job can be extremely difficult — regardless of your profession — with incredibly qualified applicants being your strongest competitors in the market. Hiring managers often set high expectations when it comes to the means to which applicants present themselves as working professionals.
Knowing this, you must be able to capture the attention of employers with something other than your resume.
Resumes are a potent tool in the application process, but sometimes, this isn’t enough to give you an edge over other probable candidates. So to set the bar high and make an impression worth remembering, a resume cover letter is sure to give you that extra boost needed to land you an interview.
A cover letter is a document that is sent along with your resume as a part of your job application. But unlike a resume, a cover letter consists of wordy paragraphs that present your capabilities in descriptive detail. This serves as an opportunity to convince potential employers why you’re an ideal candidate for a given position, how your skills and work ethics can add value to the company, and that you understand the role given as well as the company’s mission. This piece of document is usually formal yet personal in nature, as it is used as an introduction to your resume.
It displays your passion for the job position in a particular company and highlights significant qualifications that will help you stand out. It acts as a valuable tool in your professional toolbox, one that can help hiring managers distinguish you from other existing applicants.
“Do I really need to submit a cover letter?”
This is a common question that has left many job seekers second-guessing the purpose of a cover letter in meeting their end goal. Though not all employers require applicants to send a cover letter along with their resume, it wouldn’t hurt to create one. This can help you grab a person’s attention before making a personal appearance, and it serves as a great way to depict your enthusiasm for the job position and the company. You may also see email cover letter examples.
Apart from telling an employer who you are and why they need you, a cover letter showcases your writing ability as well. Your writing skills say a lot about your personality and your ability to communicate effectively. It shows how serious you are about the opportunity given, and that it’s something that you’re aiming for and willing to strive for from the get-go. If you feel as if your resume isn’t enough, a cover letter can certainly make up for it. This will also take control of the follow-up process to ensure you get a callback sometime soon.
However, there may be job listings that explicitly say not to send one at all. In this type of situation, it would be best to obey the instructions given than to go above them.
Creating the content of a cover letter can be a huge challenge for many first-time applicants. Knowing this, it’s important to know what an ideal cover letter is made of, and how you can compose a letter that’s worth reading.
To create the perfect cover letter, let us first look into its basic components:
Always start a cover letter, or any business letter in that matter, with a greeting or a salutation. Address the letter to its intended recipient accordingly by stating one’s last name along with the abbreviation Mr. or Ms. prior to it. If a contact name isn’t provided, then you can state their position in the company instead.
The introduction is the most vital part of the professional cover letter, as it’s where you’re meant to make a strong impression that’s enough to motivate employers to continue reading the document. You can tell an employer how you knew about the opening in the first place, as well as your enthusiasm in potentially landing the position.
Once you have grabbed an employer’s attention, you must then keep them thoroughly engaged by providing a summary of your past achievements, and how these may contribute to the job you are applying for. Make sure to highlight these qualities in a subtle yet empowering manner for a person to take notice. In some cases, this would be enough to land you an interview with the hiring manager. You may also see how do you address an email cover letter?
Emphasize any relevant skills, such as certifications and computer language, that may qualify you for the position. Be sure to demonstrate your critical skills and persuasive skills for employers to remember. Any additional information you wish to point out must be stated concisely and properly as well.
End your letter with a brief recap of your qualities and strengths as a candidate. It should leave a lasting impression of who you are and what you could offer the company in return. Remember to leave your contact details, most especially your phone number and email address, to make it easy for employers to reach you whenever they need something. And if you have the guts to request for an interview, then go for it! You may also like application letter examples & samples.
Since many job seekers still struggle with finding an appropriate format, below is the standard format of a cover letter to guide you:
[Your City, State, Zip Code]
[Your Phone Number]
[City, State, Zip Code]
[Body of the Letter]
[Signature (for a hard copy letter)]
[First Name & Last Name]
Given how a cover letter depicts how you introduce yourself to a hiring manager when applying for a job, you’d want to leave an impression that’ll last. There are many ways to present yourself in a positive light, so you’d want to make sure this is reflected in your formal letter.
For anyone stumbling with their resume cover letter, here are some smart tips for you to employ:
Refrain from using the same cover letter for every job you apply to. Keep in mind that it’s important to tailor the letter according to the company’s mission and the job role you are seeking for.
You can start by reviewing the description stated in the job listing. This often indicates the general qualities employers are looking for in a candidate. With this, you will find significant keywords that you can use in your cover letter in order to capture the attention of hiring managers. You may also see business proposal letter examples.
You must talk about how your abilities and skills may benefit the company you wish to work for. Remember, you should target the needs of the company — not your own. Demonstrate how these qualities could help them attain their business goals accordingly. It’s almost as if you’re selling yourself in the form of a written document, and giving employers a reason to hire you before their market competitors do.
The opening is always the most intimidating part of a letter. Most people fear they might come off too awkward or overly demanding to their target readers. But setting aside these negative thoughts, the best way to pique one’s interest is to pack on the punch with your introduction. You need to sound confident and appealing to make an impact with your audience. This should give employers enough reason to grant you an interview without further inquiries and follow-ups. You may also like what is a cover letter?
A cover letter is comparable to a sales letter. You need to give employers a reasons to reach out to you by emphasizing your accomplishments, and how they answer to the needs of the company. Be specific with these details. You can even support each statement made by offering a piece of evidence to prove it. Anything mentioned in your resume that needs explaining may be expounded in the cover letter. You may also check out writing a cover letter.
Although a cover letter is meant to back up your resume, it shouldn’t repeat what’s listed in the document word for word. It would be better to consider using the letter to tell a brief story about yourself and your past experiences, as well as your drive to work for the given company.
Try not to go beyond a single page when composing a cover letter, or you could end up putting readers to sleep with a lengthy pitch. An effective cover letter must be compelling yet to-the-point to avoid wasting a person’s time. You could break down key information into several paragraphs or use bullets to stress out each point. A smooth flow of words presented in a logically organized format will make it easier for people to read and comprehend.
Never trust a spell checker or a grammar checker application that claims to catch every mistake. Though these software tools allow quick and easy document reviews, they aren’t fully reliable when it comes to business-related documents. Instead, slowly review your letter to make sure everything, including the spelling, punctuation, and grammar, reads properly. After you have proofread the letter, you can then let someone else have a look just to stay on the safe side. You might be interested in internship cover letter examples.
Once you have finished the letter, remember to sign it. It is proper business etiquette to close the letter with your signature in order to validate your identity and the purpose of the document. But if you’re sending an email cover letter and resume as an alternative to a hard copy, then a signature would no longer be necessary.
For many job seekers, a cover letter plays a significant part in the application process. This gives you the chance to elaborate on qualities and experiences listed on your resume to further convince hiring managers why you’d be the perfect candidate for a given position. And even if it isn’t a part of the requirements, it’s always best to have one prepared. Ultimately, a good resume cover letter can make a strong impact that will likely score you an interview with a potential employer. You may also see job application letter examples.