Writing A Compelling Cover Letter
Chances are, you’re not the only person who sees the role as a dream opportunity. It may have attracted numerous applications. That means the hiring manager has to sift through a lot of cover letters, so she will want to see at a glance what you have to offer.
Brevity is key. As writer and editor Lily Herman instructs, “Keep it short . Your cover letter should be a single page and around 300-350 words.”
, for guidance on getting your message across clearly and concisely.
Consider the following structure as a guide for your letter:
Use The Hiring Manager’s Name If Possible
People like personalization. Using the hiring manager’s name shows you did your research.
Companies and recruiters often post their positions in more than one place. Run a Google search for a portion of the job description in quotation marks. Or, if you know the name of the recruiting agency that’s running the search, take a look at its company site. If the group is small enough, it may have each recruiter’s bio listed.
The worst ways to address a cover letter or an email to a potential employer include: To whom it may concern,Dear Sir or Madam,Hello,Hiring Manager and Dear Recruiter. Avoid using these.
Guide To What A Resume Should Look Like
One of the most important elements of the application process is submitting a resume. An impressive resume demonstrates your qualifications, competence, and suitability for a role as a professional. Understanding what a resume should look like can help you create an impressive document that can impress a hiring manager. In this article, we discuss what an effective resume looks like, identify the necessary elements to include, and provide an example as a guide.
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Provides Value Through Achievements And Numbers
Like your resume or CV, your cover letter should contain quantifiable achievements. A common mistake job seekers make on their cover letter is simply listing out job duties and work history instead of accomplishments. With hundreds of job seekers applying for a single position, you need to know how to stand out. Include numbers wherever possible to capture the attention of the employer.
Find Relevant Keywords In The Job Posting
Since hiring managers are searching for information that is relevant to their position, you should carefully review the job posting to learn more about what they’re looking for. It may be helpful to print out the job posting and circle or highlight any skills listed that you may have as well. When you submit your resume, hiring managers will briefly scan the document to determine if the content matches the keywords they’re searching for. Place these keywords throughout your resume to grab the attention of the employer.
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Date And Contact Information
There are two ways to list contact information on your cover letter, depending on whether youre providing a digital or hard copy.
If youre submitting a digital copy online, feel free to leave off your specific address and just use your city and state, phone number and emailand leave off the company and hiring managers contact information altogether:
DatePhone NumberEmail Address
Although its becoming less common, there may be a time when youre required to submit a paper copy of your cover letter. In this case, the top left-hand side of your letter should include the following elements:
Your City, State, Zip CodeYour Phone Number
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Do I Need To Send A Cover Letter
A lot of job seekers today wonder if a cover letter is still appropriate to send with your resumeand the answer is yes! Even if an employer doesn’t ask for a cover letter, it couldn’t hurt to send one. In fact, it can help you get someone’s attention in a different way, and it can be a great way to display your enthusiasm for the job and company.
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Case Study #: Demonstrate An Understanding Of What The Company Needs
Michele Sommers, the vice president of HR for the Boys & Girls Village, a nonprofit in Connecticut, recently posted a job for a recruiting and training specialist. I was looking for someone with a strong recruiting background who could do everything from sourcing candidates to onboarding new hires, she says. She also wanted the person to hit the ground running. Were a small team and I cant afford to train someone, she says.
More than 100 candidates applied for the job. The organizations online application system doesnt allow for cover letter attachments but one of the applicants, Heidi , sent a follow-up email after submitting her résumé. And its a good thing she did because she wouldve been weeded out otherwise, Michele says.
Heidis résumé made her look like a job hopper very short stints at each previous employer. Michele assumed she was a poor performer who kept getting fired. She was also the only candidate who didnt have a four-year college degree.
But Heidis email caught Micheles eye. First off, it was professional. Heidi stated clearly that she was writing to double-check that her application had been received. She went on to explain how she had gotten Micheles name and information and her personal connection to Boys & Girls Village .
Professional Cover Letter Example
The restaurant manager cover letter below should give you an idea about what it takes to impress the employers at your next company.
Whether youre a mid-level manager or a job seeker hoping to write a cover letter that highlights your professionalism, this example will demonstrate exactly how you should structure your cover letter.
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Dont Apologize For Your Missing Experience
When you dont meet all of the job requirements, its tempting to use lines like, Despite my limited experience as a manager or While I may not have direct experience in marketing But why apologize? Instead of drawing attention to your weaknesses, emphasize the strengths and transferable skills you do have.
Heres what that might look like: Im excited to translate my experience in to a position thats more .
How To Write A Cover Letter
Knowing how to write a cover letter involves understanding a cover letters structure. Follow the sample cover letter template below to easily write your own letter.
Opening paragraph: State who you are, say where you found the job listing, and explain why youre interested in the position.
Body paragraphs: Give an overview of your previous job experience, skills, qualifications, and accomplishments. Dont repeat your resume. Explain what makes you a unique candidate and how you can help the company meet its goals. Use numbers to back up your claims.
Closing paragraph: State that youd like to schedule an interview and provide your contact information. Say youll be in touch within a week if you dont hear back. Finish by thanking the employer for their time and consideration.
Make sure you include all the sections in our cover letter sample and write detailed body paragraphs about your expertise. Hiring managers often read your cover letter before your resume, so its important to sell yourself and your skills.
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Write Informative Relevant Body Paragraphs
Next, its time to make a convincing argument youre the right person for the job by discussing your experiences, skills, and achievements that are relevant to the position.
In one or two paragraphs plus bullet points , show the reader that you easily fit the needs outlined in the job description.
For job seekers withwork experience
Hiring managers will look closely at your cover letter for evidence that youre qualified and worth considering for the position. Use your recent work history and achievements to prove that you have the skills to get the job done.
Here are some things to include in your cover letter that highlight your value to an employer:
- Professional achievements: Did you exceed targets for production, sales, revenue, profit, customer satisfaction, or any other business objectives?
- Professional praise: Have you received compliments from management or colleagues for your work?
- Professional awards: Have you received awards for your work, like Employee of the Month?
In the following examples, weve color-coded the achievements, praise, and awards with underlining to show you how to include each:
Body paragraph example
Ive been praised by management for consistently executing email marketing campaigns that perform 20% higher than baseline. In 2019, I was awarded Employee of the Year for my efforts. With my skill set, Id be a strong asset at Westward Strategies, and significantly contribute to the teams success.
Body paragraph, achievements-focused
Ensure Your Resume Is Properly Formatted
As the hiring manager scans your resume, a well-structured and formatted resume may cause them to review the resume for a longer time. You should format the resume properly to make it simple to review and to make it easier to find the content they’re searching for.
Include fonts like Helvetica, Calibri or Cambria, which stand out to employers and are easy to read. Try to keep your font sizes around ten and twelve points. To make your resume simpler to view, your white space and margins should be well-structured to keep your document clean. Set your margins to one inch on all sides of the page and space your lines either an inch or 1.15 inches apart.
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Make Sure The Letter Reads Well
Ensure that your CV cover letter flows freely. You do not need to precisely match every point on the job description. The reader should be left with an overall impression that you are a potentially valuable addition to the workforce.
The letter should be readable and engaging.
Negative information of any sort should be avoided in your cover letter, as well as on your CV.
Exploring What A Resume Should Look Like
Understanding what a resume should look like involves learning how a resume can impress a hiring manager and increase your chances of getting hired. A resume is a document that contains a summary of your professional qualifications. While there are many types of resumes, there are a few general rules you can follow to create an effective application document. While creating yours, remember that it is a formal document that’s descriptive and organized, portrays you as a professional, and has proper formatting.
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Stick With Two Fonts At Most
What should a resume look like so that you are memorable in a good way and not because you embarrassed yourself? Stick with simplicity. It’s tempting to use all of the typefaces at your disposal, but having more than two fonts in any document only lessens its readability. One font is all you really need. If you use two, make sure they complement each other. For example, use one font for the headings and the second font for the body text.
How To Structure A Cover Letter
Although there are no set rules on how your cover letter should be structured, making sure it flows well is vital if you want to impress recruiters.
Heres a rough guideline on what to include when writing a cover letter:
Opening the letter Why are you getting in touch?
The opening paragraph should be short and to the point, explaining why youre getting in touch. Its also useful to include where you found the ad i.e. as advertised on reed.co.uk. If someone referred you, mention their name in this section.
Example: I wish to apply for the role of IT Manager, currently being advertised on reed.co.uk. Please find enclosed my CV for your consideration.
Second paragraph Why are you suitable for the job?
Briefly describe your professional and academic qualifications that are relevant to the role and ensure you refer to each of the skills listed in the job description.
Example:As you can see from my attached CV, I have over three years experience in the IT Industry, and I believe the knowledge and skills built up during this time make me the perfect candidate for the role.
Third paragraph What can you do for the company?
Nows your opportunity to emphasise what you can do for the company. Outline your career goals and expand on pertinent points in your CV including examples to back up your skills.
Fourth paragraph Reiterate
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.
Closing the letter
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Research The Company And Showcase What Youve Learned
Researching your target company shows youve put effort into your application.
If youre applying for a customer service supervisor role at a brand thats opening a new branch, mention that youve worked in a newly opened store before. Explain how this experience means youll be able to adapt and help your new coworkers adapt to the new workplace.
Tailor Your Cover Letter To The Job
Do a little research to match your cover letter to the employerâs brand voice. Employers hire for corporate culture. They want new hires to fit in right away, so you should aim to write like youâre already a part of their team.
For example, if the employerâs brand voice is extremely formal, write very professionally. On the other hand, if they have a hyper-modern tone of voice, you can write more informally.
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We’ve Got Writing Tips And A Sample You Can Use To Get Started
This is how to write a cover letter that impresses.
Why do you need to know how to write a cover letter? Picture this: You’ve found the perfect job, hit the “apply” button, and started the process with your engines revved and ready. But wait! Slam the brakes!
They want a cover letter.
Don’t let this request derail you. This article will show you how to write a cover letter by using our easy-to-follow cover letter template. We know writing about yourself can be especially tricky, but in order to have a successful job search, you really do need to make a cover letter that sells your skills to a hiring manager. Scroll down to see a sample cover letter that you can use to craft your own.
Include Any Awards You’ve Won Associations You’re A Part Of Or Certifications You’ve Earned
Hiring managers may search for candidates who show their commitment to the position by gaining additional skills and education. If you have won any awards related to the position, list these in a separate section to impress hiring managers. It may also interest them to find memberships to associations that demonstrate your commitment to networking and learning more about the industry.
You can list certifications in their own section as well to prove your dedication to gaining new skills and improving your current skills.
Provide Anecdotes And Evidence
Itâs important to follow up statements about yourself with real life examples or anecdotes. Providing evidence of your accomplishments is a quick and easy way to get an employer to pay attention to you as an outstanding candidate.
For example, employers often value leadership in candidates. Instead of writing that you have leadership skills, which employers read all the time, talk about how you organized a school rally or directed a fundraising campaign.
How To Write A Cover Letter In 2021
After weeks of heavy job search, youre almost there!
Youve perfected your resume.
Youve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.
Youve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.
But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.
Now youre stuck wondering how to write a cover letter…
Dont panic! Weve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think.
In this guide, were going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.
So, lets get started with the basics!
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Preparing Your Cover Letter
First, you need to do some homework. Find out as much as you can about the team you are hoping to join. Start with your company’s website and, if possible, the team’s intranet. Then explore industry websites, journals or newsletters for news and information about the company and the industry in general.
This will help to make sure that you are fully up to date with current trends and potential pain points in your sector. You can use this information to gain a better understanding of what the team needs, and how you might be able to help.
Your cover letter needs to find the right tone, one that reflects the culture of your organization. Chances are, you’re already familiar with this. But different teams and departments may have different ways of working. For example, do they have a formal, reserved approach, or a more relaxed and informal feel?
Next, look at your résumé from the hiring manager’s point of view. Does it include anything that might concern him or her? For example, are there any gaps in your work history? Your cover letter should include brief explanations for these, such as taking a career break to raise your family.
If your résumé needs more than just a quick refresh, or you need to create one from scratch, you can find out how to do this with our article, Writing Your Résumé .