Is A Cover Letter Mandatory
Imagine your CV is a book: the story of your career. Youve laboured over the manuscript and hope that it will be published one day. The cover letter is the letter to the publisher, convincing them why they should read your manuscript. Its the opportunity for you to make a connection and to convince them that your book or the story of your career is worth reading.
Some employers specifically request a cover letter. If they do, then you can be confident that they will read it. A cover letter is not always mandatory however, even if employers dont specify that a cover letter is required, you should still invest the time to write one. It demonstrates your enthusiasm for the job and shows that you have taken the time to consider the particular roles requirements and how you can add value to their business.
Address The Hiring Manager By Name
- Dear ,
How do you find out the hiring managers name?
Research using LinkedIn!
Type HR Manager at into LinkedIn Search, and youll get plenty of results like the one below.
Some LinkedIn job listings even have the Hiring Managers name directly on the listing itself.
What if I really cant find the HR Managers name?
If you really cant find their name, address their department instead.
The trick is to customise your Cover Letter as closely to the role you are applying for as possible.
- Dear XXX Sales Team,
- Dear YYY Marketing Team,
However, never start your cover letter with Dear Sir or Madam! It comes off as highly impersonal, which defeats the purpose of a cover letter.
Remember, a cover letter is a golden ticket designed specially for that particular company!
Opening your letter with;Dear Sir or Madam implies you have not done any research at all, and you dont even know if the hiring manager is male or female!
- Address Hiring Managers by their surnames
- Research on LinkedIn to find hiring managers
Finish With A Concise Direct Closing Paragraph
When writing your cover letter closing, be polite, confident, and continue to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. Its important to write your final paragraph thoughtfully and strategically, so be sure to:
- Thank the hiring manager for reviewing your application
- Summarize why youd be a good hire
- Restate your excitement about the job opportunity
- Politely ask the reader to send you an invitation to interview
Heres an excellent cover letter closing example:
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Write An Opening Paragraph
In the first paragraph of your letter, mention the job title for which youre applying and where you saw the position posting. Explain your specific interest in the role and company so the reader knows youve done your research and have genuine interest. Briefly state the main experience or qualification you have that makes you a good fit. The first section of your cover letter is also the first impression the reader will have of you, so it is important to appeal to that person quickly and succinctly.
Example:I’m excited to apply for the Graphic Designer position at Cloud Clearwater I found on Indeed. I understand you’re currently adding several new product lines, and I believe my skills in video and animation provide a significant advantage for creating a successful launch. As a longtime fan of your products, I’m thrilled at the opportunity to bring my unique style and passion for beachwear to the company.
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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General Cover Letter Example
This general cover letter was written by a candidate with two years of work experience.
In the example, the candidate is applying for a mid-level digital marketing position. In the first paragraph, the applicant:
Follow With A Second Paragraph
Your second paragraph should be a brief overview of your background as is relevant to the position. Here, you should include key achievements, skills and specialties that make you particularly suited to perform well in the position. Focus on one or two and provide specific details about your success including measurable impacts you made.
Pay close attention to keywords listed in the job description and include those that you identify with in the body of your cover letter. You should only include information about your most recent one or two professional experiences.
Example:As the Director of Human Resources at Wes Morgan Philips, I was a key senior leader in the organization and was responsible for improving the efficiency and performance of the company’s 540 employees. Before that, I worked in human resources, equal employment opportunity and diversity for Jenkins Technology Solutions, Inc. At Jenkins Technology Solutions Inc., I developed an employee retention plan that involved the creation of a wellness program, an internal training program and a promotions selection process, which led to a 50% reduction in the overall employee turnover rate.
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Key Elements Of A Cover Letter
The cover letter is usually the first item an employer reads from you. Your letter should immediately indicate what position you are applying for and then give information that demonstrates why you should be considered for the position. Do not repeat all of the information contained in your resume. Instead, highlight or elaborate on resume items that are directly applicable to the position for which you are applying. The following information should be included in your cover letter.
Information about you
Begin your cover letter with your contact information. It should be in block style, on the left margin of your paper, towards the top.
Include a date as you would do with any business letter.
Contact Person’s Name, Title, Employer, and Address
Including a specific name can get your letter and resume to the hiring manager more quickly and can be an effective personal touch. If you are applying for an advertised position that does not give a name to contact, call the company and ask for the department manager’s name.
Choose the appropriate way to address the contact person.For example:
- Dear Mr. Johns
- Dear Ms. Smith
- Dear Prospective Employer ;
In the opening paragraph tell how you learned about the position. You may, for example, know of a job through:
This paragraph gives a summary of your background and critical skills that make you qualified for the position.
Contact Information and Closing
Have Someone Gut Check It
Have a friend take a look at your cover letter, and ask him or her two questions: Does this sell me as the best person for the job? and Does it get you excited? If the answer to either is no, or even slight hesitation, go back for another pass.
Finally, read this if youre looking to write a letter of intent instead of a cover letteryes, theres a difference.
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First Start With A Proper Salutation
Ensure that you direct the letter to the appropriate person by stating;their name instead of using a generic salutation, such as To whom it may concern.;By doing so, you demonstrate that you are interested in the specific job and have put extra effort into sending your letter to the relevant person.
How Long Should A Cover Letter Be
The purpose of a cover letter is to sell your skills and ability to the hiring manager – think of it as your one chance to catch their eye to read your resume.
A good cover letter should be succinct. Keep your cover letter to four paragraphs that fit on one page in total. If your cover letter is any longer, it will only demonstrate to your employer that you lack focus.
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Tailor Your Cover Letter To A Specific Job
Dont use a one-size-fits-all cover letter template for all the positions you apply for. If you do, youre missing the point: Only a letter thats targeted to the job at hand will make a positive impression. Write a cover letter employers can’t ignore by tying it to the elements of the job that match your unique skills and experience. What are they asking for that youre especially good at? Those are the points to stress when writing a;cover letter.
Just as important, gather facts and figures that support your claims. For example, if you’re applying for a managerial role, mention the size of teams and budgets youve managed. If its a sales role, describe specific sales goals you’ve achieved.
In addition to highlighting your talents, you can further personalize your cover letter by demonstrating your familiarity with the specific industry, employer and type of position.
How To Structure And Write A Cover Letter
In 2021, its very rare for cover letters to be hard copies as most are sent online. However, traditional cover letter conventions state that your cover letter should be written like any other formal business letter, even if youre emailing it.
Start with your address and contact details in the top right-hand corner. Make sure your contact details are sensible email addresses like wont make you look very professional!; You should then follow this with the address of the company youre applying for and the date further down and on the left-hand side.
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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!
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 .
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Cover Letter Examples: Cover Letter Samples And Templates
Congratulations, now you know how to write a cover letter like our team of expert resume writers! Try your hand at writing your own cover letter with these free cover letter samples and cover letter templates, which you can download and use.
Phew, its been a lot to take in, we know.
If you have further questions, or would like our career consultants to review and provide feedback on your CV, just fill in the form below for free CV feedback.
Youll lose nothing, yet gain so much more!
Checklist To Create A Resume For Job Applications
- Keep your resume short and precise, 1-2 pages at most.
- Write your contact information followed by a brief headline with your career goal and 1 or 2 top qualifications.
- Next, create sections for your work experience, skills, and education.
- List the names of former employers, your corresponding job titles and duration of work experience. Internships count as work experience.
- List your educational qualifications with institution name, city, state, degree, major, and year awarded.
- List your technical or computer qualifications, diplomas, courses with their content in brief, duration, institute and skills learned.
- List your achievements and accomplishments in previous job positions.
- Showcase your core competencies with an area of expertise.
- Include the languages you are fluent in if its pertinent to the job
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Proofread Before You Submit
Reread your cover letter several times before submitting it and keep an eye out for errors of spelling, grammar or punctuation. Reading the letter aloud can help you pick out awkward phrasing or too-long sentences. There are certain common errors that we all tend to gloss over, so make sure to do a slow, deliberate reading that examines each word. If your salutation includes the hiring managers name, triple-check the spelling.
For jobs that require submitting a cover letter, remember that youre getting a valuable chance to illustrate your capabilities and share a glimpse of your authentic personality. Take advantage of the opportunity to let your greatest strengths shine, while also showing that you respect the hiring managers time and attention. For inspiration, you can browse cover letter samples by job title on Indeed.
Easily apply to jobs and be contacted by employers about new jobs with an Indeed Resume.
Second Use A Memorable Introduction
In the introduction of your letter, you want to mention the job you are applying for and express your interest and enthusiasm. If possible, add a ;quick anecdote or a personalized sentiment in your introduction. Remember, the hiring manager has to read through multiple cover letters, so you want your letter to draw their attention.
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How To Write An Effective Cover Letter And Objective Statement
Writing an Effective Cover Letter and Objective Statement
There has been some confusion concerning cover letters and objective statements in recent years. ;Some experts will even say that they are no longer necessary or useful in todays job market. ;This article will help you better understand the scope and purpose of these resume components, and why we believe they are extremely important in the job search process.
To begin, well talk about objective statements.
Objective Statements: Purpose and Placement
What is the purpose of an objective statement?; You want to inform the reader of exactly what you are trying to achieve professionally.; However, you cannot stop there.; It is of equal or greater importance to tell the reader how your skills can directly benefit them.; Your statement should be a clear, succinctly written declaration and summary of your skills that answers the question, why should we consider you for the position?
That being said, the choice of where to place your objective statement is ultimately up to you; use your instincts.
Objective Statement Examples
Example 1 Financial Executive Objective Statement
As a member of your Financial Planning group, I am confident that my solid achievements and strategic planning will enable me to be instrumental in positioning XYZ Company to exceed revenue projections.;
Example 2 Spend Management Executive Objective Statement
Next, well talk about how to approach your cover letter format.
Check Your Grammar Spelling & Punctuation
If you use MS Office, then you can learn how to make a resume in MS Word. Use the grammar and spell check function, and then print it out and read the document word for word.
The spell checker doesnt know that you meant manager when you actually typed manger. A free tool like Grammarly will help you ensure proper capitalization, and proper use of commas and semi-colons.
Avoid using Ampersands . They do not belong on a resume. A few exceptions include well-known company names like AT&T or well-known industry terms like P&L.
Avoid run-on sentences and check to make sure you do not have long-winded sentences that are hard to read. Also, remember to deactivate all email and web hyperlinks listed in your resume before you email your resume to the recruiter.
What should be the font size in resumes? The ideal font sizes in resumes are 11 to 12 pt for normal text and 14 to 16 pt for section titles and headers.
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Should I Customise My Cover Letter For Every Application
A resounding YES!
We absolutely recommend that you write a custom cover letter for every company you apply for.
Every company has different business models and pain points, so it is imperative to tailor your cover letter to address them individually.
Now, how do you go about writing a great cover letter?
Keep It Short And To The Point
Unless specified in the job description, there is no required length for a cover letter. When determining how long a cover letter should be, focus on the details that are most important for the job. Read the job description closely to identify the best opportunities to illustrate your qualifications.
What professional achievements are you the proudest of? Choose one or two and map them directly to the desired experience or qualifications the hiring manager is looking for, using just a few detailed but concise sentences. What attributes is the job description calling for in a candidate? Consider using the cover letter itself as a way of demonstrating those traits.
Dont reiterate everything thats on your resume. You want to focus on one or two anecdotes, expanding on how you achieved something specific.
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