How To Write A Cover Letter

How-To-Write-A-Cover-Letter-HeaderImage Publié le 3 February 2020 Par

A cover letter is an important part of any job application, along with your resume and portfolio. A cover letter is designed to tell a hiring manager about the professional skills and abilities you possess which make you the right person for for the job. It is always a good idea to write a cover letter that is unique and meets the needs of every different job application.

If you want to know how to write a cover letter that will make you stand out from other applicants and help you land your dream job, there are certain steps you must take and guidelines that should be followed.

By learning how to write a cover letter that targets a specific job role , demonstrates your qualifications and promotes your career accomplishments, you will really boost your chances of being selected for a job interview.

Common Questions About Cover Letters:

Is it important to write a different cover letter for each job application?

Yes. It is very important that you create a unique cover letter that has been customized for each job position. Hiring managers and recruiters will be able to easily spot a generic cover letter, and this could greatly increase the chances of your application being dismissed.

Does a cover letter need to be different from your resume?

Yes. When writing your cover letter, you must avoid restating the exact same points that are found on your resume. Instead of listing an identical list of skills, your cover letter is the opportunity to go in-depth and discuss your proudest professional accomplishments. To put it simply, your resume is for saying what you accomplished, and your cover letter is for explaining how.

How To Write Your Cover Letter

While you might feel nervous sitting down to write your cover letter, there’s no reason to be! With a few simple tips, you will be able to craft a unique and effective cover letter that will prove to hiring managers that you are the right candidate for the job.

When writing your cover letter, remember to:

  1. Write a different cover letter for every job;
  2. Direct your cover letter to the specific hiring manager;
  3. Double-check your spelling;
  4. Highlight intangibles not found on your resume;
  5. Keep it short.

1. Write a Different Cover Letter for Every Job

It can be tempting to write a single cover letter and send it off with every job application. While this is easier, it will greatly reduce your chances of being called in for an interview with a hiring manager. It is very important that you write a unique cover letter for every job.

With their years of experience, hiring managers and recruiters are easily able to identify generic cover letters. Take the time to create a tailored cover letter that matches the needs of each available job. Read the initial job description and identify keywords and specific phrases. Include these in your cover letter and be sure that they supported with examples of your skills and abilities. A recruiter will then see that you have the right professional qualifications for the job.

Cover Letter ProTip

Use the specific job requirements and related keywords to your advantage! Include these exact words in your cover letter when describing your professional history and it will be easy for a hiring manager to see how you are qualified.

2. Direct Your Cover Letter to the Specific Hiring Manager

You should make every possible effort to ensure that your cover letter feels less generic, including addressing it to a specific hiring manager. Many businesses have robust websites, social media accounts and LinkedIn profiles which feature a list of employees. It is often quite simple to locate the person responsible for recruitment or human resources. Include their name at the top of your cover letter, along with the name of the company.

If you can’t identify a recruiter or hiring manager, do not open your cover letter with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern”. This is will immediately make your cover letter seem dated. In this case, it’s best to begin your cover letter with a simple “Hello”. This will still give it a bit of a personal feel.

3. Double-Check Your Spelling

The goal of your cover letter to present yourself in the best possible light, and it should be completely free of typos before being sent to a hiring manager. The harsh truth is that even a single typo is enough to make a recruiter question your application. Proofread it multiple times in order to identify and remove all spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. To be extra cautious, you can ask a friend to review your cover letter or use spell-check software.

A recent study of 40,000 cover letters and resumes found that a shocking 67% featured at least one typo. Just by simply taking the time to review your cover letter and make sure it is typo-free, you will place yourself in the top third of job applicants and prevent your cover letter from being dropped into the recycling bin.

4. Highlight Intangibles Not Found on Your Resume

Your resume should focus on hard skills and professional achievements that can be supported by figures and statistics. When writing your cover letter, do not simply repeat this information. Use your cover letter to highlight intangible qualifications and transferable skills. This will give a hiring manager a better idea as to why you are the right candidate for the role.

For example, if you are applying for a creative job such as copywriting, graphic design or digital marketing, you can use your cover letter to highlight personal projects which demonstrate your skills. If you have published short stories, shown your work at a gallery or volunteered to organize art fairs, discuss it in your cover letter. These all demonstrate your passion and your transferable skills, which will greatly help you stand out as a candidate.

You must be sure that all non-professional experiences you discuss are still relevant to the job role you are applying for. Do not simply list your hobbies if they have nothing to do with the available job, as a hiring manager could see it as frivolous. Only include information in your cover letter that is relevant to the job position.

5. Keep It Short

It is important to avoid writing a long and rambling cover letter, because the hard truth is that a hiring manager simply will not read it. Surveys have found that for every open job posting, a hiring manager or a recruiter will receive an average of 200-250 applications. With so many resumes and cover letters to review, you must keep yours brief and relevant in order to maintain their attention.

The most commonly accepted rule is that your cover letter should not be longer than a single page. Recruiters have come to expect this length and are unlikely to read beyond it. Do not resort to playing with margins and drastically reducing font size, as hiring managers will easily spot these tricks. Keep your cover letter direct and to the point, which will prevent it from becoming too long. You can even consult templates and examples to see the optimal length for your cover letter.

In Conclusion

Your cover letter is your first opportunity to show a hiring manager that you have the right qualifications, and you must take it seriously.

An effective cover letter is clear, concise and customized to show how your skills and abilities meet the specific requirements of the job.

Discuss your past achievements as well as intangible qualities to demonstrate to hiring managers how you will excel in the role.

Now that you know how to write a cover letter, you will be able to make yourself stand out to hiring managers as a qualified candidate. This will take you one step closer to getting hired for your dream job and taking the next step in your professional career.

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