Cover Letter Writing Guide for Job Applicants. Main Sections.

A complete Guide

In today’s world, the cover letter is like a spare tire that you keep in your car as a backup. Many recruiters in the organizations do not even care to go through your cover letter. However, some of them admit that they give preference to the applicants who have submitted their cover letter. This means that your cover is essentially acknowledged but it won’t get read.

So, when no one cares to read it, why bother much?

The reason is that anything that sets you apart from the other candidates should be given preference.

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a one page document that you prepare to give your introduction to the hiring manager attached with your resume. When you are applying for a job it is obvious that you will create an amazing resume or CV. But a resume is a one- or two-page document which details about you and your professional life. However, we cannot write each and everything in the resume though we are willing to inform it to the hiring manager. So,we write a resume cover letter.

We write a cover letter for various reasons like:

  • Explaining the recruiter why are we fit for the job?
  • Explaining things which resume cannot describe.
  • Explain the details of your perfect resume.
  • Briefing about why you want the job.

A cover letter is nothing but the detailed outline of your short and sweet resume. By highlighting the above-mentioned points in your resume, you can easily create a convincing cover letter. Remember, Resume and cover letter walks hand in hand. You compulsorily have to support your resume with a cover letter as it encourages the reader to read your resume.

How to write a cover letter for a job that works?  

Writing a cover letter isn’t a tedious task if you have already designed your resume. Imagine it took weeks for you to get this very job that you are applying for. You might have given enough time to design a perfect resume that gets through ATS and gets you an interview. While you are almost there you can’t miss out even a single chance to impress the hiring manager. Just one more step to go and there you are. The last step of applying for the job is writing a perfect cover letter.

So, how does a perfect cover look like? Here is an example of blocks that a cover letter looks like.

Cover Letter Format for Job

How to start and end a cover letter?  

A perfect start and end of the cover letter is important to make it look convincing and informative. Initially while writing your cover letter, you have to start with writing who you are, your contact details, etc. The sequence is followed as:

  • Your full name
  • Your telephone number
  • Your email address
  • The date
  • The name of the hiring manager and their professional title
  • The name and address of the company to which you’re applying

Next comes the salutation. This is the expected column where most of the applicants make minor mistakes. To avoid this let us see how to address a cover letter for a job?

For a second imagine yourself in the place of the hiring manager. How would you like to get addressed? By your name or simply “To Whomsoever it may concern”. The second option sounds bit rude. Right?

We have to start our cover letter by addressing the hiring manager who is going to read the cover letter. The greetings or the salutation is going to be the first thing that the hiring manager is expected to read. Therefore it has to be generous. for instance, addressing as

Dear Komal, or Dear John.

If you are not sure about the name of the recruiter, take out few seconds to call the organization and ask for the right name and right spelling. This is really important and helpful. The reason is when we read or hear our name, we react and focus to what is coming next. Ones the recruiter will see his name in the application letter, he will be sure that he has come across something that is specifically written for him/her. Recruiter will know that the information collocated in the letter is the exact information he has been looking for.

Next, you can continue with writing an attractive body content that is genuine and reflects your profile and agenda. You can make it up tothree paragraphs maximum and twoparagraphsminimum. But always remember to keep it short and specific. Do not diverge from the topic.

However, your opening paragraph should be a game changer. It should be attractive and catchy as hell. Because this is going to decide whether the recruiter will your letter or not. So be attentive with the opening statement.

At last, you should end the body of your cover letter with a closing paragraph which is courteous and requesting to have an interview session. You can end the letter with a formal closing writing “kind regards”, “yours sincerely”, or “yours faithfully”.

Let us now see these aspects of starting, body and ending of cover letter in more detailed way.

Best way to start a Cover Letter

This is the most generous question that most of you might come across while you plan to write your cover letter resume. Deciding how to start a cover letter is a tricky statement. Because few initial lines of your letter will decide whether it is going to be read or not. It has to be attention grabbing and extremely appealing.  This is how you can make a good start to your resume cover letter:

Be Direct– Try to be direct and focus on your intentions. Be specific about where are you applying and for what position? Mention it directly in the first line.
For instance- I am interested in the position of SEO executive at Witty Feeds.

Mention the referral contact-If you have been referred by someone for the position, then mention the referral contact. Mention the correct details and let the hiring person know about it.

State your biggest accomplishment-Next you can state your biggest achievement or proud experience so that it instantly catches the hiring manager’s attention.

Show your eagerness- Express your excitement to apply for the particular position. In the initiallines, you can show how willingly you want the job and can do anything to get it.

Use apt keywords- Finally, the most important one- use appropriate keywords. This is mandatory because sometimes or in some companies your standard cover letter also passes through the Application Tracking System (ATS). Use those keywords which were highlighted in the advertisement for the job vacancy. But remember, don’t overstuff the keywords.

Does your First Paragraph in Cover Letter make Employer happy?  

An effective First paragraph is the key to the best cover letter. However, an appealing start to your cover letter is as important as the beginning of a movie. The beginning of a movie decides whether we are going to continue to watch the whole movie or not. It is the only thing that decides the box office rating of the movie too. Likewise, the rating of your cover letter depends on the first paragraph by hook or the crook. Make sure the cover letter also covers important keywords from the job description. Carefully weave them just like how you updated keywords in the resume.

So, now that you know all the ifs and buts of writing a catchy first paragraph, you should cross check it by self-does it makes the reader happy? If your answer is yes, you are good to go. And if your answer is no, you can watch out some more guidelines and read a few sample cover letters for job.

Things to put in the second paragraph that gets engaged

The second paragraph of cover letter primarily focuses on your qualification and exemplary achievements. You should highlight here that how these achievements and qualifications are going to get you through the job. Or how does it match the position of the job vacancy?

In this paragraph, tailor all the information describing why you want this position. Most of the applicants skip this part completely! But no recruiter is going to hire someone who can’t articulate what makes the job most desirable for him.

For instance, writing statements like – “Working as a Senior Account Executive for your company would provide me with exciting opportunities to grow and innovate in the PR industry.” This is important to mention because if you don’t mention why you are applying for this specific job, the letter might be less impactful.

How to End your Cover Letter painlessly?

When you have almost completed writing your cover letter, wrapping it up won’t be a tedious task now. You are there at the easiest part now! Moreover, theclosing paragraph won’t change much from cover letter to cover letter. There is absolutely no need to end your cover letter with a bang. If you have already written the rest of the portion right, by this point the hiring manager would be probably getting restless and wanting you to be there at the interview seat.

Imagine yourselves in the shoes of the hiring manager and then think what kind of ending is expected from the writer. It has to offer some kind of excitement and value to the manager. A professional cover letter ending not necessarily always ask for something at the end rather it can promise one.

So, in the closing paragraph, you may simply outline how you can be reached. You can refer to this – “For more information or queries, please don’t hesitate to connect me at [insert your email id] or [insert your contact number]. Eagerly waiting to hear from your side.”  Alternatively you may end it by assuring that you are sure you can add value to the team.

Pro tip: You can write P.S to directly draw the reader’s attention to some statement. And then you can always finish it with a closing remark like sincerely, faithfully or best regards.

Successful tips for writing Cover Letter Format

You have acquired enough of the ideas for writing resume cover letter format for job that gets noticed. You may refer to below topics for more details on cover letter.

To summarize, let’s see successful guiding tips for writing the best cover letter:

  • Always address the hiring manager by his name
  • In the opening paragraph, highlight only the relevant achievements to introduce yourself to the recruiter.
  • In the second paragraph, focus primarily on the hiring manager’s needs and prove you can provide solutions to help them.
  • In the closing paragraph, again end with providing necessary contact details to reach you.
  • Once you have completed writing your cover letter, proofread it carefully so it has no grammatical and spelling errors.

To get more interview calls, check your resume against job description. Find out skills required for the job, optimize resume with keywords as per recommendations. Get to pass ATS and get more interview calls.

Run Your Resume Against Job Description to Get Suggestions