Job hunting is arduous. Scouring through job portals, looking for opportunities, updating your resume, and preparing for interviews – none of these tasks seem fun.
Interestingly, most of us place the utmost importance on creating a proper resume but often ignore the importance of a Cover Letter. This can be detrimental. Why, you ask? Read on.
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What is a cover letter? Why do you need it?
A cover letter is a single-page document, sent alongside your job application. It is essentially an elaborate summary of the information present in your resume or curriculum vitae. Where a resume only speaks about some specific aspects of your career, and present the data in an objective manner, a cover letter allows you to introduce yourself to the employer in a more personal and subjective way, explain in brief your achievements, and the motivation behind working with that particular organization.
A well-formed cover letter can grab the recruiter’s interest at a glance and will definitely work in your favor when recruitment decisions are made.
Here’s everything that you need to know to write a Cover Letter:
Start With a Professional Header
Keep it as followed:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Name of the concerned person and their job title.
- Name and address of the company.
Keep it professional and to the point. And most importantly, do not use inappropriate email addresses such as ‘email@example.com’. Also, refrain from using your current company’s email address. Use your personal email address instead.
When a piece of paper is speaking for you, you need to make sure that the messages are conveyed as per the manner you would consider while greeting them in person. A perfectly tailored greeting can give the reader an essence of personalization. But how to do it right?
Well, some things can never go wrong, and in this case ‘Dear Donna’ is one of those fail-proof greetings, where you greet the reader with their first name.
The Opening Paragraph
Coming on to the body of the letter, the opening paragraph demands to be catchy enough to grab the reader’s attention. A well-thought introduction attracts and holds the reader’s interest to proceed with the rest of the matter present in the letter.
Stay miles away from starting with ‘In response to’, ‘as discussed’ etc. Instead, come directly to the point with an enthusiasm in response like ‘As a keen enthusiast for working with XYZ company, I was enlightened to learn about the opportunity to work as XYZ manager’.
Using your enthusiasm to boost up your introduction not only sustains the reader’s interest but, also makes you stand out as a strong contender for the job profile you’re applying for.
The Second Paragraph
Now that you have let the recruiter know why you need the company, it’s your turn to explain why would the company need you! Explain what makes you the perfect candidate for the given job opening.
Here, you need to think and speak from a recruiter’s point of view. Analyse your worth, mention your unique selling proposition, what value can your skills and qualifications add to your job, what makes you the perfect fit for the given role, etc. This is where you can brag out loud about your professional skills.
Remember to be respectful and not to mention anything that your paperwork cannot justify. If you have worked earlier or are currently working, you might as well share your professional achievements too.
The Third Paragraph
So far, you have made the right introduction, stated all your skills and professional achievements, and the motivation to become a part of the company. Now, it’s time to give a closing statement to your letter.
Close the letter by letting the recruiter know about how eager you are to work with the company, and are looking forward to meeting them in person for further discussions. Also, give them an essence of how your skills and knowledge can add value to the company and also, can open paths to fulfilling your career goals.
Make sure that you are not sounding needy, it’s all very professional, so let’s keep it that way.
Concluding the Cover Letter
Finally, conclude the Cover Letter by summing everything up and adding a CTA or ‘Call-to-Action’. By adding a CTA, you drive the recruiter to act on your application quickly. CTAs can be statements like: “I invite you to visit my portfolio” or “I am available for a Skype call at your convenience” etc.
Sign it off
So, the body of your over Letter is ready. Now let’s give a formal closing to the letter. Some of the cover letter sign-offs are as follows:
- Thank you,
- Best regards,
- Kind regards,
- With best regards
Important things to remember while writing a Cover Letter:
When you’re writing to someone regarding a job prospect, you aim at creating a first impression. Don’t you?
Well, to come up with a great cover letter, here are few tips that you may consider.
- Be specific and concise
- Focus on the future
- Highlight your value
- Watch the tone. Sound professional and mature, not desperate or arrogant.
- Show that you are a problem-solver with your accomplishments
- State relevant information that isn’t already in your resume
- Proofread the cover letter before sending it.
There are job seekers who are still confused about the importance of a cover letter.
Do cover letters matter? Is it mandatory to provide a cover letter? These are a few questions that surround the subject.
The truth is that it depends on the recruiter’s preference whether they would like a cover letter or not. While few letters may go to waste, most of them are attentively read.
So, to grab that job opportunity, go ahead and craft a perfect cover letter. Let the experience of writing be fun.