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9 Easy Steps to Writing a Cover Letter

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Are you sick and weary of typing resumes online and hearing nothing but the sound of crickets chirping? Learning how to write a cover letter could be the boost your job search needs if you’re looking for a simple approach to stand out in the crowd.

Many people believe that cover letters are outmoded and useless in today’s technologically aTime of Date society. However, did you know that 49% of hiring managers claimed that a compelling cover letter persuaded them to schedule a meeting with a prospective employee despite the latter’s mediocre resume?

A strong cover letter can put you ahead of the competition if you’re searching for a simple method to stand out and catch a hiring manager’s notice.

 

A Cover Letter: What Is It?

A one-page letter of introduction that you submit with your CV, job application, or resume is called a cover letter. It is written in the conventional structure of a business letter with the intention of convincing a recruiter or hiring manager to set up an interview with you.

Not all employers need applicants to submit a cover letter; in fact, many do not. However, if you can produce a strong cover letter, it could give you an advantage.

Writing a cover letter also gives you the opportunity to elaborate on specific points, such your enthusiasm for the corporate culture, a recommendation, a job gap explanation, or a recent career shift. These things typically don’t have room on a resume, but you can elaborate on your special circumstances, abilities, interests, or experience in a cover letter.

Let’s talk about how to draft a cover letter for every job application now that you are aware of its purpose.

1. Adhere to the guidelines

Make sure you read the job description and the application guidelines before you begin typing your cover letter. A lot of employers utilize the application process to gauge your attention to detail and ability to follow instructions. Certain companies can request that you not send them a cover letter; if this is the case, please do not send one.

Companies now days have drawn-out application and interview procedures. It’s best to read the job description several times before applying to be sure you meet all the requirements. It would be a waste of time to submit a ton of paperwork just to learn that you lack the necessary tools for the job or that they don’t hire in your state.

To ensure you have covered all the bases, go slowly, take your time, and utilize a checklist.

2. Employ Appropriate Cover Letter Format

You should adhere to a specific format for cover letters so that the hiring manager can quickly skim them, find your contact information, and see why you would be a valuable addition to the team. The colors, typefaces, and keywords utilized in your cover letter should coordinate with those in your CV.

Your cover letter should contain the following information from top to bottom:

  • First and last name, work title, contact information (phone and email), city, state, and URL to your LinkedIn profile
  • Date
  • Name of the business
  • Individualized greeting
  • opening sentence
  • two to three paragraphs describing your background in work, interests, training, and abilities
  • Last paragraph
  • A kind closing remark and your entire name

In addition to having these essential components, your cover letter should be concise, direct, and simple to read. There are a ton of free cover letter samples available on websites like Indeed, Jobscan, and Microsoft if you need assistance with formatting. Avoid templates that have an excessive number of colors, script fonts, or design features; these are typically not compatible with applicant tracking software, or ATS.

3. Customize Your Cover Letter

If at all feasible, personalize your cover letter by including the recruiting manager’s title (Ms., Mr., or Mx.) along with their last name. Use a person’s name instead of their title if you are unsure about their gender or identity. In the event that the job advertisement is silent on the recipient’s address, you may attempt to locate them on social media sites such as LinkedIn. You can use an all-purpose greeting if you can’t figure out who to address it to.

Here are a few appropriate salutations for cover letters:

  • To Ms. Smith,
  • Greetings, Judy Smith
  • Dear Department of Human Resources,
  • To Whom It May Concern, Hiring Manager
  • To the Marketing Team,

Finally, refrain from using Dear Sir or Madam as your salutation. These are archaic greetings that could give away your age. You want to stay away from anything on your resume or cover letter that could come out as biased to the hiring manager or recruiter.

4. Adore the Business

Look for aspects of the business that the company has going for them and give them credit for them when conducting your research on them. Many employers, particularly those in smaller businesses, are looking for people who are enthusiastic about the chance to work for them and who know and love their brand.

For instance, your opening paragraph might read something like this if you’re looking for a job with Nespresso, which provides free coffee pod recycling:

I dropped everything I was doing to start working on my application as soon as I saw that Nespresso was hiring a Digital Marketing Specialist. Not only do I adore Nespresso coffee—my personal favorite flavor is Golden Caramel—but I also greatly admire your commitment to sustainability and community involvement. I’m thrilled about the chance to work for such an important company.

If you choose to express gratitude to the business, make sure it comes from the heart. Sincere excitement spreads like wildfire, so the more of it you can capture in your cover letter, the better.

5. Make It Talkative

My tone is fairly conversational, as the sample above shows. Although writing should be done with professionalism, avoid writing in such a way that it sounds robotic. Consider drafting your cover letter as though it were a letter to your grandma; the tone should be polite yet firm.

Ninety percent of the cover letters sent by job hopefuls are identical since most of them use AI-generated material or cover letter templates with sample phrasing. You will differentiate yourself from the throng if you can adopt a little different strategy and write conversationally while speaking from the heart. Your cover letter will stand out if you include some passion and emphasize your greatest qualities, accomplishments, and experience.

6. Emphasize Your Successes 

It’s ideal if you can focus on only one significant work achievement in your cover letter. To pique the hiring manager’s interest in setting up an interview, all you need is one outstanding example. This may have been an example from your resume, but your cover letter may have a little more information.

Use a particular example of how you accomplished a goal in your cover letter if you don’t have a tangible accomplishment to include. Emphasize your transferable talents and real-world experience that make you the best person for the job. It’s acceptable to provide examples from volunteer work, a college internship, or high school.

7. Just Mention Experience That Is Relevant

Many job applicants include every skill, job responsibility, and experience they have ever had on their application. Even while you want to impress an employer with your breadth of knowledge, including your whole professional and academic background, you make it difficult for them to identify the experiences and talents that are relevant to the role. A CV or cover letter that is too wordy often ends up in the garbage if a hiring manager can’t find what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds.

Pay attention to the abilities and background required for the position you are going for while crafting your cover letter and CV. This can assist your resume pass application tracking software (ATS) and communicate to the hiring manager that you are a strong candidate for the position.

These days, ATS scans practically all resumes and cover letters first. This implies that your documents won’t ever reach a real person if they don’t contain the appropriate keywords. This is the reason it is crucial that you edit each cover letter and resume you submit.

Make sure you always include your email address, the job title, and the keywords from the job description. I’ve seen a good deal of resumes where the applicant neglected to add their contact information.

8. Edit your resume. 

After creating your cover letter, make sure it is error-free in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. It would be ideal if you could complete this at various sittings. When you proofread several times in a succession, your brain frequently overlooks typos and mistakes. However, if you give yourself some space between, your mind is clear and you can see mistakes that you might have overlooked the first time.

Additionally, you can get assistance from a free editing program like Grammarly. Alternatively, ask a reputable friend or relative to proofread your resume and cover letter for errors. Take your time and make sure all of your documents are error-free. While some hiring managers may overlook little typos, others will reject your application right away.

 

9. Create a PDF version of your cover letter

After proofreading and editing, save your cover letter as a PDF and rename it with your initial and last name along with the words “cover letter.” Your formatting will remain safe when you use the PDF format, which can be viewed on many different devices. Naturally, comply with an employer’s request to send documents in Word, Google Doc, or plain text format. However, a PDF will usually work best for both your CV and cover letter.

How to Write a Summarized Cover Letter

It just takes a little time and effort to write an excellent cover letter. However, putting in the effort up front will pay off in the form of more interview inquiries and a quicker job offer.

Keep in mind that your cover letter is a succinct, business-like document that outlines your qualifications for the position. Potential employers look through hundreds, perhaps thousands, of resumes and cover letters, so yours should be simple to skim and highlight your strongest points. Eliminate extraneous details and concentrate on your most crucial job-related qualifications.

You can always use an online template from the Ultimate Resume Template Bundle, which includes three resume templates, two cover letter templates, a resume and application guide, and a bonus action verb sheet, if you’re still having trouble writing a cover letter.

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