A cover letter is not just a simple attachment to your resumé to make it look good — it’s your first opportunity to make a good impression in a more direct and personable way.
Your resumé already lists all the information about your education and work experience but your cover letter should give a brief introduction to your professional background. Also, you need to convince the hiring manager that you can be a great asset for their company and that you are really motivated to join them. Your cover letter can help you voice that.
Actually, a good cover letter may be even more important than your resumé in getting you a job interview… so, it seems reasonable to put some time and effort to make it perfect. In case you are asking yourself how to write a great cover letter, we have put together some tips that may help you to improve your job search results.
1. Make it personal
Don’t write a generic cover letter! One size doesn’t fit all. Make a personal letter for each occasion and let the recruiter feel you are interested on the company and position. Use your cover letter to highlight skills and achievements from previous jobs that directly relate to the position you’re applying to. Also, it doesn’t hurt to call or e-mail and find the name of the person you should address it to.
2. Keep it clean and clear
The look and feel of your cover letter is as important as the content. Use white paper, preferable DIN-A4 size. Select a clear font, like Helvetica or Arial, and keep a nice proportion between the font size and the space between lines. Write short paragraphs and use blank lines to separate them.
3. Double check spelling and grammar
This is a no brainer. Just like with your resumé, make sure you spell check and have someone full proof your cover letter to avoid spell mistakes and bad grammar. Always use spell check to avoid typos. If your writing skills are not strong or you’re not writing in your native language, give it special care or ask for help.
4. Don’t make it too long
I get it, you probably have many great things to tell a hiring manager but a cover letter is not a testament. The recruiting manager can’t spend 30 minutes reading wonderful but extra-long cover letters. Half page should be enough to make brief them on who you are and what you have to offer. No need for more than 1 page.
5. Use your voice
Don’t try to impress the recruiter with complicated jargon (unless it’s related to your field). Keep a professional voice and don’t be afraid to give it your personal touch.
6. Mention results and accomplishments
Numbers jump off the page and are the best way to show that you can make a positive impact for the company. You can mention previous successful projects you have worked on and your achievements including figures and percentages.
7. Show passion for the industry (or company)
Some hiring managers care more about the passion you bring than your years of experience. After all, technical skills are something you can learn, while the positivity and overall enthusiasm are within you. So, use the cover letter to show that you really like about your career and are very motivated to work on their projects.
8. Use language from the job description
Look for clues in the job description of what words and skill sets the company uses and try to match accordingly. Don’t make the recruiting manager get confused with a lot of skills they don’t need. Go directly to the point, speak their language and tell them what they want to hear.
9. Be organized
- Briefly introduce yourself and mention the position you are applying to.
- Show your enthusiasm.
- Then, summarize your skills and strengths and explain what makes you great asset for the company. (Here you could mention some things that may not be listed on your resumé)
- Finally, before closing your letter, make sure to write the dates or times when you would be available for an interview and mention your enclosed resumé.
- Don’t forget a nice thank you for the closing.
Let see an example:
I was excited to see a vacancy for the _________ position advertised on www.jobfluent.com.
I am a qualified _________ with a background in _____________ and currently I work as _______________ for ______________. My studies and experience make me a great fit for this position. I am certain that with my on-hands experience on _____________ and my _____________ skills, I can be a great addition to your team.
As you will see on my resumé, I have accomplished ______________(list some of your achievements, results or success stories). I consider myself a hard-working individual always striving to succeed, I am a team player and always up for new challenges.
If you’d like to learn more about my background, I am available for an interview at any time. Thank you for taking the time to consider my application and don’t hesitate to contact me whenever needed.