How to write the perfect cover letter

How to write the perfect cover letter

Is it very important for us to find our dream job?  We shouldn’t be so confident that we will be hired.  Many other eligible candidates are competing to get the same job.

The cover letter comes first for the job.  We need to include a cover letter to complement our resume, which can be an effective way to impress hiring managers.  The cover letter showcases your strong writing skills and also sets you apart from other applicants.  Your cover letter shows you’ve gone the extra mile.

A solid cover letter you create helps you answer two important questions, says Linda Spencer, career associate director, and coordinator at Harvard Extension School:

  1. 1. Why are you right for this job?
  2. 2. How can you add value to this organization?

According to Spencer, it takes the average employer about seven seconds to review documents. “They’re not reading, they’re skimming.  So you need to make it clear from the cover letter how you can add value.”

Now you have prepared your resume, and also shortlisted the best jobs where you are looking to apply.  But then again, a cover letter is needed to send an application, how to write a cover letter… so below are going to teach you some ways to write a cover letter that can help you get the job you deserve.

What is a cover letter and why is it so important?

A cover letter is a one-page document that we submit along with our CV or resume as part of our job application.  Its purpose is to introduce and briefly summarize the professional background.  It is important to have 250 to 400 words in a cover letter.

A well-crafted cover letter can pique the interest of an HR manager and prompt them to read the resume.  But a bad cover letter means your application is going straight to the paper shredder.  That’s why it’s important to know how to write a solid cover letter so that you never have to face a tough situation.

Keep in mind that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement.  That means don’t repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you are going to write a cover letter for the first time, it may seem a bit daunting to write it all because you are not a professional writer.  There is no need to be creative or even good at writing when writing a cover letter, and all you need to do is follow the format you’ve tried below:

  1. 1. Header – Input Contact Information
  2. 2. Hiring Manager Greetings
  3. 3. Introductory Paragraph – Capture the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  4. 4. Second Paragraph – Explain why you are the right candidate for the job
  5. 5. Third Paragraph – Explain why you are a good match for the company
  6. 6. Formal closing

How to write the perfect cover letter

Below we are going to tell you about the step by step process of writing a cover letter:-

1 Picking the Right Cover Letter Template

A good and perfect cover letter template helps to make a first impression.  You choose a well-formatted, visual template, which is the best way to make a good impression.

You can choose from one of the cover letter templates we’ve selected, and you’ll be ready in a jiffy.  As a bonus, our template will also give you tips on how to improve when creating a cover letter.

2 Using a Professional Cover Letter Header

You can proceed by keeping some basic things in mind first. The letter header of every professional cover letter for a job application must include the following:

  1. 1. Your name
  2. 2. Your phone number
  3. 3. Your email address
  4. 4. Date
  5. 5. Hiring Manager Name and Professional Title
  6. 6. Enter the name and address of the company you wish to apply for

 

Alternatively, you can add:

  1. 1. Your professional headline
  2. 2. Your home address
  3. 3. Links to your professional websites
  4. 4. Your social media accounts, which only apply to LinkedIn and Twitter
  5. 5. Your residence address (this isn’t required but adds a professional touch—be sure to include this if your cover letter is overly official)

 

Just remember to keep it professional:

  1. 1. You can use an email address from a reputable provider—meaning either Gmail or your personal domain (if you have one.)

  2. 2. The email address you provided should only include your first and last name

  3. 3. It is better not to use your current work address to send your email cover letter.  Because it’s rude to both your current and potential future employer.

  4. 4. You also need to make sure that your contact information is consistent in your resume, cover letter and social media profiles.

3 Greet the hiring manager in the cover letter

Now that you have properly listed your contact information in the cover letter, you should begin writing cover letter content.

The first thing you have to do is address the cover letter to the hiring manager.  That’s right, the hiring manager!  Not to be too popular like “Dear Sir or Madam.”  You like to show your future boss that you’ve done your research and are really looking forward to working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and expects to be hired at any of them.  So, how can you find out who the hiring manager is?  There are many ways for this.

The easiest option is to look up the relevant department head on LinkedIn.  Let’s say you are applying for the position of communication specialist in a department.  The hiring manager is probably the head of communications or the main communications office.  So, you do a quick search on LinkedIn.

Also let’s say you are applying for a server position.  Then in this situation, you will be looking for a “restaurant manager”.  If this method doesn’t work, you can search for the “Teams” page on the company’s website.  this one

The best way might be to at least find the right person out there.

4 Giving an introduction that draws more attention

First impressions matter to all of us, and especially when it comes to job searching.

Those who recruit get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications.  There is a possibility that they may not be reading every cover letter end-to-end.  For this, it is necessary to draw their attention from the first paragraph.

One problem with opening paragraphs seen in most cover letters is that they usually look too generic.  Mostly looks something like the example below..

Wrong example

Hey, my name is ABC and I want to work as a sales manager in XYZ Inc.  I have worked as a Sales Manager at Makeup Company Inc for 5+ years so I believe I would be a good fit for this job position.

See here, the opening paragraph in it doesn’t explain much except for the fact that you’ve done the work before.

All the applicants you are competing with, do you know who has similar work experience among others?

Instead, you really want to start with 2-3 of your top achievements to grab the reader’s attention.  Preferably, the achievements must be as relevant as possible to the position.  Below is a correct example:

Perfect example

Dear XYZ,

My name is ABC and I am XYZ Inc.  I want to help you to hit and exceed your sales goals as a sales manager.  I have served in Company X, a Fin-Tech company for 3+ years.  As a sales rep, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month.  I hope that previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, helps make me the right candidate for the job.

You can find out by looking at the difference between these two examples.  Now that the introduction is covered, let’s start talking about the main part of your cover letter.  This part is divided into two paragraphs: the first is to explain why you are the perfect person for the job, and the second part is to prove that you are a good fit for this company.

5 Explaining why you are the ideal person for the job

Now this is where you show off your professional skills and convince the manager that you are a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first you need to know before writing anything that what are the most important requirements for the role.  So first open the job advertisement and identify which responsibilities are most important in it.

 For example, let’s say you are applying for an advertiser position.  You scan the job advertisement and see that the top requirements are:

  1. 1. Experience managing an advertising budget of $10,000+/month

  2. 2. Some skill in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)

  3. 3. Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section you need to discuss how you meet these requirements.

6 You have to explain why you are a good fit for the company

When you’ve finished writing the last paragraph of the cover letter, you might be wondering – I’m a shoo-in for the job, so what else do I need to write?  I will just complete the cover letter and forward it.  but not now.  You are not completely there yet.

The manager doesn’t just look at whether you will be good at the job.  They are looking for someone who is also a good fit for the company culture.  After all, employees who don’t fit in will have to quit sooner or later.  This costs the company a ton of money, and up to 50% of the employee’s one year’s salary.

This means that you also need to convince the HR manager that you are really interested in working with them. How do you do this now?  For this as a beginner you have to do some research about the company.  like:

  1. 1. What is the business model of the company?

  2. 2. What is the company’s product and service?  Have you used it?

  3. 3. How is the culture?  Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy over how you do things?

  4. 4. So, go Googling.  From this it is likely, you can find all the information that you would find on the company’s website or elsewhere on the web.

Next you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.  Let’s say, for example, that you are passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation or freelance work in the organization.  Then you would write something like this:

With the right example

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and in what I believe is the most innovative technology I’ve used in years.  Features like made-up-feature 1 and made-up-feature 2 were real game changers for the device.

I truly admire how Company XYZ thrives on excellence and creates market-leading technology for all of its product lines.  As someone who thrives in a self-driving environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ would be a great match.

The thing you don’t want to do here is write something super generic.  Too many job seekers mess it up.  Let’s look at a very common example below:

Wrong example

I would love to work for this Company XYZ because it has a culture of innovation.  I believe that since I am super creative, I will be a good fit for the company.  The company values of honesty and transparency really stand with me.

Now nothing about the company in this wrong instance.  The “culture of innovation” is something that most companies claim.  On the other hand the same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” – the author just googled about the organization’s values, and said he liked them.

When any hiring manager who sees it will see through the fluff.  So, do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you are applying.

7 Ending the cover letter with a call to action

Finally now is the time to finish the cover letter and write the conclusion.  In the last paragraph you want to write something like this:

  1. 1. Eliminate all the points that you were not able to do in the previous paragraph.  Do you have anything left to say, or any other information to help the hiring manager make their decision?  You can mention it here.

  2. 2. You can thank the hiring manager for their time.  It never hurts to be polite, unless you come across as very needy.

  3. 3. Ending your cover letter with a call to action.  Keep in mind that the last sentence of your cover letter must be a call to action.  You should ask the hiring manager to take any action.

8 Working on the Perfect Formal Closing

Now once you’re done with the last paragraph, you’re ready to go, just writing a formal “goodbye.” Feel free to use one of the most popular findings for you cover letter:

  1. 1. Regards,
  2. 2. Kind regards,
  3. 3. Sincerely,
  4. 4  Thanks,

Well now we are finally done!  Now before you send your cover letter, be sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly.  Also maybe get a friend to review it for you.

Final words

If your cover letter is not good, or weak, then your entire application is void.  After all, we know that a cover letter is just an introduction. Our Best Job Consultancy has been making all this effort to leave an amazing first impression for your job. If you want to know more about this, we have a dedicated free guide for that.  Our HR solutions help teach you everything you need to know to land your dream job.  But you’re already an expert at it, so just choose one of the templates to get started.