How to write a winning Cover Letter?
How to write a winning Cover Letter?
The key points you should consider when writing your cover letter.
One of the main reasons why employers mention that a cover letter is required in job applications is to identify how the applicants have showcased that they meet the key requirements of the published job advertisement.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a profound way of introducing yourself along with your personality to the reader. This particular document supports your resume, by addressing all your skills and past work experiences aligning with the requirements listed in the job description. Yes, of course, a well-written cover letter has the ability to make a difference and create a strong positive impression about your application. However, you should understand the fact that a cover letter won’t be able to land you any jobs but the positive impression that is created from a cover letter might definitely help you get an interview with the employer.
So what exactly should a cover letter consist of?
Always keep in mind that a cover letter has to be unique, it cannot be another format where you can change details from employer to employer as you apply. Take your time to put into thought how you would introduce yourself best in a memorable way. You must not include your entire career life in the cover letter. Be a little extra creative here and make sure to include only the areas that highlight who you are, how you will add value to the employer if you are being hired.
One interesting way would be to showcase how you have solved specific problems in your career journey. Rather than using the generic term “problem solver”, try to draw a practical scenario where your involvement gave a solution to a job-specific problem. Likewise, take your time to draft out a compelling story, but always note that honesty is a critical policy that you shouldn’t break. When you express your interest in the posted job, do not oversell yourself by showing off excessive interest that would lead to a sense of desperation. This will eventually lead to a negative impact on your salary negotiations or sometimes totally get you out of the list. Therefore, be sensible about the language and tone when you pitch yourself to the hiring manager.
What should you avoid in a cover letter?
Most importantly, make sure not to include generic phrases that are being used in business writing. Hiring managers usually get bombarded with phrases such as “to whom it may concern”, “please feel free” or “yours truly”. Therefore, be mindful to present yourself in a uniquely interesting way that would keep the reader interested. The next critical fact is to only include what is relevant for the job description that you are applying for. There is no need to include lengthy paragraphs to cover your entire career journey so far. Always keep a keen eye on your spelling and grammar accuracy in the entire document, proofread plenty of times until you are sure that the document is with zero errors. Another key point would be to maintain giving a positive impression throughout your cover letter, so you must not write any sort of negative comments about your current or past employers.
Recruiters do not want to know your detailed personal information. Therefore, you should avoid loading unnecessary personal information and personal reasons why you applied for the job. Always list out professional reasons why you applied for the job and sell yourself in a professional manner making the recruiter interested to continue reading. Likewise, you should not mention any of your salary expectations or other requirements on the cover letter.
Cover letter formatting
Formatting is another area that needs your special attention. Two of the most important facts here would be to limit your cover letter to a single page with three paragraphs and to visually match the formatting of your resume. The start of the document should be the particular date and your contact information followed by the salutation to the hiring manager. Take your time to find out whom you are addressing and address them by their names. By doing so, you will create a strong positive impression from the beginning.
The opening paragraph will be your chance to grab the reader’s undivided attention. Therefore, as we discussed in the earlier section start your introduction and enthusiastically explain why you are interested in the job. Once your introduction is done, in the next paragraph you should justify and emphasize that you are the best fit for the job by drawing your skills, expertise, and relevant past work experiences. Avoid repetition and the use of irrelevant details as the recruiter already has your resume. The last paragraph would ideally be to thank the reader. Appreciate them for investing their time in reading your cover letter, and express your utmost interest in continuing to the next stage of the recruitment process. Lastly, as mentioned earlier, make sure to keep a similar look and feel among both your cover letter and resume. Be mindful to use a professional and easily readable font style like Arial or Calibri. The general formatting norm for margins and alignment would be to have left aligned with a one-inch margin all around.
Cover letter submission
Once you have completed writing your cover letter, the next and the last step would be to submit the document. If the submission is to be done to an online system, read through the published job description again to double-check the submission instructions. Make sure to save your cover letter in the correct format that is mentioned in the instructions. The most used formats would be Microsoft Word or PDF. Sometimes, you might face instances where you have to type out and fill a fillable section on a website. If so, pay extra attention while you re-type your content from the drafted cover letter and always double-check for spelling mistakes or other content and formatting errors.