A cover letter is an official letter that accompanies your resume every time you apply somewhere. People need to learn about the difference between cover letter and resume. Moreover, certain professionals think that attaching and writing cover letters is an outdated practice. However, for those of you who think this way, they must know that it is quite the opposite.
You can even find many free cover letter template words on the internet that can help you out. However, adding a personal touch by drafting your own cover letter will help you to catch the attention of the HR professionals quickly.
According to a recent study, around 64% of recruiters require a cover letter, whereas 83% of HR professionals think that cover letters can make or break the hiring process. If you are new to the corporate world and are looking for the perfect cover letter to attach to your CV, then you have landed on the ideal page. This article will give you the basics of writing a cover letter.
Letter of Introduction vs Cover Letter
A majority of job seekers do not know the difference between the letter of introduction and cover letter. While both of these letters are used for a similar purpose which is job hunting, a cover letter is usually written in response to a job opening. On the other hand, a letter of introduction is written to show interest to your employer about any future openings.
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Purpose of a Cover Letter
A good cover letter is the face of your resume. You can also call it a first impression of your job application. It persuades the HR professional to look into your qualifications, work experiences and your strengths and skillsets. Furthermore, it also gives the impression that you have researched well for the job. A perfect cover letter serves as a call to action for employers and makes you stand out from the pool of applicants.
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Things to Consider Before you Write a Cover Letter
Before drafting your cover letter, you must sit back, relax, and think about the information that you will be providing in your cover letter. Here are a few things that you need to think about:
- Think about your past experiences and how those experiences will be helpful for the current employer. Are there any talents, skills, or accomplishments that you would like to show off to the company?
- Think back on how you got to know about this job. If a friend or a family member referred it, write down who mentioned it. Sometimes, people also post job ads on Facebook or in newspapers. Try to find the ad and write down any specific requirements for the job.
- Research about the company and its culture. Now, think about why you want to apply for this particular job. Is it because of the employer, their vision or simply because it is much more feasible than your current job?
- Research about the person that you are writing to. If it is an HR professional, add their title to the cover letter. For instance, when writing an executive cover letter to the HR manager, you would probably write “Dear Manager Human Resource.”
Format of a Cover Letter
Listed below is a quick format that you need to follow when writing a cover letter:
Employers Contact Details
This section will include their name, address (city and state along with their zip code), contact number or email address.
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Since you must have already researched about the person you are sending the cover letter to, then you must mention their name. For example, you can write Dear Mr. XYZ.
The opening statements of your cover letter must include your introduction. You can write about who you are and mention the relevant skills and accomplishments that you have.
There are around one to two body paragraphs that you must add. In these paragraphs, you must discuss how you learned about the company and why you are applying for this job. After this, you can make a second paragraph to mention how you can add value to the company. If possible, try to discuss tangible results.
Closing statements include further emphasizing things that you mentioned in the body paragraphs. Afterward, you add a call to action, meaning you must include a sentence like, “Looking forward to your response.” Don’t forget to mention that you have attached your resume or other documents. You must then sign off professionally by writing “Sincerely” or “Best Regards,” along with your full name.
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Step-by-Step Guide on Writing a Cover Letter
Cover letter writing can be a tedious task, especially for those who are fresh graduates and have never applied anywhere before. Here is a step-by-step guide to make things easier for you.
Research, Research and Research
Before mindlessly typing out your cover letter, thoroughly read the job requirements. Especially keep an eye out for specific needs that the recruiters must have mentioned. When reading the job description, you must consider the following things;
- Priority of the recruiting company.
- Goals of the company for the specific role.
- Whether the accomplishments match the objectives of the company.
- The key phrases and communication styles that the company uses.
Analysis of the job post will help you draft the cover letter according to the recruiting company’s preferences. You may even be able to impress the hiring manager because proper research shows that you are well-prepared for the job at hand.
Start with the Cover Letter Header
Similar to any other business letter, you must include pieces of personal information at the top of the cover letter so that the HR professional knows what you are writing about. If you want, you can even add the name and address on the top of the cover letter.
Example of the Cover Letter Header
Your Email Id
Date of Application
Name of the Recipient
Name of the Hiring Organization
Address of the Organization
Address the Reader
Let’s be honest here, writing “Respected Sir/Madam” is quite old. People now prefer being addressed as an actual person. A little bit of research will help you find out who the recruiting professional is, and this includes their name. Mentioning the name of the person helps to add a personal touch to the letter. It also means that you took the time to research the company.
Once you are aware of their names, you can simply mention them. If you don’t, then here are a few options for you to consider.
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear HR Team
- To Whom it may Concern
Start with a Strong Opening Statement
Starting your cover letter with a strong opening statement will create a more substantial impact on the recruiter’s mind. It will help the recruiter understand how you can be a valuable asset to them. Here are a few pointers for opening statements:
- Start with a question that is thought-provoking.
- Convince the recruiter how you can be beneficial for the company.
- Write a few sentences about the company.
Cover letter for fresh graduates will not include previous experiences. Instead, it would be best for you to discuss your qualifications and achievements in your college and university. For instance, write about any medals you have won in sports or an academic scholarship.
Opening Statement Example
I will work diligently in the sales department of XYZ Inc, assisting the team in attracting more customers and increasing the revenues, two-fold.
Prove how and why you are the Best Fit
You must prove to the recruiters that you are perfect for the job. You can explain this in two body paragraphs. Write about your background, values and experiences. Convincing the employers is essential if you are making a switch in your career. You must also highlight any accomplishments that you have achieved in the past. Write how you addressed the challenges in your past workplace and succeeded.
Sign Off with an Impressive Closing Statement
A professional closing statement must be such that it does not give the impression that you are desperate or eager for the job. Replicate the tone and personality of the communication that the company uses. The purpose of the closing statement is to:
- Mentioning the attachments of your cover letter.
- Invitation to schedule the interview.
- Inform the recruiter that you will be following up with them.
- Thank the manager for their valuable time.
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Closing Statement Example
If provided with the opportunity, I am confident I can achieve exemplary results as a team lead in XYZ Inc.
Mr. John Doe, I would appreciate a chance to discuss the prospective sales objective and how I can help you achieve it. Feel free to contact me at 000-111-1234, or you can email me at [email protected]. I am looking forward to meeting you.
Add a Closing Salutation
Add a closing-off salutation such as “Sincerely” or “With best regards.” If you are wondering how to sign a cover letter, here is the answer. After these salutations, you can add your full name as a signature.
Always remember this! Whenever you write a professional email or a letter, proofread it before emailing. For this, you need to carefully review the letter for any grammatical or spelling errors. Read thoroughly to ensure that you do not skip any critical portion of the letter. You can even ask a colleague to review your letter and give feedback.
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A well-crafted cover letter helps to catch the attention of hiring professionals in any company. It may even help you get the dream job that you have always wanted. A perfectly written cover letter will help you to highlight your qualifications and achievements to make a lasting impression. You can even add cover letter keywords when creating profiles on recruiting websites to get on top of the millions of potential applicants.
Another tip when writing a cover letter is to customize every note according to the job. The reason for this is that every company has its requirements, tone, and communication style. You cannot use a cover letter for one position for the other. It is always important to tailor your cover letter for a higher chance of getting hired.
Looking for a professional cover letter? Worry not, experts at Creative Savants can help you craft a compelling cover letter, so you can land the job of your dreams.