The cover letter is the entry point for your application. Convince the HR manager why you are the best candidate. While hard facts count in the resume, you can score points in the cover letter with individuality and personality.
With the cover letter, you apply for a job in written form. While the Resume Template is only about you and your experience, the cover letter is a kind of bridge between you and the potential employer. The difficulty for many applicants is that they have to comply with the official formal requirements and at the same time give the letter a personal, perhaps even creative touch to distinguish themselves from the other applicants. Bring the cover letter to perfection with your ultimate final sentence.
What’s a Cover Letter & Why It’s Important For Your Job Search
To stand out in the flood of applications, you need an individual cover letter that is tailored exactly to the training position you are aiming for. In the cover letter, you slip a little bit into the perspective of the personnel manager. Help him or her to quickly classify your personality and get a clear picture of you.
The cover letter plays a complementary role to the Resume. It reinforces this by linking with the position sought. Like the resume, it must, therefore, be personalized and systematically adapted to each application.
A good cover letter highlights the reasons why your skills, those presented on the resume, match the offer. It highlights your motivations, your interest in the company.
But it is above all a capital tool to hold the attention of a potential employer. In most cases, recruiters start by reading the cover letters before looking at the resume. To convince cover letters then often only have thirty to sixty seconds of attention. If they fail, the resume will not even be read.
To succeed in writing a simple and impactful cover letter that stands out from the others, a principle to respect: spend time there.
How to Write a Convincing Cover Letter That Gets You The Job
The content of the cover letter is structured in up to 7 different sections. It starts with an introduction, followed by the main part, soft skills, optional part, and the final part among others. The formal structure of the application letter is also crucial for the success of your application.
Step 1 – Pick the Right Cover Letter Template
There is no ideal cover letter template. No solution can meet the infinite number of candidates’ backgrounds and positions sought.
However, it is often the same structure that is used or used as a basis for writing. The outline of a cover letter can thus be broken down into up to 5 parts:
- The introduction, the catchphrase.
- Describe your strengths as a candidate.
- The part about the company: why it interests you.
- An overview of the company and the candidate: what you can do if you work together.
- The conclusion, with the interview proposal.
Note that this is only an example of a cover letter structure, paragraphs can be deleted, merged, or reversed (especially those on the applicant and the company).
It all depends on the applicant’s background, the area of the company targeted, and the type of application (unsolicited, reply to an offer). The structure of a cover letter must be adapted to suit the needs.
Step 2 – Start the Cover Letter with a Header
Use a professional letterhead with your contact details in the header, followed by the company data, the location, including the date, and a suitable subject.
To offer the reader of the application a simple overview of the important data, a header with their contact details is very suitable. In addition to the full address, we recommend entering your email address and telephone number. The great added value that a header delivers in a cover letter is that the contact details are easy to find in every document.
The recipient data should be listed in full under the header. It is particularly important here to also enter the name of the contact person if known.
Date and subject line
The date is right-justified slightly offset under the recipient data before it continues with the subject line (usually left-justified again) and, if necessary, with the code of the job advertisement.
When carefully reviewing the job description, the attentive reader should immediately notice whether a contact person is specified there by the company. If so, this must also be addressed directly in the cover letter. If this does not happen, you immediately cut your meat, because this shows that the tender was not carefully read.
Step 3 – Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction
When the introduction of a movie doesn’t catch your eye, you zap. The same goes for a cover letter. The catchphrase is the most important part of a cover letter. If your catchphrase is bad, writing the rest will be useless, the recruiter will have already moved on to the next letter.
A good introductory paragraph should allow you:
- Introduce yourself.
- Identify the position you want.
- Convince the recruiter of the relevance of your application.
You must achieve this in just a few lines.
A clearly structured structure is the be-all and end-all of every text. Application folders in general and the application letter, in particular, are no exception. It only takes an HR manager around 30 seconds on average to read your cover letter and decide whether to pay more attention to your Resume Template and attachments.
This first part serves to orient the reader. He should read what the purpose of the letter is and who the author is. The introduction aims to convey his motivation for the application and at the same time to ensure that the reader is interested so that he can continue reading. So start with a key argument for your application and formulate it accordingly. But keep it short.
Here are some examples of a more creative start:
Example 1: Highlight the requirements from the job advertisement (choose 3 properties from the job advertisement ):
“You are looking for a reliable / experienced / experienced / experienced / committed / innovative / motivated / creative marketing manager and I am looking for a new challenge / a new area of responsibility. I found what you were looking for with your ad and I can explain below why you no longer have to look for the right person. “
Example 2: Highlight the company’s values (3 meaningful examples should be selected):
“Innovation / a strong customer orientation/flexibility / pioneering spirit / a future-oriented vision/proactivity/sustainability / high safety and environmental standards / optimal use of resources – these are not only the values that are lived in your company but also the demands that I make of them my personal work performance. “
Example 3: Linking company values with personal strengths:
” Your proactive pioneering spirit and my innovative ideas – that could be the recipe for success for your marketing department.”
“Your commercial pioneering spirit and my love for numbers – that could be the recipe for success for your finance department.”
Step 4 – Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job
In this part of the cover letter, you link directly to the job advertisement. First and foremost, you should address the requirements specified in the advertisement. If you manage to include one or two additional job-related skills in the cover letter that are not mentioned in the advertisement – all the better. Give the relevant information about your current school or professional situation, mention your skills and competencies: What interests you about the training? Why do you want to learn the chosen profession? What skills do you bring to the training?
Step 5 – Explain why you’re a good fit for the company
Take advantage of this last part to highlight what you and the company can do together, what you can do for it if your application is successful. Look for arguments that might make the employer want to interview you.
It may be the human qualities that the team would bring, your desire to evolve in the targeted position, your willingness to commit yourself in the long term in the company, or even the opportunity that the desired position means for you (moving to a new city for example).
This part is about convincing. On the one hand, you should justify why you think you are suitable for the job and what qualifies you for it. On the other hand, this is also the place to introduce yourself and to highlight those aspects of training and work experience that qualify you for the job. See this part as a marketing measure, with the aim of “selling” your work performance, your skills, and your personality in the best possible way.
However, do not forget to always establish a relationship with the company by showing the HR manager what added value he has from hiring yourself. Mention hard skills, but don’t forget the corresponding soft skills. Only with a balanced combination of professional and personal strengths can you round off your profile in the best possible way. However, a list is not enough. Always specify your skills and abilities with a suitable example that is also relevant for the respective position. Here are two examples:
Example 1 for integrating soft skills:
“When working on projects, I was able to use my networked way of thinking to illuminate critical intersections from several sides to head for an overall ideal solution.”
Example 2 for the integration of hard skills:
“When I was implementing new marketing campaigns, my training in search engine optimization has benefited me several times. As a result, I learned to pay attention to preparing and optimizing content in a way that was suitable for search engines, right from the concept phase. ”
Step 6 – Wrap up with a call to action
At the end of the letter, you should be made aware of the appended attachments (resume, certificates, etc.) The following sentence is suitable for this:
“ You can find more information about me, my training, and my previous professional experience in the attached resume. You will also find my latest certificates of employment in the attachment. “
If you are asked about salary expectations or the earliest possible start date in the job advertisement, this is also the appropriate place to provide this information.
Finally, a concluding sentence including a greeting should follow. It is important not to use a subjunctive. Words like would, should, etc. give the impression of uncertainty and can weaken your statement. So do not say that you “would” be happy to be invited to an interview or that you “would” like to convince yourself of your motivation in a personal interview. Make it more specific and precise:
” I look forward to your feedback and would be happy to convince you in a personal conversation that you will find an innovative and committed employee with me. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email.
Step 7 – Use the right formal closing
In the last paragraph of your cover letter, you should summarize the most important facts of your application. Not only your qualifications are relevant in this paragraph. It is very important information that you have to provide to your potential future employer.
How to Perfect Your Cover Letter With the Free Checklist
Study the job advertisement:
It is advisable to read the job advertisement carefully – preferably several times. Filter out what is important to the company: What requirements do you have to meet? What tasks will you be facing? You must address these central points in the cover letter by linking them to your personal experience. Additional Internet research about the company can also be helpful. The more you know about it, the easier it will be for you to correctly set the main points of content in your letter, and in the best case, you will avoid possible rejection. If you want to stand out from the crowd, then create your application homepage now.
Don’t be afraid to address gaps in your resume:
Gaps in the Resume Template are not a criterion for rejection. On the contrary: You are human. The only thing that matters is to emphasize them positively in your cover letter. Our article with tips on how to deal with gaps in your resume tells you how. Learn everything you need to know about the perfect resume with relevant content and information.
Pay attention to clarity:
This is achieved by breaking it down into paragraphs. It is easier to take information from short paragraphs than to filter it out from a long text bulge. So don’t make it too difficult for the reader.
Pay attention to a red thread:
Your cover letter should have a red thread, i.e. a logical structure and a continuous chain of argumentation. Do not jump back and forth between different topic blocks, but consciously choose a structure that is comprehensible and structured.
The correct font and size:
Even if you want to score points with creativity, it is advisable to use common fonts. Avoid overly ornate variants – stick to Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, or Georgia so as not to get too out of line. The font size should be set at 11-point or 12-point. Don’t try to squeeze too long text by reducing the font size to one page, but instead consider how to compress and shorten the text in a sensible way.
Make sure your sentences are easy to read:
Nothing is more tedious than having to read a sentence several times to understand it. Avoid sentences that are too long or too nested. With concise, easy-to-read sentences, you score considerably more points.
To round off your application, we recommend that you also attach your resume. To maintain a consistent form and leave a professional impression, you can also opt for a complete application folder. Whether in classic printed form or digitally – our article on the application folder will tell you how. However, if you get a call from the headhunter, you can be sure that you are already a big step ahead in the application process. Did you know that it is possible to apply for your dream job with your mobile phone? See all application tips and application templates at a glance and start the upcoming application marathon stronger.
As far as language and choice of words are concerned: formulate seriously, argue clearly and conclusively – get to the heart of your matter! The HR manager has neither the time nor the desire to work his way through complicated nested sentences and twisted wording in the cover letter to get to the heart of the matter. Ideally, the HR manager will immediately understand what appeals to the applicant about the training in question. And, of course, all the details of an application should not be unrealistically glossed over, but should always be in line with the enclosed certificates and proofs.