You’ve been looking for a job for weeks, and you’re almost there! Your résumé is now at its best. You’ve narrowed down your selection of cool jobs to apply for. Even a friend trained you for each and every interview question there is. Before you can submit your application and move on, you realize that the job posting calls for a cover letter.
Now that you must figure out how to write a cover letter…Not to worry! We have your back. Contrary to popular belief, creating a cover letter is rather straightforward. We’ll show you how to create a cover letter in this guide so you can land the job you want.
- What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
- How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
- How to perfect your cover letter with the Resumeinventor checklist
- What excellent cover letter examples look like
What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)
One page long and attached to your job application is a cover letter (alongside your CV or Resume). Its goal is to give you a concise introduction and rundown of your professional history. Your cover letter should be between 250 and 400 words in length on average. A strong cover letter can pique the interest of the HR manager and persuade them to review your resume.
On the other hand, a poor cover letter can result in your application being shredded without even being read. Therefore, mastering the craft of writing an effective cover letter is crucial to ensuring that this doesn’t occur.
You might wonder what a strong cover letter appears like. Here’s an Example:
But keep in mind that a cover letter is an addition to your resume, not a substitute for it. In other words, you don’t merely restate what’s on your résumé. This may seem like a lot to write if this is your first time creating a cover letter. You aren’t a professional writer after all.
However, you don’t even need to be particularly creative or talented at writing. All you have to do is adhere to the following format:
- Header – Input contact information
- Greeting the hiring manager
- Opening paragraph – Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
- Second paragraph – Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
- Third paragraph – Explain why you’re a good match for the company
- Formal closing
How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)
After covering the fundamentals, we’ll walk you step-by-step through the process of producing a cover letter.
Step #1 – Pick the Right Cover Letter Template
The goal of a strong cover letter is to make a favorable impression. What better way to make a strong first impression than with a professionally designed template?
Look Cover Letter Template
Pick one of our carefully curated cover letter templates, and you’ll be ready to go in no time! As an added benefit, our AI will also recommend ways to enhance your cover letter as you write it.
Step #2 – Start the Cover Letter with a Header
It’s essential to begin your cover letter with a section for contact information, just like you would on a resume here, you want to include all essential information, including:
- Full Name
- Phone Number
- Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
- Name of the company you’re applying to
In some circumstances, you might also think about including:
- Any form of social media profile that is pertinent to your industry.LinkedIn profiles, GitHub profiles for developers, Medium profiles for writers, etc.
- Personal Website: You may mention your personal website if it enhances your application in any way. Say you work as a freelance writer. You should then include a link to your blog.
What you shouldn’t mention in your header is as follows:
- The Complete Address
- Inappropriate Email Ensure the presentation of your email. If your email address is “firstname.lastname@example.org,” it’s pretty difficult for a hiring manager to take you seriously. Always use the format “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” when applying for employment.
Step #3 – Greet the Hiring Manager
You should begin composing the cover letter’s contents after carefully listing your contact details. Here, the cover letter should be addressed to the hiring manager as a first step.
You read that correctly, hiring manager! Not “Dear Sir or Madam,” which is too common. You want to demonstrate to your potential employer that you did your homework and are really excited about joining their team.
Nobody wants to hire a job applicant who simply spams 20 or more businesses in the hopes of being recruited by one of them. How therefore can you identify the recruiting manager? There are various methods for doing this.
And presto! Your hiring manager is there.
Or, let’s imagine you’re submitting an application for a server position. You would then be searching for the “restaurant manager.”
Check out the “Team” page on the business website if this doesn’t work; chances are strong that you’ll at least locate the proper person there. Still can’t seem to find the right person?
Here are several other greetings you could use:
- Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
- Dear Hiring Manager
- To whom it may concern
- Dear [Department] Team
Step #4 – Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction
When it comes to your job search, first impressions are important.
Numerous applicants are submitted to recruiters—sometimes thousands. Most likely, they won’t read each cover letter from beginning to end. So, it’s critical to grab their interest in the first sentence.
The most prevalent issue we observe with most cover letter introductory sentences is that they are frequently quite general. Most of them have an appearance similar to this.
Hello, my name is Jonathan, and I’m interested in working with XYZ Inc. as a sales manager. I believe I’d be a good fit for the role because I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for more than five years.
See the problem now? The only thing this introductory paragraph really says is that you’ve already done the job. Do you know anyone else with a background in a related field? the other applicants you are up against.
Instead, you should highlight a few of your greatest accomplishments at the beginning to truly draw the reader in. The accomplishments should ideally be as pertinent to the role as possible.
Let’s now throw light on our prior Example:
As a Sales Manager, I want to work with XYZ Inc. to achieve and surpass its sales targets. For more than three years, I’ve been employed by Company X, a fin-tech firm. As a sales representative, I produced sales that were above $30,000 on a monthly average, exceeding the KPIs by almost 40%. I think my prior expertise in the field and superior sales abilities qualify me for the position.
See how the two instances differ from one another? Which sales manager—Jonathan or Michael—would you recruit if you were the hiring manager?
Following our discussion of the opening, let’s move on to the body of your cover letter. This section is divided into two paragraphs: the first is for demonstrates why you are the ideal candidate for the position, and the second is for demonstrates why you are a good fit for the business.
Consequently, let’s begin…
Step #5 – Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job
This is your chance to showcase your professional abilities and persuade the HR manager that you’re the best candidate out of everyone else who applied.
But first things first: you need to find out what the role’s most crucial criteria are before you even start writing. So, check through the job description and decide which duties are most important.
Consider applying to be a Facebook Advertiser for the purposes of this example. The following are the most important criteria as you scan the job posting:
- knowledge of controlling a monthly Facebook ad budget of at least $10,000
- Some knowledge of using Twitter and Google Search for advertising
- outstanding copywriting abilities
You must now explain how you meet these standards in this section. So, for our example, this is how that would appear:
At XYZ Inc., I handled customer acquisition through advertising while overseeing a monthly Facebook ad budget of more than $20,000. I oversaw the entire ad production and management process as the only digital marketer employed by the company. I chose the targeting, generated the ad copy and pictures, did optimization tests, and so on.
I’ve also looked into other online PPC channels besides Facebook advertising, like:
- Search Google
Step #6 – Explain why you’re a good fit for the company
I’m a shoo-in for the job after writing the last paragraph, you might be thinking. What other writing do I need to do? I’ll simply finish the cover letter and press the lovely SEND button.
Okay, no. You haven’t quite arrived yet.
The HR manager takes into account more than just your aptitude for the position. They are seeking a candidate who will fit well with the corporate culture.
Employees that don’t fit in will eventually go, after all. Up to 50% of the employee’s yearly compensation is ultimately lost, which costs the business a ton of money. This means that you must also persuade the HR manager of your genuine enthusiasm for working with them.
Why do you do this? Well, to begin with, you should learn more about the business. You’re curious about stuff like:
- What is the business model of the company?
- What service or product does the company offer? You may have used it.
- What kind of culture is it? Will you be given autonomy over how you complete tasks, or will someone micromanage your work?
Search online now. Most likely, you can find all the information you require online, whether it is on the firm website or elsewhere. The next step is to decide what you appreciate about the business and express that in language.
Let’s imagine, for example, that you have a strong affinity for their product and that you appreciate the company’s innovative and independent work culture.
Write something along these lines:
I’ve used the XYZ Smartphone firsthand, and I think it’s the most cutting-edge technology I’ve used in a while. The device’s features, such Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2, were truly game-changers.
I particularly respect the way Company XYZ strives for excellence across all of its product lines, producing cutting-edge technology. I really feel that since I thrive in a self-driven environment, Company XYZ and I will make a fantastic team.
Being overly general just so you have anything to write about is not what you want to do here. This is where most job searchers fail. Let’s look at a fairly typical case that we frequently encounter:
Because of Company XYZ’s innovative culture, I’d adore working there. I think I’d fit in well with the business because I’m so creative. I truly connect with the company’s ideals of honesty and ethics.
See what’s wrong with this picture? The company isn’t actually represented by the example. A “culture of innovation” is something that most businesses tout.
The same is true of “values of integrity and openness”; the writer just googled what the organization’s principles are and stated that they are to their liking.
Anyone who reads this recruiting manager will be able to cut through the filler.
Therefore, be sure to conduct an extensive study and develop compelling justifications for applying
Step #7 – Wrap up with a call to action
It’s now time to complete your cover letter and create the summary.
In the conclusion, you should:
- Finish whatever points you didn’t get to in the previous sentences. Have you got anything further to say? Any more details that might influence the hiring manager’s choice? Specify it here.
- Gratitude is appropriate for the recruiting manager. Being polite never hurts, as long as you don’t come across as overly reliant.
- Include a call to action at the end of the cover letter. Your cover letter should have a call to action in the final phrase. You ought to request that the hiring manager do something.
Let’s now apply this to a real-world scenario:
In conclusion, thank you for considering my application. I’m hoping to be able to assist Company X in getting the most out of its Facebook marketing campaigns. I’d love to talk to you more about how you can use my prior experience at XYZ Inc. to accomplish your Facebook marketing objectives.
Step #8 – Use the right formal closing
After writing the last paragraph, all that’s left to do is to formally say “goodbye,” and you’re done.
Use this example of one of the most common cover letter conclusions:
- Best Regards,
- Kind Regards,
- Thank you,
Finally, we’re done! Make sure to edit the cover letter before sending it off using a program like Grammarly, or consider asking a friend to do so.
Let’s review all we’ve learned about creating a cover letter now that we’ve taken you through each step in detail:
- A cover letter, which should be between 250 and 400 words, should persuade the hiring manager of your expertise.
- When applying for a job, a cover letter should be sent with your CV.
- Your cover letter’s opening sentence should pique the recruiting manager’s interest and maintain it through the conclusion.
- Why you are the ideal fit for the position and why you are passionate about working for the firm you are applying to are the two primary subjects you need to discuss in your cover letter. The majority of the content of your cover letter should be factual, without any fluff or generalizations.
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