A cover letter is a document that you can sometimes be asked to send in with your CV when applying for a job. The letter basically serves to elaborate on your candidacy by providing information about your person and your suitability for the job in question.
And considering that, the cover letter has to be written in a very specific and a very authoritative way. It has to impress the reader – which, in this case, is the hiring officer.
In this post, we’re going to talk about some tips and steps that you can follow to create an excellent cover letter for your next job application.
- Do proper research on the company you’re applying
One of the best things that you can do to your cover letter is to personalize it according to the company you’re sending it to.
It is normal for people to keep a standard and generic cover letter at the ready to send it whenever they apply for a job. The hiring officer can often easily see if the cover letter is just a template or whether it is written for a particular job at a particular company.
In the latter scenario, the cover letter can make a much better impression on the hiring officer, and the chances of getting the job can increase manifold.
Here are some things that you should learn about the company before writing a cover letter to make the latter tailored to the former.
- The name of the company
- The name of the hiring officer
- The mission/vision of the company
- The requirements of the company for the particular job post
Once you know these things, you will be able to reference them in your cover letter and make it appear that you’ve put an effort into it.
- Write strictly according to the requirements of the company
When you’re writing a cover letter, you have to keep it strictly relevant to the company you’re sending it to and the job you’re applying to.
If the letter is about a specific job, you don’t have to talk about your experience and expertise in a field totally different from it – no matter how impressive it may sound or look.
Along with that, before you start writing the letter, you should first check if there are any guidelines or instructions provided by the company itself i.e., about writing cover letters. If there are any, you need to keep those as the basic parameters to keep in.
Plus, if the guidelines are comprehensive enough, they’ll automatically contain instructions about what to and what not to include in the cover letter.
- Be sure to include the essentials
While we do say that you shouldn’t add unnecessary experiences and expertise in the cover letter, it doesn’t mean that you should omit the ones that you have to mention.
A cover letter mostly consists of a narrative or an account describing the applicant and their aptness for the job. But it should not be totally a narrative.
Rather, it should include the basic information – technical and “numerical” stuff – that relates to the job at hand. Examples of such information are:
And so on.
You have to slide in this type of information in the letter where it sounds appropriate and natural.
- Make sure the cover letter is readable
Readability is also something that a lot of people can go wrong with when writing a cover letter. It’s one thing to sound impressive with the language you use, and it’s another thing to create a linguistic debacle that neither you nor the person at the receiving end understand.
For the most part, you have to keep your wording simple and your sentences in a proper flow. Sounding sophisticated and qualified is something you can pull off, even if you’re simple in the terms you use.
From what we’ve tried and done in the past, using online tools can be a great way to create readable and nicely-flowing content. There have been many times when we had written some content, found it clunky, fixed it with an online tool, and were happy with the result.
So, if you write a cover letter but don’t like the way it sounds or flows, you can try rephrasing it with an online paraphrasing tool. Provided that you pick a good AI-driven tool, the results you get will almost always be better.
- Fix all grammar errors…again with online tools
This is yet another thing that you have to do with online tools.
If a cover letter has grammar errors, it instantly diminishes its integrity and authoritativeness. And since the letter is about you and your suitability for the job, it automatically means that your own reputation and image get negatively affected as well.
Just as you can use online tools to fix readability and clarity issues in the letter, so too you can use them to find and remove grammar errors. For this purpose, grammar checkers are used in particular.
You can easily find a free grammar checker on the Internet. There are a whole lot of them that you can pick from.
A good cover letter can mean the difference between getting a job or not. Follow the tips above the next time you have to write one, and you will raise the chances of hearing back from the hiring team.
How to write a good cover letter for your next job application?
1. Research the Company:
- Begin by researching the company and the job you’re applying for. Understand their values, culture, and the specific requirements of the position.
2. Format Your Cover Letter:
- Use a professional format with your name and contact information at the top, followed by the date and the recipient’s name, title, and company details (if known).
3. Write a Strong Salutation:
- If you know the recipient’s name, use it (e.g., “Dear Mr. Smith”). If not, use a generic greeting like “To Whom It May Concern.”
4. Engage with a Strong Opening:
- Start your cover letter with a compelling opening paragraph that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. Mention the specific job you’re applying for and briefly state why you’re excited about it.
5. Showcase Your Qualifications:
- The body of your cover letter should highlight your qualifications, skills, and experiences relevant to the job. Use bullet points or short paragraphs to make it easy to read.
- Address the job requirements and explain how your skills and experiences align with them. Provide specific examples to demonstrate your capabilities.
6. Show Enthusiasm:
- Express genuine enthusiasm for the role and the company. Explain why you’re passionate about the opportunity and how you can contribute to the organization’s success.
7. Tailor Your Cover Letter:
- Customize each cover letter for the specific job you’re applying to. Avoid using a generic template. Mention the company’s name and job title in your letter to show that it’s not a generic submission.
8. Highlight Achievements:
- Use your cover letter to showcase your achievements and contributions in previous roles. Mention quantifiable results when possible (e.g., “increased sales by 20%”).
9. Address Potential Concerns:
- If you have gaps in your employment history or other potential concerns, briefly address them in a positive manner. Focus on what you learned during those periods.
10. Express Your Fit: – Explain why you believe you are a good fit for both the job and the company’s culture. Show that you’ve done your homework and genuinely want to be a part of their team.
11. Mention Referrals: – If you were referred by a current employee or someone the company knows, mention it in your cover letter. Referrals can carry weight in the hiring process.
12. Conclude Professionally: – Wrap up your cover letter by expressing your eagerness for an interview. Thank the reader for considering your application and provide your contact information.
13. Proofread and Edit: – Carefully proofread your cover letter for spelling and grammar errors. It should be error-free and polished.
14. Keep it Concise: – Keep your cover letter concise and focused. Aim for one page in length, and use clear and concise language.
15. Use a Professional Closing: – Close your cover letter with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your typed name.
16. Attach Your Resume: – Always attach your resume to the job application if required.
17. Follow Submission Instructions: – Follow any submission instructions provided in the job posting. If it specifies a particular subject line or method of submission, adhere to those guidelines.
18. Save and Send: – Save your cover letter as a PDF to ensure formatting remains intact. Send it along with your resume and any other required documents.