Writing the perfect cover letter is very important for any job application. Many recruiters will start evaluating you from what you say in your cover letter…and may read it even before seeing your CV!
What’s a Cover Letter?
Cover letters are a method of introduction to your potential employer and are attached to your resume when submitting an application. A cover letter makes a huge impression and gives a brief insight on what you are sending to the employer. Cover letters for job applications can also be termed as motivation letters. These letters can also be used when applying for scholarship opportunities or seeking admission into institutions of choice.
Cover letters should be as personal and customized as possible. You will need to talk about the industry, the company and your personal interests on which you are submitting your application to.
Some questions you may have about cover letters can include whether they should be short or long, what key areas must be covered and what it should and should not highlight. Here are a few key pointers on how to write a cover letter.
Be sure to keep the letter as brief as possible to allow them to read it in a few minutes. As brief as it may be, keep it interesting and cover all important bases. It should not go beyond one page.
Structure it as follows:
- First paragraph for introduction,
- Middle paragraph containing the content could be one or more
- Last paragraph to wrap up.
This is a professional document. It is therefore advised that you keep it simple with nothing fancy. Ensure there is space at the end for you to sign if the cover letter is to be submitted in hard copy. If it is to be sent via email, be sure to still double space your salutation.
Capture the reader’s attention on the first sentence. You can begin by stating the reason for writing this cover letter. Describe the job position you are applying for and how you came to learn of it; be it a newspaper advert or on their website.
Tell Your Story
In this section of the letter, you need to focus on 2 key things:
- Why you are applying for this position (what’s your interest)
- What you can you do for the company if they hire you
You have the opportunity to tell the employer what skills you possess out of the ones listed in the job advert that qualify you for this position. Sell yourself using your skills and knowledge and tailor them specifically to the job application in question. Show scenarios where these skills have been used before and what you were able to achieve using said skill set.
Where relevant, use statistics to back your achievements. Do not replicate everything on your CV onto the cover letter. The main purpose of this letter is to show interest and to explain why you are the best pick for the job.
Make the recruiter want to know more about you!
Thank the employer for their consideration and let them know you are available for any questions or concerns. Sign off with your names and a signature where the cover letter is submitted physically.
Have a fresh pair of eyes proofread the letter as a precaution and be sure to avoid any spelling or grammar mistakes. Bear in mind the cover letter is meant to focus on the difference you can make in the company upon being hired so tailor it to distinguish yourself from other candidates.
Preparation is key to success. Provide perfect answers with your online job interview coaching services at FasterSkills.