A cover letter is an important part of any job application, just like your CV. Knowing what information hiring managers, recruiters, and employers are looking for can give you the edge over the competition.
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If you're starting a new job search, it means you're going to need an effective cover letter. A robust cover letter is one of the most fundamental parts of any job application because it allows you to address the recruiter or hiring manager directly. Being able to provide context and additional information about your skills and qualifications in a letter can make all the difference in your success.
Cover letters follow a specific structure, no matter what industry you work in or what job title you are applying for. This is the basic structure of a cover letter:
This should include your full name, the date, your contact information, your current job title, and the company name. You can also include your professional social media links, such as your LinkedIn profile.Â
Try opening with a personalised greeting using the hiring manager’s name if possible. If you don’t know their name, some acceptable but less personal salutations are to use â€œDear Hiring Manager,Dear Sir or Madam,or To Whom It May Concern.
Your two to three body paragraphs will introduce yourself and your key skills, and provide additional, relevant information that shows you’re the best option for the job you’re applying for. Use work experience examples and specific skills to make your case and convince a hiring manager that you are the ideal candidate for their job posting.
Your final paragraph should wrap up your argument and encourage hiring managers to reach out to you and arrange a job interview.Â Â
A professional, concise sign-off including your full name.Â
Follow this basic structure and you will create an effective cover letter template that you can tweak for each new application.
Generally speaking, your cover letter should include information that is relevant or supplementary to information in your CV. The kinds of information you should put in your cover letter include:
If you have worked for prestigious employers in the past, be sure to note the company name, your position, and how long you worked there. You should also make a note of your performance and any notable achievement. For example:
“As a senior program manager at Microsoft with 10 years of experience, I have been responsible for managing a team of six co-workers and have consistently met or exceeded monthly goals by 15%.”
If you have won professional awards or met notable professional milestones, you should expand upon this in your cover letter. Be specific and use active language to show how your example ties into the job description you are applying for. For example, write “I created a follow-up system to connect with clients and exceeded my monthly sales goal by 20%,” rather than writing, “I surpassed my monthly sales goal.
Soft skills are in high demand right now, and leadership skills are at the top of the list for most recruiters. If you have managed a team, run a project, or trained new staff, make this clear. A good cover letter should reiterate the value of your work experience and show that you are the right person for the job advert you have answered.
The above kind of information is sure to turn a recruiter’s head. If you want to ensure that your formatting doesn’t let you down, consider using a cover letter builder so fine details like margin size and font are already taken care of for you.Â
Because all job seekers provide a cover letter, those who want to stand out need to take extra care to submit the best cover letter possible. These three cover letter tips will help you to polish your job application to a high shine:
Your opening paragraph should make an impact if you want a hiring manager to spend time reading your full cover letter and CV. Start with a notable achievement or project. The aim should be to make the hiring managers’ eyes stop and draw their focus.
Soft skills, such as communication and interpersonal skills, are in high demand and under-represented in many job applications. Build on the information in your first paragraph and provide details from your professional or personal life that show you can meet the job requirements. You can also discuss why you’re enthusiastic about your potential employer.
How you end your cover letter will have a big impact on the impression that the hiring manager or human resources recruiter comes away with. Use your closing paragraph to reiterate why you think you are the perfect candidate for the role and present a strong call to action, for example, â€œI look forward to speaking with you.
If you want to gain inspiration for your job application, read some relevant cover letter examples to see what works.
Yes. You can discuss any relevant experience that you may have in your cover letter, whether it was paid or not. Include summer jobs, internships, volunteer work or experience you gained as part of your coursework, but just be sure to relate your experiences to the job you are applying for.
Yes, you should change the details of your cover letter for each new job application. This should go beyond changing the name of the hiring manager and the name of the company. Choose examples and achievements that show you have the experience and skills listed in the job description.
It is a good idea to match your CV and cover letter templates. Consistent design elements will give your application a professional and cohesive feel. This small detail can really make an application.
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