Writing a good cover letter can take a lot of time and effort that not all job seekers will have. Fortunately, there is an easier way to write great cover letters that can land you that coveted job interview. Let’s take a look at how you can write the best cover letter.
Great cover letters tend to follow a specific format:
The header should contain all of your contact information, including:
You also need to include the hiring manager’s contact information:
The opening paragraph is crucial for a cover letter. It determines if a recruiter will give your application a chance or be discarded. Begin your letter with a personalized salutation such as, “Dear Mr. Smith.” Then begin your opening paragraph by taking the time to introduce yourself and cleverly highlight your most relevant skills and experience to hook the hiring manager into wanting to read more of your cover letter.
You don’t want to simply repeat the information from your resume in this section. Rather, you want to go into more detail about your best skills and experience featured in your resume. If you are unsure about e which skills or experiences to discuss, make sure to carefully read the job description to pick out any keywords you can use in your cover letter. This can help your application get through an applicant tracking system (ATS), which is designed to analyze applications for these specific keywords.
You can then take the skills, experience and achievements you discussed in the previous paragraph and further elaborate on why they make you the best person for this job. Bringing up a work-related anecdote about how you succeeded in your previous workplace can illustrate how your specific skills can easily fit within the role you are applying to.
In this last paragraph, you should summarize all your best achievements and skills. This can help the hiring manager remember who you are and what you’re best at. Then request that they reach out to you at their earliest convenience for an interview.
Finally, use a professional sign-off to end the letter, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards.”
The cover letter should be a document that highlights why you are the right person for a specific job. However, job seekers continue to make the same mistakes when writing their cover letters. Here are some of the most common cover letter mistakes to avoid.
The cover letter gives you the chance to explain why you are the perfect candidate with the perfect resume for this particular job ad. You need to personalize each letter to the company and hiring manager you are writing the letter to. Researching the company culture and who the hiring manager is can help you establish a more direct connection.
Generic openers are not only impersonal, but they can come across as lazy, too. Avoid using these common generic openers:
Recruiters read through dozens of job applications every day. If you start talking about irrelevant skills in your cover letter, they’ll stop reading your cover letter. You don’t want to highlight your creative writing skills for a medical assistant job posting, for instance.
Nothing will put a hiring manager off more than seeing typos and grammatical errors throughout a cover letter. This is why it is so important for you to proofread your letter before you send it. A good cover letter can show off your communication skills, but a letter riddled with errors will make you look lazy and not detail oriented.
Walls of text are not at all pleasant to look at or read. It can be tough for a prospective employer to pick out what you are skilled at or why you want the job at all. You need to break up your cover letter into easily digestible sections that a hiring manager will have an effortless time scanning through.
Unless the job description specifically asks you not to, then it is always a good idea to write a professional cover letter for your job application. Oftentimes, cover letters are listed as optional, but writing a cover letter can show initiative and display your skills and experience long before an interview. It also gives you the ideal opportunity to make you stand out among other job candidates.
A cover letter builder tool is a great place to find plenty of sample cover letters, cover letter examples and cover letter templates for your particular industry. By following its cover letter tips, you can write the perfect cover letter in minutes.
If you write the perfect cover letter but aren’t sure your resume will match up, then try using a resume builder tool. These tools have plenty of free templates, examples and career advice that can help you write the best resume to match your great cover letter.