Contributed by Gingerella.
Here are some hints for you:
Do Some Brainstorming Before Writing
- First of all, write down a list of your experience, skills, accomplishments, personality features and clarify how they would match the company’s needs.
- Think about the motivation that led you to apply for this job and explain that in your cover letter.
- Do some research about the company. If possible, find out about the company’s goals, then try to explain how you could contribute to reaching those goals. Take some time to understand what the company needs and how your work would be an asset for them.
- While doing the research, try to look up the name of the person who is responsible for hiring (use online network or just call the company to find out the names of the hiring managers). It is always a good idea to write to someone in particular. If you are not able to find this information, then start your letter with the salutation “Dear Hiring Manager”. Try to avoid using generic salutations like “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.
- Connect your skills with the job requirements; do not repeat what you have already provided in your resume.
Composing the Cover Letter
- Cover letters usually embody at least three paragraphs. In the first paragraph explain where and how you found out about the job opening (from a friend, online ad, newspaper, etc.). Show a little passion for the potential job and follow up with your major skills that are suitable for the position.
- Paragraph two describes your experience, qualifications and skills for the job. Do not be self-centered and avoid overusing “I”. Instead, try to make the company feel special, so they will invite you to the interview. Pick only three or four characteristics that would make you stand out of the crowd. Be completely truthful, do not provide misleading information.
- In the third paragraph, explain why you are the best match for the position. Express some connection to the company and what you like about them.
- Enclose your letter with a note for attached resume (e.g. “for detailed information about my complete employment history please find a copy of my resume attached). Express your interest in an interview.
Format of Your Cover Letter
- Cover letters should be one page long, in standard business letter format. Pick an easy to read font like Arial Black or Times New Roman, preferably 10 or 12 point size.
- The structure of the cover letter may vary according to the template you are using. There are plenty of templates out there to choose from. It usually contains your contact information on the top of the page, then the date, salutation, the main body of the letter (as already mentioned 3 to 4 paragraphs), valediction and your name with signature. Make it look organized, clear and neat.
- Use simple sentences and while writing, make sure you are expressing yourself clearly enough.
- Proofread carefully, be aware of misspelling. A cover letter with mistakes does not make a good impression and it may put you out of “recruitment game”.
- Use active words such as “I am devoted to motivating people and my co-workers”.
- Avoid generic expressions, try to be more original. You are unique a human being therefore each letter should reflect your personality. Be self-confident and proud of who you are.
- List your contact information (address, phone number, e-mail, LinkedIn account).
Good luck finding your dream job!