Is it worth submitting a cover letter?
the short answer is yes. You should almost always submit a cover letter.
A cover letter is a useful tool allowing an employer to obtain an initial impression. A well-crafted cover letter allows the job candidate to demonstrate to the employer.
A professional cover letter provides further details on your skills, what you can bring to the team and why you want the position.
If you make a good professional cover letter you will obtain a good impression. If you want the first impression for the interview then you need to know about writing a good professional cover letter.
Moving forward, first…
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a single-page letter written to the person or organization offering the job you’re applying for. It is a document that is sent with your resume or CV. People also refer to it as Motivational letters.
It highlights your introduction, the qualifications you have, and most importantly why you are suitable for the job.
Remember, no one likes reading too much. Make your points & Make them short. It’s Simple.
See some cover letter examples for a better understanding.
Stepping ahead, cover letter formats…
The Purpose of a Cover Letter
When writing a cover letter, you should:
- introduce yourself
- mention the job (or kind of job) you’re applying for (or looking for)
- show that your skills and experience match the skills and experience needed to do the job
- encourage the reader to read your resume
- finish with a call to action (for example, asking for an interview or a meeting).
How Long Should Your Cover Letter be?
A cover letter should be one page long and divided into 4 to 5 paragraphs maximum.
Where the first paragraph will describe the reason you are writing and how you heard about the position.
A cover letter should be between 250 words to 300 words or more. Sometimes depending on your experience, skills & expertise a cover letter can be in two pages.
If you have more good reasons to write you can move ahead to pages. But don’t try to fiddle on one page.
In your cover letter, you can highlight only relevant experiences. You can highlight the relevant stories also.
Cover Letter Sections
While cover letters can vary when it comes to content, all cover letters need a few key elements to serve their purpose effectively and showcase the top reasons to hire you. They should also follow a consistent format to make your information well-organized and accessible to employers. A great cover letter uses a logical progression of ideas to advertise your skills.
There are seven sections that every cover letter should include to fit employer expectations and highlight your best qualities:
- Values and goals
- Call to action
Moving forward with our professional cover letter writing here an example of a complete cover letter below:
A sample cover letter
How to Structure Your Cover Letter
Your cover letter matters, and yes, you need to include one in your job application. So we’ve revamped our cover letter tips for 2021 to help you get a job in today’s challenging job market. Our must-follow advice will help you learn how to write a cover letter that earns you more interviews.
1. Use a Professional Cover Letter Header
As with any standard business letter header, you should include a few pieces of personal and role-specific information at the top of your cover letter. This section should include your contact information, date of application, and recipient’s contact information. If you’d like, you can also center your name and address at the top of the page, mirroring the way it looks on your resume.
At the top of your cover letter, type your:
- First and last name
- Email address (make sure it’s professional, and not [email protected])
- Phone number
- Mailing address (optional)
- Linkedin profile link (optional)
Under your contact details, you should then type:
- Today’s date
- The first and last name of the person you’re writing to, or the relevant department
- The company’s address
- The company’s phone number
- The hiring manager or company’s email address
Just remember to keep it professional:
- Use an email address from a respected provider—that means either Gmail or your personal domain (if you have one.)
- Your email address should only include your first and last name
- Don’t use your current work address to send your email cover letter. It’s impolite to both your current and potential future employer.
- Make sure your contact information is consistent across your resume, cover letter, and social media profiles.
2. Address the Hiring Manager with a Proper Greeting
Directly to the hiring manager who’ll read it.
The most traditional way to address a cover letter is to use the person’s first and last name, including “Mr.” or “Ms.” (for example, “Dear Ms. Jane Smith” or just “Dear Ms. Smith”). If you’re unable to find the name by any means possible, opt for “Dear Hiring Manager.” Avoid starting your cover letter “to whom it may concern”.
That makes it one of the most important parts of a cover letter. There’s one great, foolproof strategy to make your greeting catch her attention:
Once the hiring manager sees her name in the greeting of your cover letter, she’s going to feel like she’s found something tailored specifically for her. It will feel personal, she’ll know whatever comes next might just be the exact information she’s been looking for.
3. Craft a Killer Opening Line
These few sentences at the beginning of your cover letter will determine whether the hiring manager will read on.
No need to lead with your name as the hiring manager can see it already on your resume. It’s good to mention the job you’re applying for and highlights your excitement about the company you’re applying to, your passion for the work you do, or your past accomplishments.
An effective cover letter introduction simply includes the following:
- Job position: The name of the position you’re applying for
- Company name: The name of the company you’re applying for
- Intention to apply: An enthusiastic announcement that you’re applying for that position
Here’s an example of an acceptable cover letter introduction:
- I am thrilled to be applied for the open Financial Analyst position at J&M consulting.
- It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to become a Graphic Designer at Vivid Design, which is why I am so excited to apply for this open position.
4. Explain Why You’re The Perfect Candidate
This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.
But first things first – before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.
Here you can:
Highlight the right experiences: Typically the most important requirements for the position will be listed first in the job description or mentioned more than once. You’ll want to make sure you describe how you can deliver on those key priorities.
Showcase your skills: When you know you have the potential to do the job—but your past experience doesn’t straightforwardly sell you as the perfect person for the position—try focusing on your skills instead.
In the following examples, we have shown how to uphold your experiences and skills:
- From maintaining project plans, schedules, and budgets, to participating in stakeholder meetings and following up on important tasks, I’m adept at leading teams and reaching milestones on-time and under budget. Currently, as Project Coordinator for Stony Brook Medicine, I coordinate all aspects of 5+ process improvement projects, this includes providing administrative support to the project manager, organizing workflows, budgets, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
5. Explain Why You’re a Good Fit for the Company
Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking – I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.
Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.
The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.
After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary. Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.
So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web. Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.
6. Make Your Offer in the Closing Paragraph
Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.
When writing your cover letter closing, be polite, confident, and continue to sell yourself as a candidate.
It’s important to write your final paragraph as thoughtfully and strategically as the rest of your cover letter, so be sure to:
- Thank the hiring manager for reviewing your resume and cover letter
- Concisely summarize why you’d be a good hire
- Reiterate your excitement about the opportunity
- Politely ask them to send you an invitation to interview
Here is an example of the closing paragraph:
- I am delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with the talented professionals at Disney. Thank you for your time and for considering my candidacy for the position. I look forward to setting up an interview in the near future.
Tips for Writing a Perfect Cover Letter
1. Make it easy to read
No matter how beautifully you write, no matter how compelling your story is, an ugly-looking cover letter will never get attention.
Your font style, sizes, and colors should match the ones you pick for your resume, or your application is at risk of looking unprofessional. Fortunately, we make it easy for you by providing downloadable resume templates and matching 20+ Resume Cover Letter Examples.
2. Write in the company’s “Voice”
Cover letters are a great way to show that you understand the environment and culture of the company and industry. Spending some time reading over the company website or stalking their social media before you get started can be a great way to get in the right mindset—you’ll get a sense of the company’s tone, language, and culture, which are all things you’ll want to mirror as you’re writing.
3. Write unique cover letters for each company
Every company has a unique problem they’re trying to solve through hiring. Even if you’re sending out several applications for the same position, tailor your cover letters to individually address each company’s problems.
Don’t just explain that you’re competent at your job — demonstrate your awareness of the company’s goals, and how you can help achieve them. By doing so, your cover letter will be far more compelling and frame you as a thoughtful and engaging candidate.
4. Keep it short and sweet
There are always exceptions to the rule, but in general, for resumes and cover letters alike, don’t go over a page. In one survey, more than two-thirds of employers said they preferred a cover letter that’s either just half a page.
5. Have someone gut check it
Have a friend take a look at your cover letter, and ask him or her two questions: Does this sell me as the best person for the job? and Does it get you excited? If the answer to either is “no,” or even slight hesitation, go back for another pass.
- Follow instructions in employment ads or recruitment directions
- Proofread! Look for spelling and formatting errors. Make sure the recipient’s name, company name, and title are correctly spelled in the letter and on the envelope
- Be sure there are no errors of fact
- Use a simple, easy-to-read font style, 10-14 points
- Make all statements positive. Check the tone by asking yourself if each sentence leaves a positive impression
- Show originality but not cuteness
- Sound determined and confident not desperate
- Focus on the employer’s need for a worker, rather than your need for a job
- Tell how your skills and personal qualities match the employer’s needs
- Focus on what you can do for the employer and how you contribute to the organization
- Show you have researched the company double-checks those facts
- Be specific avoid general statements
A well-written cover letter will help get your application noticed and help you secure an interview. Take the time to personalize it so it shows the employer why you’re a solid candidate for the job. We hope that our guidelines will help you to create your own cover letter and get your interview call. You can also see Common Interview Questions to get ready for your next interview.
Best of Luck.