How to Write a Compelling Cover Letter

The hands of a man holding a letter on his desk and his laptop.fizkes / Shutterstock

Even in the era of digital applications, cover letters are still topical. Here's how to write an excellent one!

Writing a CV is difficult enough (although our series of resume guides will help), but a potential employer also expects you to send him an accompanying letter explaining why you are good for the job. How can you write a compelling letter for every job you apply for?

The key is not to approach each letter as a brand new document. Although the accompanying letters require more personalization than resumes, there are still some formulas that you can use to make the task easier.

Whether you are writing your first or your 50th cover letter, we can help you. Here is everything you need to know to write cover letters and get more job interviews!

Format your letter of accompaniment

Your cover letter must follow the standard letter format and include some basic essentials. The good news is that once you have written a cover letter, you have a template that you can use for the rest.

The appropriate business letter format includes your contact information at the top of the page. Enter your name, address, phone number and e-mail address.

Below, skip a line and type the date of the day ("January 1, 2020" and not "1/1/20"). Ignore another line and type in the employer's details. Start with the name and title of the hiring manager (if applicable), followed by the name and address of the company.

Go to another line and add the greeting ("Dear Mr. / Mrs. [Name], Or use their full name if you do not know their sex). If you do not know who you are writing to, you can use a generic name such as "Dear Recruitment Manager". Avoid "Who's Right" because it seems dated. It is always best to use a name if possible, and the internet usually makes it easy to know who you are sending your letter to.

After that, you can start the letter, which should be about three paragraphs long. Then you include a formal fence, such as "Sincerely" or "Respectfully," followed by your name and signature.

Your cover letter should fit on one page and be in a standard font and size (10 to 12 points). If you think that formatting your letter is a challenge, you can download a template and enter your information, just as you would with a resume.

No matter how you do it, make sure to format your letter correctly. Recruitment managers often throw poorly formatted candidates without reading them.

Write your cover letter

It's time to write your cover letter. Although formatting remains basically the same for every application, the content of your letter should change. This content always follows a formula, however. You will still need these three sections:

introduction: A winning hook that alerts the hiring manager about your potential as a candidate.
Body: One paragraph (or two short ones) that justifies your claims with specific examples of your experience and qualifications.
ConclusionA brief summary that suggests the next action to be taken by the hiring manager.

The details may change, but the basic information often stays the same when you apply for jobs in the same field. This means you do not have to write a new cover letter for each application. You just need to make the appropriate adjustments, so your coaching letter matches the job and the business.

Let's take a closer look at what to include in each section.

introduction

Briefly state why you are writing the letter. Focus on what you bring to the business rather than what it will do for you. For example, it is not technically wrong to say, "I am writing to you because I would like the post of [Job Title] at [Company Name]. "But it's much stronger to say," I'd like to apply my unique [industry] skills like the new [Job Title] at [Company Name]. "

Be sure to include the job title for which you are applying. If you have contacts in the company, you can name them in this paragraph. Briefly describe who you are and why you are qualified. For example, you can mention your relevant college major or your current professional designation and your years of experience.

The more persuasive your first paragraph is, the more likely the hiring manager will continue to read. Try to give some juicy details about your skills or qualifications and use strong words that convey your passion. Your goal is to pique the reader's interest, so she continues to read.

Body

The middle part of your letter provides details of your professional experience that you think will help you get the job.

You can use this section from what's on your resume, but make sure this information is not simply rephrased. Rather, take this opportunity to deepen your achievements or explain the shortcomings of your resume.

For example, your resume may indicate that you have developed a customer base of more than 300%. In your cover letter, you could explain how you accomplished that. Or maybe your resume has gaps in your work history because you did not work for six months. In your coaching letter, you can mention the courses you have followed during these six months to prepare for a career transition.

The more precise you are, the better. Do not say that you are good at customer service. Instead, offer an anecdote about an opportunity where you posted excellent customer service in a difficult situation. Show why your experience is relevant and how you will help the company you're applying to solve its problems.

You must also show that you have researched the company to which you are applying. Try something like, "I like to follow [Company Name]Twitter account and thanks to my proven skills in social media marketing, I will ensure that these messages reach a much wider scope. "

Obviously, everything in your cover letter must be factual, just like on your resume. Make sure you can talk about it with confidence if it has been mentioned in an interview. And as in a resume, try to quantify your achievements with measurements and numbers whenever possible.

Conclusion

In your conclusion, you can discuss how your experience will help the company achieve its goals. When you feel that you have written convincingly about your potential as a candidate, move on to a call for action. For example, you can say, "I would like to talk more about what I can do for your online branding. To arrange an interview, you can contact me at the address [your email address]. "

Be confident and write as if you thought that they will contact you. Avoid weak phrases, such as "I hope to hear from you soon." Remind them instead why they should hire you, then provide the best way to contact you. You can also offer a link to your portfolio or write examples to inspire you to take action.

Do not forget to thank the company for reviewing you before closing the letter. Keep your tone confident but formal and polite. Something simple, like "Thank you for your consideration and I can not wait to hear from you", works well as a final sentence.

Modification and correction of your letter of motivation

Now it's time to edit and tweak. One of the most difficult aspects of this step is to make sure you have the right tone.

When you start writing a cover letter, it is best to get the essential information and worry about how you will do it later. You can even start with a plan and use lists or bullets to organize the details. But once you have written the information, make sure that it is well formulated.

Work to find a balance between formality and relatability. Your letter must be authentic and interesting, but conversational and friendly. Try reading it aloud to see if the words flow naturally.

As with a resume, it can also be useful to add industry-specific keywords or phrases in this step. Work these terms in your cover letter if they match naturally. If something does not seem natural or robotic, it's best to leave it out.

Send your cover letter to a few friends, mentors, or family members for comments. Make the necessary changes and then send the final version again so that it can help you check for typos or other errors. Replay should be the last step, but make sure you do not skip it!

Just before sending your neat cover letter with your application, check all names, addresses and dates. If you use an incorrect company name or an incorrect date, your letter will be quickly discarded.

With your resume, your cover letter creates your first impression in a new business. The stronger the impression, the more they tend to ask for an interview. With practice you will learn to find the right tone for a compelling cover letter. And a strong letter of motivation can often be fine-tuned for multiple applications, saving you time and effort.

But be prepared: when you use these cover letter tips, interview calls may overflow. Make sure you hone your skills in interview preparation with this guide!

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