Writing a winning cover letter makes your chances of landing that job better.
When examining your job application, your cover letter is usually the first thing recruiters notice. A cover letter must include many crucial aspects in a clear manner to capture an employer’s attention and persuade them to consider you for an interview. When hiring managers scan dozens of job applications every day, they search for precise factors in cover letters that tell them all they need to know about the individual and fulfill their professional standards.
While many people consider cover letters to be unnecessary, recent statistics reveal that 53% of employers favor a candidate who provides one. Most recruiters and HR managers in Europe expect cover letters because they feel they serve an important role in providing more information and context for why a person is applying for the position. Many EU countries see cover letters as a way to assess your English language fluency level.
Your cover letter is your prospective employer’s first impression of you. Your cover letter’s content has a significant impact on the likelihood of your application’s acceptance. As a result, it is imperative to draft an excellent cover letter that positions you as an amazing candidate.
In this article, you’ll discover some salient and essential cover letter factors recruiters always look out for. And even more. Keep reading.
What is a cover letter
A cover letter is a written document that is typically provided together with a job application that summarizes the applicant’s qualifications and interest in the vacant position. It is also a customized letter from you to the person in charge of the hiring process for the position you are applying for.
A cover letter is customized to the position you’re applying for, emphasizing your qualifications and how they connect to that role and organization. You should use it to provide instances of how your experiences connect to the role and demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate for the job.
A cover letter, as the name suggests, is written in letter format, with a greeting, three to five body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Your cover letter, unlike your resume, should be written in whole sentences, and you should use the first-person pronoun – I – more frequently.
Companies are constantly on the hunt for people who are best fit to the jobs that are available, and cover letters assist them to find such applicants. Your cover letter will set you apart from others who may not have adapted their cover letters especially for the position on offer, or who have not produced a well-written cover letter.
One of these examples (or more) will help you ace your next cover letter
A catchy cover letter makes all the difference between the HR manager accepting or rejecting your job application. An outstanding cover letter will persuade a potential employer to go through your resume more closely.
Take advantage of one of these examples to get an idea of how to write your own winning cover letter.
For starters, a great cover letter consists of four parts:
- Salutation: A professional greeting in which the hiring manager is addressed by name.
- Introduction: An enticing first paragraph that describes yourself and your desire to apply for the available position.
- Body: One or two lines detailing your relevant professional experience, accomplishments, abilities, skills, and education.
- Closing paragraph: A closing paragraph that includes a call to action requesting that the recruiting manager call you in for an interview.
Ensure that your cover letter leaves an indelible mark for the right reasons. The following tips will surely catch the attention of your potential employer, and also make you stand out from the crowd:
- Tailor it to the job: Make each cover letter peculiar to the organization. Your cover letter should be tailored to the position you are applying for, linking your abilities and experiences to those listed in the job description.
- Add examples: Back up your assertions in your cover letter with genuine facts or instances of how and when you’ve deployed your abilities and experience.
- Establish your Unique Selling Points: Be confident in what you have to offer and clearly state how your abilities and expertise fulfill the requirements of the job description. Show why you’re the ideal candidate.
Common cover letter mistakes to avoid
While looking for employment, one of the most essential things to remember is that first impressions count. In other words, your cover letter, which is frequently the first thing a hiring manager will view, must be well-written and error-free.
Regrettably, many job seekers make avoidable cover letter mistakes that cost them the opportunity to get their foot in the door. Keep an eye out for the following blunders to ensure that your cover letter increases your prospects as much as possible:
Using a generic salutation
A cover letter is still, by definition, a letter to someone. And that person is crucial in your job quest.
Consider getting an email or letter from someone you’ve never met before. An email personalized to you will have a larger impact than a crappy greeting, right? That is why, wherever feasible, you should address your cover letter to the name of a genuine person.
Personalizing your cover letter informs the reader that you’re attentive to details and have done your homework before applying.
Shining the spotlight only on yourself
While drafting a cover letter, candidates frequently make the mistake of focusing solely on themselves. Your cover letter is more than an avenue to only discuss your ambitions and aspirations.
Instead, concentrate on how you will help the firm if they hired you. What qualifications and experience do you have to succeed in this position? How could you assist the organization in achieving its goals?
Ensure your cover letter highlights the value you would provide to the firm, why you would thrive in the role, and why you are interested in the job.
Grammatical and typo errors
Grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors are absolutely avoidable and unacceptable. They give your letter an amateurish impression and undermine your trustworthiness.
You must pay special attention to the grammatical quality of your message. It is evidence of your written communication ability, and it should reflect positively on you. If you’re applying for a position in a European country, you must make sure to use British English for your cover letter. Missing out on things like that shows that you did not do thorough research on the company.
Never misspell the firm or hiring manager’s name. The goal of a cover letter is to persuade a potential employer, and so sending an error-filled letter is the worst thing you can do.
6 Important cover letter factors business owners consider when hiring candidates
While looking for work, it’s likely that you’ll look at more than one job posting. The same holds true for recruiting managers, only that they must sort through a large number of applications. As a result, they scan cover letters for particular and vital factors.
No job candidate has unlimited time to impress a potential employer. Hence, when creating a cover letter, you should pay special attention to the following factors:
- Past Work Examples
Past achievements allow the recruiter to assess the applicant’s worth and contributions to previous employers and teams. Applying for a secretary or executive assistant role will require that you have something to show for your previous role. This may include actual meeting agenda examples rather than just telling them that you’re organized.
The rule of showing and not telling works every time. Instead of just saying that you have a skill, it is great to link to your past work samples.
Furthermore, someone who is pleased with their previous successes demonstrates confidence and love for their profession.
Recruiters search for accolades, prizes, contests (solo or with a team), desire to engage in educational training, and so on to find valuable prospects. Individuals that cite these accomplishments are often curious and eager to advance within the firm.
- Proper and relatable language
Recruiters want a letter that is straightforward, easy to read and follow, and, above all, professional. Make each cover letter unique to the position to which you’re replying. Examine the job description to determine what language the business employs to describe itself. You can never go wrong with straightforward, dynamic, and professional language.
What do you bring to the table as a professional, and how would you benefit the organization if you were hired? To catch the reader’s attention, sell your primary abilities convincingly in your cover letter. This increases your chances of moving on in the selection process.
Recruiters want to know that you respect their time. Make a concise and to-the-point cover letter. Match your abilities and expertise to the traits and experience provided in the ad to let the recruiter understand what a terrific fit you’d be. Provide them the information they need in a clear and simple manner so that they can complete their job of hiring you.
A personalized, intriguing cover letter demonstrates that you have researched the organization and understand the employer’s objectives and job requirements. It is an opportunity to show how excited you are about the position, how eager you are to be a part of the team, and how much value you would bring to the firm.
- The ‘write’ tone
Maintain a pleasant, friendly, and professional tone in your cover letter. You should show your confidence, but be careful not to come across as cocky or conceited. Avoid using clichés and jokes unless the corporate culture explicitly indicates that they are acceptable. Whenever in doubt, err on the side of corporate professionalism.
Your cover letter is your weapon; wield it
A cover letter is essential in a job application. Yet, knowing where to begin is sometimes difficult. By following the top suggestions and utilizing the example in this article, you’ll be able to produce a cover letter that will bring life to your resume.
Instead of treating your cover letter as an afterthought, consider it a portal to your resume and all the valuable assets you bring to the table. That is what convinces a recruiter to view you as a possible employee. Give it your best shot.