A cover letter adds an extra touch to your job applications and definitely helps you stand out from the crowd. Many people may think that they aren’t necessary, however, a number of employers and recruiters still note that cover letters help in setting a candidate apart.
Imagine a recruiter receiving thousands of resumes with no accompanying cover letter – and then you send out your application with one! You’ll definitely be remembered.
So how can you write a killer cover letter that not only tells you apart from the crowd but also displays you as a qualified candidate? When will you need a cover letter? We’ll be sharing in-depth information on this in this article as well as answering every other question you may have regarding cover letters.
Is a cover letter always needed for job applications?
A cover letter isn’t always needed, however, it’s best practice to write one for each job application because it helps show how interested you are in the position.
Some job positions may require this and in such a case, you’ll most likely see this stated at the end of the job posting. Understand the company and explain how you will make a great addition to the team.
How to write a cover letter
Just like a regular essay, your cover letter should have an introduction to cover who you are and the role you are applying for. Secondly, it should have a body that will cover the skill set you have and how it matches the job requirements listed in the job posting.
Finally, you will have to close off your cover letter with key reasons why you are the right candidate for the role and a call to action in this case which will be for the hiring manager to review your resume and invite you to an interview.
Breaking down the details
a. Introduction – Who you are and the role you are applying for
A simple introduction of your name, the role you are applying to, and a brief summary of your career go a long way in giving a brief introduction of how qualified a candidate you are. Remember that your cover letter has to be a few lines long – very short and sweet!
b. Body – Skill Set and how it matches the job requirements
Explain how you qualify for the role and will make the right fit. You can go into your skillset, the company, and what you know, how you fit into the broader picture, and what you have to offer.
This isn’t time to rewrite your resume. The cover letter is a way for you to supplement your resume and as such should be another means for you to prove your worth!
c. Closing – Call to action
This is where you tie it all together and give a call to action to review your resume as well as give you a call.
If you know the name of the recruiter or hiring manager, you can use the first name. If not, it’s advisable to use ‘Hiring Manager’ as opposed to ‘Sir/ Ma’ as it’s not specific and could be frowned upon.
A couple of tips
Try to keep your cover letter brief and sweet. Feel free to express yourself and how you’ll make a great team member as well as how your goals align with that of the company, etc.
While we understand that writing a cover letter for every role you apply to might be so tasking, we’ve created a template below which you can always tweak just the name of the company for each job application.
We generally advise that you target your job application to companies that spark your interest, in such a situation, we encourage you to bring a more human touch to that specific resume.
Sample Cover letter
Dear Hiring Manager,
My name is [Your Name] and I am applying for the [Job Position Title] position. I have over [XX] years of experience in [Job Function/ Industry].
I am grateful to have acquired several skills, I will never forget the defining moment in my career where I realized what was missing; it was my passion for [Job Function/ Industry]. This inspired me to study [Name of Relevant Course if Applicable] as well as work in roles that helped me explore this.
When I read the job description for this position, I was excited because I believe that I am the right fit for this position. [Name of Company] provides [List their Services You Researched] services which align with my goals. I possess the required skills, competencies, and knowledge required to be successful in this job. My previous managers have also commended me for being a resourceful, hardworking, and dedicated individual.
If you can invite me for an interview to discuss further and answer any questions you may have, that will be appreciated. Please find attached, a copy of my resume. I may also be contacted on [Your Phone Number].
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Let us know if you enjoyed this article or if you have any follow up questions. We are here to assist you in getting your dream job and will be happy to answer any questions. You can leave a comment below or send us a quick message via email.
For how to build a great resume check out the Step-By-Step Guide: Resume Format For The US & Canadian Job Market. Also, you can download any of our Resume Templates.