If you’re applying for any kind of job these days, you need to include a cover letter with your resume. This is one of the elements of the job application process that has changed over time—in the past, many job-seekers didn’t include cover letters, or if they did, they were handwritten (which was frowned upon). Nowadays, all applications must have cover letters—and if you want to ensure that yours rises above the competition, pay close attention to these 10 key elements of a good cover letter
1) A convincing introduction
A professional cover letter should always begin with an introductory paragraph that’s aimed at grabbing your reader’s attention. In addition to making, it’s clear what position you’re applying for, you should be prepared to explain why you feel qualified for that role in particular. While it’s not necessary to summarize your entire career here (unless there are obvious gaps), describing why you want to work for that company is key. Research any current events or industry challenges facing your prospective employer and work those into your cover letter.
2) Well-written paragraphs
The perfect cover letter will be one that perfectly matches your experience and skills with what is required for each specific job you’re applying to. This means that it’s important to write well-structured, well-written paragraphs in your cover letter. One way to go about doing so is by clearly detailing what value you can bring to a company.
A common mistake people make when writing cover letters is not proofreading. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to look at an email and say, you typed ‘their’ instead of ‘there,’ or vice versa, and it makes your document harder to read. Your prospective employer doesn’t need any more hurdles to get through your letter—they want something easy-to-read that highlights what you do well. Make sure everything in your cover letter looks clean and concise.
4) Clearly stated purpose
Your cover letter is your opportunity to make a powerful first impression on an employer. The best cover letters are concise and include a clear statement about why you’re applying for that job and how you will add value to their organization. Use specific examples from past experiences to showcase your skills and accomplishments as they relate to what that company needs. If you don’t clearly express how you can help them, there’s no reason for them to contact you or give you an interview. Career365 (career365.ca) specializes in the best cover letter services.
5) Personal branding
When you send out your resume and cover letter to prospective employers, you are essentially branding yourself. You must create an identity (i.e., your brand) for yourself that helps to set you apart from other candidates. As part of your cover letter, make sure to include links and contact information about anything and everything related to your professional portfolio—this includes any blogs, websites like DigitalAvior (a digital marketing agency), or social media accounts. Additionally, if there are any special interests or skills that are unique and relevant to your industry, these should be included as well.
The goal of your cover letter is to make a lasting impression on hiring managers and show them you have what it takes to get hired. But to do that, you need to write an email cover letter with an eye-catching subject line. The trick is to be direct and personal without being boring. An informal but professional tone will most likely set you apart from other applicants, especially if you’re applying for positions through online job boards where cover letters often take a backseat (since they’re rarely seen).
If your industry requires standard formats, then by all means stick with those guidelines—just make sure you’re not so rigidly formatted that it comes across as impersonal or uninformed.
7) Appropriate format
No matter what format your cover letter is in, it should be easy to understand. For example, most hiring managers are reading cover letters on a computer screen, so stick with one typeface and make sure everything is easy to read. Be concise: It’s tempting to go into great detail about your long work history or other impressive experiences—but most hiring managers don’t have time for that. Your cover letter shouldn’t exceed one page; if it does, some sections might not get read at all. The best thing you can do is highlight your skills (especially transferable ones) and briefly explain why you want to work for that particular company and in that specific position.
8) Effective layout
The right cover letter can open doors, and to get an interview, your letter needs to stand out from hundreds, if not thousands, of competitors. A great cover letter allows you to personalize your skills for each prospective employer while highlighting your core competencies and experience. Use these ten tips to make yours stand out from all others.
9) Substantive closing line
Your cover letter doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to be substantive. Ultimately, you want your prospective employer to know who you are and why you’re qualified for your dream job. If you can convey that in an engaging, clear way—and avoid misspellings and other glaring errors—you’ll make a good impression no matter what else is included. And who knows? You might just help get yourself hired.
10) Consider a cover letter service
The best cover letter services can help you create your cover letter for free, often with useful templates. Many services are available, there’s no reason to stress over putting together an impressive cover letter when you could be preparing for your next interview. You don’t need years of experience to find a good job, but having great experience doesn’t hurt either. Looking for work can be overwhelming and frustrating if you don’t know where to begin; that’s why we offer quality resume writing and cover letter writing services. From crafting eye-catching bullet points to properly highlighting relevant skills and experiences, our team will make sure your resume represents you accurately and confidently from start to finish.