Cover letters

Cover Letter Writing Guidelines- what all to Include in a Cover Letter for a job

cover letter writing
Written by Alan Win

Well, cover letters are tricky. Maintain a good balance between formal and conversational. Skilfully differentiate yourself from every other aspirant in the market.

Avoid making any mistake: a good cover letter is a job search must-have. It should be key to catch authorities’ attention. Ask these questions to yourself:

What information to include in the cover letter? Do your experiences and skills match the job requirements? Why do you require this job? What information is to be included in your cover letter? What your cover letter should look like?

Also explain to the employer why you are interested in their business, and that particular role.

Do your experiences and skills match the job requirements?

In order to get an employer’s interest, you need to explain that your skills, achievements and attributes match the needs of the job vacancy. You can also use information about the work history. The work history may include voluntary work, education, life experience and training, and relevant personal activities. You need to tell why you are the best suited for the company and its needs. Remember to link your experience, qualifications, and skills to what has been asked for. Therefore, showing that you meet the job requirements completely.

Make use of two-three key examples in order to demonstrate your suitability for that job. Promote yourself and explain how you will contribute to the company’s requirements. Lay emphasis on what you can offer. You should research the company. Share any recommendations you have and show your knowledge.

Why do you require this job?

There are a number of ways to demonstrate your interest in any job could:

  • Show how enthusiastic and motivated you are,
  • Show how you can fit into the particular organization,
  • Discuss your personal qualities.
  • Tell why the position interests you.
  • Mention any personal relevant interests/activities and the work it does.

Point out some positive things about the company and let them know why would you like to work there.

What your cover letter should look like?

Your cover letter is the first contact with a prospective employer, thus, it is important to make a very good impression. If the cover letter does not make a good impression, it may not be read.

How to structure your cover letter?

Usually cover letters are not more than one-page long.

  1. Address your cover letter to the relevant person, other than starting with “Dear Sir/Madam”. If you are not aware of who to address your letter to, first contact the employer and ask.
  2. Start your letter by mentioning where you heard about the job. This will directly relate your application to a position advertised by them. In case of no specific opening advertisement, state the objective of your job.
  3. Lastly, say that you look forward to an interview, and also that you are willing to give further information.

How to word your cover letter?

These points are to be noticed while writing: –

  1. Professional and friendly language.
  2. Interesting to read, but short & to the point.
  3. Language should be enthusiastic, simple, natural language, and assertive but not pushy.
  4. Don’t repeat anything in your CV.
  5. Do not beg for a post.
  6. Avoid clichés & expressions like “aforementioned”.
  7. Use positive phrases and words such as “I can” or “I have”.
  8. Keep the key points in bullets, or in a list-style that is comparative. In it you can directly compare your specific accomplishments and experiences with the company’s stated needs.
  9. Do not use words that may weaken your message or give the impression that you lack confidence.
  10. Don’t start every sentence/paragraph with “I”.

How to present your cover letter?

These are the key points to present your cover letter: –

  1. Make use of clean, A4-sized paper and white. Keep it neat. Do not send photocopied or marked cover letters.
  2. Always use easily read fonts (or tidy handwriting for a handwritten letter). Some good examples include Georgia, Helvetica, Calibri, Arial, and Times New Roman.
  3. Remember to leave plenty of space around the edges of the page.
  4. Leave clear space in between each paragraph or/and section.

How to make sure you send out the best cover letters you can?

Make sure you write and send the best cover letter: –

  1. First of all, write a rough draft to get your thoughts in order.
  2. Remember that there are no grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes.
  3. Ask another person to read out your letter before sending it out to an employer.
  4. Also, keep a copy of all the letters sent.
Here are a few basic tips to help you while framing your Cover Letter: –

1. Tell about yourself

Your cover letter should be in accordance with the job you are applying for. So, you must make a list of essential requirements after carefully studying the job posting.

  • For an online application- use a business letter format. A header and basic contact information.

If you are sending an email, you can leave out the header. Just provide a phone number and an attached resume.

  • Make sure that you do not begin with lines like “to whom it may concern’. It does not give a good impression. So, mention the name.

2. Tell your Story

You must provide a good narrative in order to grab a recruiter’s attention.

Ideally, the story will focus on the company’s needs. An employer always wants to see results-driven accomplishments with a past employer.

3. Make use of Bullets

The employer looks forward to something assertive and complete. They prefer quick cover letters to bloated ones. So, make your cover letter brief.

Bullets are a good tool. Make use of them and make it to the point.

4. Highlight your social and Culture Fit

This may be overlooked, but the cover letter is to show a company how well you would mesh with the culture.

5. How to End

The purpose of a cover letter is to convince the reader. Compel him so that he makes the next move in the hiring process i.e., an interview. You must end on a question. It opens that door without groveling for it. Remember, not to approach with a beggar mentality.

Check the PDF file

So, design it well because it is your impression that counts.

About the author

Alan Win

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