What to Include in a Cover Letter – And Why You Need One

What to Include in a Cover Letter – And Why You Need One

Many job seekers dread writing cover letters, but they can be essential to landing a position. Therefore, most people start their letter by looking up a cover letter example.

While resume cover letter examples are an extraordinary tool that can give you ideas on what to write, it’s essential that you not copy the cover letter format in its entirety. You want your cover letter to look fresh and unique for it to stand out amongst your competition. Hiring managers view hundreds of applications, and who gets the job isn’t always just about education, experience, or skillsets. The right cover letter helps you wow hiring managers and leave a lasting impression.

In addition to viewing good cover letter examples, be sure to implement these cover letter writing tips

Writing a Fresh Cover Letter for Each Application

While it’s great to have an effective cover letter template, you should write a new cover letter for each job you apply for. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common shortcomings of job applicants. Many applicants create a covering letter for resume and slap it on every position they apply for, but that doesn’t help you stand out amongst a crowd of applicants.

Most employers want to see that you’re interested in working with their company and that you’re invested enough in a position to provide something fresh and new. That means creating a custom letter for each job that you apply for.

Breaking Down Your Cover Letter Format

A sample cover letter for resume can help you get a better idea of what to write for your cover letter, but be careful not to copy the sample you look over. Instead, here’s a closer look at the ideal breakdown for cover letters.

Introduction and Greeting

The opening lines of your cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention. Failing to grab attention early on may mean that the manager simply skims what you’ve written rather than paying close attention.

When crafting your cover letter template, it’s essential that you lead with a strong introduction and greeting. Address the hiring manager or company name and the title of the position you’re applying for directly. Try to express passion for the position and your previous experience and accomplishments. Additionally, it helps to narrow your search for professional cover letter examples by the industry, as doing so will help you tailor the language you should use for the role you’re applying for.

The Body of Your Cover Letter Template

One thing you don’t get to see when viewing job cover letter examples is how successful cover letters go beyond the information included in your resume. Your cover letter should add to your resume, not repeat the same information. Consider the following questions if you’re struggling to determine what to write:

  • How did you tackle the responsibilities and former achievements that you talked about in your resume?
  • What is it about your experience, work ethic, passion, or personality that makes you a great candidate for the position?

Depending on the industry that you’re applying for, you may have statistics that track the impact you’ve had working for your previous employers. Hiring managers love statistics, and stats help you convey what you bring to the table and why you would be an excellent fit for the position.

Another commonality when you look up a sample cover letter for a resume is how these professionals showcase and highlight their experiences and skills. Being great at a job isn’t always about your educational background. What skills do you have that made you great at your previous position, and how do those skills relate to the job you’re applying for?

Finishing Strong

You need to finish strong in the final section of your cover letter template. Don’t use common throwaway lines like “I look forward to speaking with you.” Instead, use your closing paragraph to emphasize why you’re an excellent fit for the company and your enthusiasm about the company without repeating anything you’ve written previously. Additionally, you can include crucial information, such as that you’re willing to relocate if necessary.

Covering Letter for Job: Tips to Live By

While having the right cover letter format is crucial, it’s essential that you follow these tips when crafting the perfect cover letter:

  • Keep it Short and Sweet: One of the most common applicant pitfalls is submitting a cover letter that is far too long. Keep your cover letter short and sweet. In most cases, about 250 words will more than suffice. While there are always exceptions to the rule, having a cover letter that’s too long can quickly lose a hiring manager’s interest.
  • Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses: You should always focus on your strengths and experience when writing your cover letter template. Avoid apologizing for lack of experience, skills, or education, even if you intend to follow a weakness up with a strength. Instead, focus on what you have to offer, not what you lack.
  • Do Away With Formality: Being too formal can make you seem robotic, insincere, or like you’re copying the same cover letter to multiple job applications. Instead, strive to appear friendly and approachable.
  • Edit, Edit, Edit!!: Nothing makes you seem more incompetent than a cover letter format that is full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Set time aside to review and edit your cover letter. It can also help to read it over again after a few hours or days. Additionally, consider having a friend or colleague review the letter to see if they find anything you missed.
  • Don’t Appear Too Enthusiastic: It’s important to seem excited about a position and company, but go easy on the enthusiasm. Try not to use too many adverbs about your excitement to the point where you seem insincere.
  • Go Ahead, Brag: There’s no need to be modest. When writing a cover letter template, consider what your supervisors, friends, or colleagues might say about you. What praise would they offer? Don’t let your fear of bragging get in your way. Your cover letter is meant to be a tool to impress.

By Admin