How to write a cover letter

Professional Tips on How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job

When you apply for any job, the very first tool you will use to grab the attention of employers is your cover letter. It is a tool that helps to introduce yourself. Before you learn how to write a cover letter, you first need to understand what it is!

A professional cover letter is a single page letter you should include with your resume. When starting to write any cover letter, it is always best to plan the content of your letter. Your cover letter is always based on the requirements of the job you’re applying for.

Cover letters are a great opportunity to cover your qualifications. To take advantage of a cover letter’s full potential, follow these steps below. You’ll find advice on formatting, reviewing, and researching cover letters.

What is a cover letter?

Cover letters are one-page documents that you send with your resume when applying for a job. Before you start writing a cover letter, you should familiarize yourself with the document’s purpose.

A cover letter provides extra information on your skills and experience. It also provides detailed information on why you are qualified for the job you are applying for.

When writing a cover letter, you should:

• Introduce yourself

• Mention the job you’re applying for

• Show that your skills and experience match the skills and experience needed to do the job

• Encourage the reader to read your resume

• Finish with a call to action

The purpose of a cover letter

1. A strong interest in the role and the organization

Employers want to hire candidates who are actually interested in their job. Do your research and explain why the organization hires you.

2. How you meet the selection criteria

Focus on the skills and attributes the employer has mentioned in the job. In your responses to selection criteria, gives short examples of how you have developed or utilized your skills.

3. Excellent written and communication skills

A cover letter should be written using professional language and structured paragraphs. You should have good written and communication skills.

What to include in a cover letter

• Try to limit your cover letter to a single page.

• Put your name and contact details at the top of your cover letter.

• Focus on the employer’s needs and skills. Then try to match your skill in the cover letter.

• Avoid long and complicated sentences and paragraphs.

• Arrange the points in a logical sequence; organize each paragraph around a main point.

What you shouldn’t include in your cover letter

• Don’t make any grammatical and spelling error

• Including your whole resume in your cover letter

• Try not to overuse phrases like ‘I believe’, ‘I have’ and ‘I am’.

• Don’t mention your other job applications

Tips for Cover Letters That Grab Hiring Managers’ Attention

Header

A cover letter should begin with both your and the employer’s contact information. Your contact information should include:

First and Last Name

Street Address

City, State Zip

Phone

Email

Salutation

Start your cover letter greeting with “Dr. /Mr. /Ms. Last Name.” If you are unsure if your contact is male or female, you can write out their full name. If you do not know the employer’s name, simply write, “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Introduction

Start your introduction by telling what job you are applying for. Explain where you heard about the job. If you heard about it from a contact associated with the company. Briefly mention how your skills and experience match the job profile. Your goal in the introduction is to get the reader’s attention.

Always use a professional font. Keep your formatting consistent with your other application documents. Basic fonts like Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Verdana, and Times New Roman work well. A font size of 10 or 12 points is easy to read. Standard margins are 1” on the top, bottom, and left and right sides of the page.

Body

In one or two paragraphs explain why you are interested in the job and how you are an excellent candidate for the position. Mention specific qualifications listed in the job posting, and explain how you meet those qualifications.

Closing

In the closing section of your cover letter, repeat how your skills make you a strong fit for the company position.

Signature

Always end your cover letter with your signature followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name at the end of email.

Edit and Proofread Your Cover Letter

Always remember to edit and proof your cover letter before sending it. Double-check the spelling of your contact’s name, as well as the company name.

Conclusion

A well-written cover letter will help you secure an interview. Take the time to personalize it so it shows the employer why you’re a solid candidate for the job.

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