Every year, thousands of graduates with various backgrounds and impressive educational achievements infiltrate the dwindling job market, making the competition cut-throat more and more.
To get your foot in the door and land your dream job, you need to write a cover letter that will grab the attention of hiring managers and make them want to learn more about you. Your cover letter is your chance to show off your personality, achievements, and qualifications in a way that your resume cannot. It should be a well-written, persuasive letter that convinces the reader to give you an interview.
Unfortunately, many job seekers treat their cover letter as an afterthought, quickly throwing something together just to check this important task off their list. As a result, their letters are generic, boring, and do nothing to stand out from the competition.
Don’t let this happen to you! To write a compelling cover letter, there are a few things you need to remember so you can secure that dream job.
How to write a cover letter
When you’re applying for a new job, your cover letter is your first chance to make a good impression. A strong cover letter will grab the employer’s attention and convince them to give your resume a closer look. There is no one-size-fits-all cover letter, but there are a few things every great cover letter has in common. Here are the things you need to know before you start writing.
1. Start with a hook
The first sentence of your cover letter should be a hook that grabs the employer’s attention and makes them want to keep reading. You can accomplish this by using a compelling statistic, an interesting story, or even just a strong opening statement.
2. Show off your personality
Your cover letter should reflect your personality and show the hiring manager that you would be a great fit for their company. Be sure to use specific examples to illustrate your skills and strengths.
3. Highlight your achievements
In the next section of your cover letter, you’ll want to highlight your qualifications for the job. Your achievements are one of your most valuable assets, so be sure to spotlight them prominently in your cover letter. Use concrete examples to show how you have contributed to previous employers or organizations. This is your chance to show the employer why you’re the best candidate for the position. Be sure to mention any relevant skills, experience, or education you have.
4. Make it easy to read
A cluttered or hard-to-read cover letter will quickly lose the employer’s attention. Be sure to use an easy-to-read font and break up the text with headings and bullet points whenever possible. You want the employer to be able to quickly scan your letter and easily see why you’re qualified for the job. All letters should be written in standard paragraph form and contain introductory information (name, address, phone number), body (information about yourself), and closing information (thank yous or best wishes).
5. Keep it brief
Cover letters should be no longer than one page, so be sure to succinctly highlight your skills and qualifications. You don’t want to bombard the employer with too much information.
6. Write a strong closing statement
The final paragraph of your cover letter should be a strong call to action that encourages the employer to contact you for an interview. End your cover letter with a strong closing statement that sums up why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Don’t forget to thank the employer for their time and to include your contact information and let them know when you’ll be available.
7. Proofread your letter
A sloppy or error-ridden cover letter will quickly torpedo your chances of landing an interview. Before you send your cover letter, be sure to proofread it carefully. Check for any grammar or spelling errors, and make sure everything flows smoothly. Once you’ve edited your letter, have someone else take a look so they can catch anything you may have missed.
8. Stay Professional and Relevant
Keep your language professional and relevant to the job opening you are applying to. avoid sounding like a salesperson or trying too hard to appeal to the employer’s personal interests. Stick with facts instead of anecdotes or flowery language.
Does design matter in a cover letter?
Some job seekers choose to design their cover letters, while others stick with a more traditional format. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to design, but be sure to choose a format that will make your letter easy to read. If you choose to design your cover letter, be sure to use a professional-looking font and avoid using too much color or graphics.
How long should my cover letter be?
There is no one answer to this question, but most cover letters are between three and four paragraphs long. Be sure to tailor your letter to the specific position you’re applying for, and keep in mind that shorter is usually better than longer.
Tips for Applying for a Job Online
1. Start by thinking about what you want the position to be and what your skills and experience match.
2. Upload your resume online or create a PDF file and include it as part of your online application.
3. Make use of social media platforms to promote yourself, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
4. Tailor your online application to the specific employer you are applying to and make sure all information is accurate.
5. Make a strong first impression by using professional photography and formatting when submitting your application online.
The job market is competitive, but with a well-written cover letter, you can stand out from the crowd and land your dream job. If you need help with writing one, you can visit Venngage for cover letter templates you can readily use.
Use the tips above to write a letter that will make an impression on hiring managers, and remember, your dream job is never too far away. Good luck!