How to write a cover letter?

How to write a cover letter?

The cover letter is a medium to get yourself introduced in an exceptional, special way during a job application.

A well-designed cover letter runs around the information on your resume and extends this information for the reader, making them know some of your greatest career highlights and life achievements.

Before writing any cover letter, it is always preferred to prepare the content of your letter depending upon the requirements of the job you’re applying for.

Here you will learn, the basic components of a successful cover letter, how to write a recruiter-preferred cover letter, what to include in cover letters and what not to include in your cover letters and how you should submit your cover letter.

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What is a Cover Letter?

Your resume is meant to indicate your facts, but your cover letter is meant to represent more character of yours. The cover letter is your very first introduction for the recruiter, and its aim should be to make you as memorable as possible, in a good way for the recruiter.

That means writing a special cover letter for every job you apply to. It shouldn't contain any templates or any personal stuff. The format of your cover letter should always match the company's and the industry you’re applying to.
As such, there's no “official format” for the cover letter or the information you include in it, but your cover letter should be well organized, and orderly in its presentation of information.

The purpose of a Cover Letter

A Cover Letter needs to:

- introduce you
- state the job you are applying for
- level your skills and experiences with the skills and experiences mentioned in the job description
- always finish with a call to action (for example, requesting an interview or asking to meet).

How long should a cover letter be?

A cover letter shouldn't be of more than a single page. It's only meant to highlight the summary of the information you’ve written in your resume, so try to keep things short. Remember, you’re writing a letter not an essay.

What you should include in your cover letter?

Following is a list of do’s and the things you should include in your cover letter. For examples of how to include these things, visit our Cover Letter Samples page.

Your name and contact details
Write your name and contact details at the top of your cover letter. You need not to write your postal address, but you do need to include your email and phone number.

Their name and contact details
Below your name and contact details you should write:
- the name of the person you're writing to
- their position or the name of their company
- their contact details

The name of the job you're going for
At the beginning of your cover letter you need to tell which job you're applying for. You can either do this on a line by itself or in the opening paragraph.

A list of your relevant skills
Your cover letter should include a brief summary that matches your skills and experiences to the job description required skills. A short bullet-pointed list is fine.

A summary of why you're the only one for the job
After telling your skills and experience you should explain why these mean you're suited to the job.

Speak their language
Using the similar language as people who do a same job is a nice way to impress the people you're suited to the job.

Make them read your resume & contact you
Conclude your cover letter by asking the reader to read your resume. It should also ask them to contact you back regarding the interview.

What you shouldn't include in your cover letter

Just as important as the things you should mention on your cover letter are the things that you should never mention on your cover letter. Following are few things to look out for.

Typos or mistakes

Always spell check your cover letter twice. It's also evenly better to get someone else to read it and point out any mistakes or confusing things.

Including your whole resume
Don't just copy and paste your resume into your cover letter. Try to reframe the information on your resume rather than just repeating it.

Using "I" too much
Make sure that you don't put things like "I believe", "I have" and "I am" on your cover letter.

Don't mention your other job applications
You might have more than one job application at the very same time. So, It's important, though, not to mention other job applications.

Looking for a recruiter-preferred cover letter? Following are the five easy steps which’ll guide you towards writing a successful cover letter. By going step by step, you can ensure that your cover letter will be drafted, written, and sent off without much stress - and with a good chance of success.

Analyze the Job Listing

Go through the job listing and description very carefully and check where your own experience best matches up. Be biased about company's requirements you choose to highlight the most, as you are going to use these to frame a table in your cover letter.

Remember, after all is said and done, your cover letter should only be of a single page. The points you choose should be the ones that are most relevant to the job position, but also the ones that provide specific examples about your past experience.
Tip: When you copy and paste from the job listing into your editor, check for the typos that might be in the listing. The person who will read your application probably won't know - or care - that the mistake wasn't your fault.

Look for a Specific Employee Name

Through social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Instagram), you might be able to find the name of a relevant employee to whom you can address your cover letter.

For example, Twitter's advanced search is used by many applicants to find names, and if the company has a profile on LinkedIn which it’ll surely must be having, you can view its employees from there as well.
Don't just choose any random person, but if you can, try to find someone in Human Resources Department - preferably a Director or Manager - or a higher-up within the department you're applying to.

This is a key way to kickstart your application and make sure it lands where it needs to.

Tip: If you know someone at the company who can refer for the job for you, mention them in the first paragraph of your cover letter.

Create a Table Highlighting Your Qualifications

Next, create a table with the company's requirements on one side, and your matching skills on the right side.

While creating the table, you'll need to make it two columns. Then, take the number of requirements you're choosing and add one for the header. So, for this example, which has focused on five points, the table is two columns by six rows.
Tip: If you face difficulties in creating a table, you can write-up your qualifications in paragraph form.

Format Your Cover Letter

Now, you've created the table, you should copy and paste it into the body section of your cover letter. This is sometimes termed as a "T" shape cover letter format. The table should be placed in between your introductory paragraphs, and before your closing.

It gives nice look to format the table with invisible or very thin borders, although it's not necessary. To perform this in MS Word, right click on the table, select Borders and Shading, and then click "None" on the left hand side of the small window that pops up.
Tip: Save your cover letter in a PDF format so that the document retains the proper formatting when it is opened and looked at.

Finish With a Follow-Up

Finish on a higher note and conclude the cover letter with the promise of a "next step." That way, even if your application gets lost somewhere at the bottom of a pile, when you reach out to the potential employer they'll be reminded to go retrieve your cover letter and resume and take another look.

At last, make sure to proofread your cover letter so it's error free.
Tip: Reach out when you say you will to demonstrate your punctuality and ability to follow through with promises. If you have submitted many different applications and have trouble keeping track of dates, stay organized with an Excel sheet or set reminders with your phone.

How to Send or Upload Your Cover Letter

How you send your resume and cover letter to the employer depends totally on the organization's criterias. You may be asked to upload your application documents to the company website or to a job board or maybe both. Or, in some cases you may be asked to email your resume or cover letter or even mail it.