Opening Paragraph

Snappy openers grab attention

One of the more important aspects of a good cover letter format is the attention to details early up. Even before you lay your fingers on that laptop keyboard, you should stop and think as to what are those first few lines which are going to make an impact on the hiring manager's eyes.

The first few lines are not the place to showcase your qualifications for the job or past experiences. It is the place where you must pitch in the idea of who you think you are. An incredibly motivating first paragraph is going to draw the recruiting manager's eyes into the second paragraph depicting a list of closely-knit qualifications which suits best with the job description you are applying for.

It is absolutely essential that you do not spill out your credentials up here. A good cover letter format never allows you to show off what you have in store in every nook and corner of your covering letter. If you keep reiterating your qualities everywhere and start talking about yourself at the very beginning of it, you are more likely to come off as a narcissistic.

How to use the opening paragraph in your cover letter format?

The opening paragraph is the perfect place to demonstrate your attitude. Believe it or not your recruiters read every single line minutely. Instead of sounding robotic, learn how to paint them a picture of yourself in their minds.

  • Demonstrate your intentions right ahead
  • Begin your opening paragraph with positive and clear intent. You should let the hiring manager read it loud and clear as to which job position you are aiming for, right away. You can say that you are interested in a particular job opening specifically. You may also simply put your intention in the way suggested by the illustration below.

    Illustration -

    "Applying for the position of Sales Manager in your North-West Department."

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  • Always mention referral points
  • Always remember that covering letters are usually the greetings part when you meet someone up close and personal. Do not forget to mention the person who referred you to try for the job especially if he/she already works in that office or company. The reason for you to mention the name of referral points is that it allows you to be connected to the company in some way which leads to some connection between you and the recruiting officer of the company.

    While writing a cover letter, remember that this closure may actually come in handy. The recruiting manager may want feedback about you from your friend already working with the company and you may get an added advantage over other candidates that way.

    Illustration -

    “Vishnu Bajpayee suggested me to contact you, as he felt I was a good fit for the job"

  • Subtly mention your accomplishments
  • You can also casually mention your last job position and your accomplishment while executing that job profile. If you can sum it up quickly as to how you added value to your last company you will be ahead with your resume in comparison to other applicants.

    While writing a cover letter, always bear in your mind that only stating accomplishments from a similar job profile is going to help you. Stating accomplishments of a job unrelated to the one you are applying for is of no value. Unless of course, if you can demonstrate a common trait in both the work fields or job descriptions, the reason for which you are a special candidate.

    Illustration -

    "Been a Sales Manager at Cognizant Enterprises, Eastern Zone. I have managed to raise sales from 9% of the total market share to 21% within two years!"

  • Avoid being dull 
  • Make sure to let your hiring manager understand that you are excited about the new job or the new job position/description and the work environment of the company in which you are applying. While writing a cover letter, it is absolutely essential that you sell yourself and sell the very idea of what you are. The hiring manager should know why he should consider going through your CV or resume. If you are passionate about your work, let loose your passionate side.

    Illustration - 

    "It would be an honour to work in your esteemed company."

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  • Use of keywords
  • Ideally use known keywords related to the job, if you know any. If you do not know what and how keywords are used in a cover letter format, you should definitely check out our section of cover letter templates and cover letter samples.

    Illustration -

    "Seven years of pushing stocks through personal networking and off the roof makes me an exceptional candidate for this job"

  • Tailor it accordingly
  • Not all job opportunities and openings are the same and therefore repeating the same set of opening lines for every job is kind of a huge mistake. If you have been making that mistake it is time for you to change that attitude.

    It is true that writing a cover letter for every individual job opening may prove to be difficult. That is why our suggestion would be to gather all the pointers as mentioned above and form a small pool of information. Now, as soon as you are about to send in your resume along with the covering letter, go through the cover letter format you are using right then.

    The idea is to not re-write your cover letter every time you apply for a job but to tailor your cover letter format according to the job specifications mentioned in the job posting.

Written By :
Abir Ghosh
Career Expert at CV Owl

Your CV or resume is your first impression for any company. With the help of CV Owl, you can get a well-structured CV and your time will be saved. Everything on your CV should be written in a formal manner and in a precise way. You have only 20 seconds to impress your recruiter with your CV, make the best out of it. Visit our series “The HR Talk” where we help you know everything about your job interview from the recruiters.

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