Writing a cover letter when applying for a new job can seem daunting, but it’s really not that difficult if you have a proper structure.
While cover letters are not always required, experts say that submitting a cover letter is your best opportunity to get the hiring company’s attention and to distinguish yourself from other applicants. And yes – they do read them.
Today, we are listing some tips on how to write a proper cover letter.
Do your research
Before anything else, do some research on the company you are applying to. Doing so will allow you to customize your letter for the specific company and job position.
Make it personal. DO NOT send a generic letter such as “Dear Sir, I am interested to apply for the open position at your company” – this tells the company that you have sent this same exact letter to several other companies.
Your header should include essential information such as your full name and contact details (phone, email) followed by the hiring manager’s name, professional position, contact information, and the date.
This is the very first thing that they will read – catch their attention by mentioning their name and correct title, if necessary. Decide on whether to mention their first or last name depending on the company’s culture. For corporate companies, opt for the last name.
If there is no way to know the addressee’s name, opt for “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear [company name] team”.
Start with an attention-grabbing introduction. More likely than not, the hiring manager is receiving several other applications. Introduce yourself by stating what you have to offer and how you both will benefit by working together. Make sure to keep it brief.
In your second paragraph, briefly describe why you are a suitable fit for the company. Most companies list down specific skills they are looking for in a candidate – this is where you mention which of those skills and experience you have.
To conclude, summarize the reasons you are applying for the role and how your experience and knowledge makes you a suitable fit for the company. Remember to keep it brief.
Let them know your availability and explain that you look forward to hearing from them to discuss further.
Sign-off with a formal ending such as “Sincerely”, “Best regards”, “Kind regards”, or “Thank you”.
Extra tip: Take a short break before proofreading
Before sending your letter, take a break and come back to it in at least half an hour to proofread, or have a friend proofread it for you. This will make it easier to point out any mistakes or to make final changes.