How to Write a Cover Letter

In today’s highly competitive market sending in a cover letter alongside your resume is a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates. A cover letter is so important that many higher-level positions have it as a requirement, but whether or not it is explicitly stated you should have a cover letter because it is a great way for you to showcase why you would be the ideal candidate.

It may seem tiresome to have to write a customized cover letter for every job you apply for, but it is definitely worth the effort and you are guaranteed to land more interviews. Plus, once you have a strong cover letter you will only have to make minor tweaks to customize it to the position you are applying for.

Introduction:

To start, your cover letter needs to include a contact section, the date, the company information and a professional salutation to the hiring manager “Dear…”. For the salutation you can address the recruiter by their name if you know it, or else you can address them as a “Hiring Manager.”  Next, you would go on to give an introduction and let them know why you are contacting them (i.e., the position you’re applying for).

Body: 

In the body of your cover letter, you will highlight your qualifications and demonstrate why you are a good fit for the position. To do this it is helpful to have the job requirements open so that you can add experience and skills that are relevant to the position. For example, some jobs may require candidates to have experience with particular software (Salesforce) so you would want to mention that in your cover letter.

Don’t just repeat what is stated in your resume, like the job titles, dates and all your responsibilities but instead to zero in on the most important points that relate to the position you are applying for directly. It is helpful to mention your education and the years of experience you have in the relevant field as well as any important quantifiable accomplishments (i.e., boosted sales by $2M). However, remember to keep it quick and to the point, don’t add more information than necessary and the cover letter should be no longer than 1 page.

Add keywords from the job description to your cover letter because employers and applicant tracking systems will be looking for these words when considering your application. Remember your goal is to grab the reader’s attention and show how you would be the perfect fit for the company and how the company is the perfect fit for you.

Closing:

Always keep your letter professional and when closing it is important to thank the hiring manager for their time and reiterate the best way to get in touch with you. Finish strong so they are eager to get to know you better.  Finally, use an appropriate closing such as “Sincerely” or “Best Regards” and then your name. If you are handing in a hard copy of your cover letter you should sign it by hand, but it is not necessary for emailed copies.

If you are still unsure of how to proceed with your cover letter give us a call and one of our Professional Resume Writers would be more than happy to assist you with your resume & cover letter to ensure that you are always putting your best foot forward!

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