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How to Write a Compelling Cover Letter

Updated: Feb 7

Close up of people's hands looking through papers, cover letter

Now that you know how to write a strong resume, the next step in ensuring that employers notice you, is to have a compelling cover letter to go along with it!

A cover letter is a document that is sent, along with your resume, to jobs you are applying for. The letter provides detailed information on why you are qualified for the job at hand. Essentially, it gives the employers viewing it a deeper look into the applicants then the formal resume does. A cover letter allows applicants to express what good they could bring to the company they are applying for. People can discuss why they think they would fit in well, what they hope to achieve there if they get hired, and anything else they think an employer would like to hear and see. These letters should be sent out along with each resume as a first look before the employers get into the actual work experience and dates that are found on the resume.

A few tips to get you started on writing a compelling cover letter:

1. Keep it short and simple, but make sure it’s well written.

Ideally, a cover letter should be only a few paragraphs. It should be one page and simple, so that an employer is more likely to read through the whole thing. If an employer, who has hundreds of applicants to read through, sees a 2-page cover letter, they will most likely just skip right through it onto the resume. The point of the cover letter is to get the employers interested and hooked before they even see the resumes, so make sure you grab their attention right away by getting to the point and showing yourself off in a handful of sentences.

2. Highlight how your skills and work experience are what the company you are applying to needs.

The resume will show the skills you possess and the work experience in greater detail, so the cover letter’s job is just to show how those skills and experience will help in this job. Use this letter as a way to tell the employer why you should get this job. Discuss why the skills you have would work and what you could use them for. Show your past experience in a similar field and discuss what you learned from there that could help this company now.

3. Show excitement and enthusiasm for the job.

Because a resume is so formal and straight to the point, the cover letter is where you can show how genuine you are about getting the job you are applying for. Make sure to list the name of the company you are applying for in the first few sentences on the letter. That way the employer can see that you took the time to change your letter specifically for them. It will show your interest to work there.

4. Write like yourself.

While this one might seem weird because usually when applying for jobs you always want to remain professional. That is still true, but you need to make sure that you are remaining professional while you are being yourself and showing who you are. A cover letter is just like its name, a letter. It’s a letter to an employer on why they should take a chance on you and hire you. Make it personal so the employer feels like they know you after they read it through. That way they may be more inclined to offer you a position within their company.

While these tips will help you know exactly what to put in your cover letter, here are some extra things that you must not forget while writing it!

· Your name!!

Yes, your name will already be on the resume and the email you are using, but it is still important to include it within the first sentence in a cover letter. Like in any other letter, first and foremost you need to introduce yourself. Start it out with your name, if you’re a student, a current employee somewhere or someone who is just currently looking for work. This will make it feel like you are simply talking with the employer.

· The company and employer’s name.

Make sure to have your cover letter in an easy, accessible spot for you because you need to change it each time you send it out. It makes you look more eager and excited for the position you are applying for if you have the company name written out within your letter. It could be as simple as; I think I would make a great fit at (name of company) because (list your reasons). Also address the person who will be viewing the letter in the beginning. By addressing the exact person instead of just, “To whom it may concern,” you are making a direct connection with that person.

· Make it look like an actual letter.

It is a formal letter to potential employers and should look like one. Make sure in the upper left corner that you put the name and address of the contact. This will make it feel professional right off the bat. Then in the body of the paragraph you can start expressing yourself.

Cover letters are just another way for you to show employers that you deserve the job, so follow these tips and tricks to make yours look the best it can! One of the best things about the internet is the ability to look anything up and get results within seconds. If any of these tips were confusing or you just want a visual of what a cover letter should look like, search it and I’m sure tons of examples will come up!


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