When it comes to the hiring process, every detail counts. It's important to make a good impression on your potential employer from the moment they see you and this includes putting together a cover letter that will get them excited about meeting with you.
When writing a good cover letter, there are certain things that you want to look out for:
In order to get your cover letter noticed, you have to make sure that it's very clear what position you're applying for and why. You should not bury this information in a lengthy introduction but instead include it as soon as possible so that they do not overlook it. This first paragraph should also tell them exactly how you found out about their company, or perhaps mention something which caught your eye, such as a recent article written by someone within the organisation. In general, try to keep things interesting and be specific.
Try to keep your cover letter somewhere between one and three paragraphs. This will help you avoid rambling on about things that aren't necessary or relevant, while at the same time keeping them interested enough to continue reading. It's also important not to get too detailed in describing what you did for each job as this can be found within your resume which should stand alone once submitted. You may wish to include a brief overview of the position, but focus more on how you would excel in this role than why they need someone like yourself – unless an employer specifies otherwise!
This is the part where you will want to go into a bit more detail regarding the experience that you've had under any previous employers. You should not simply list off your experiences but instead, think about how each job has specifically prepared you for the position in which you're applying. This could include transfers within a company, a customer service role that led to management, working with a team, learning how to resolve conflicts etc. Try to connect what you've done previously to where you're trying to go in the future.
When you're writing a cover letter, it's important to focus on the skills that match up with what they are looking for. If they ask for four years of experience within finance and accounting, then be sure to highlight these particular areas. You would also want to emphasise how you've developed certain soft skills such as communication or teamwork which will allow them to see that you can handle stressful situations or work well in a team environment. A hiring manager wants an employee who has both technical abilities and soft skills, but most importantly, someone who's able to fit into their organisation seamlessly – so make sure not to forget to mention this when submitting your application!
Be careful not to include any spelling mistakes (yes, even one mistake can be overlooked). You should also refrain from using any fancy fonts or colours, as this will only distract them and may not look so good once they print it out. Remember to proofread your letter several times before submitting the final version.
The first thing that you will want to do is get their attention with a greeting. You may wish to use either "Dear Hiring Manager" or simply the name of the person to who you will be sending this letter if they have shared it within their job advertisement. If not, then try using something like "To Whom It May Concern".
Begin by stating your name, why you're interested in their company and how you learned about the potential opportunity. This will help them get an idea of what kind of exposure that you've had throughout the industry – which may or may not be relevant depending on who is reading this document. Try including something such as "I am very excited about learning more about [insert role] with [insert company]. Your organisation has been at the forefront in recent news due to [insert reason here]"
You should then move on to tell them about yourself and why you would be excited for this opportunity. The first paragraph of your cover letter is not the time to go into too much detail so keep it short. This idea can be achieved by including a hook or interesting fact which will immediately capture their attention – something that they can relate to, an unusual accomplishment, or perhaps some courses you've attended.
Make sure that each sentence ties back into what makes you qualified for this role at their company. Focus more on explaining how these experiences have shaped who you are today rather than reciting every single task that was involved with your particular job within your cover letter. You do want employers to know what type of work ethic and skillsets that you possess but make sure that you're not coming off as arrogant or conceited – nobody likes to read this!
Once you got the attention of your hiring manager, now is the time to discuss your previous employment history. Include any relevant prior work experience that may be related to what they are currently looking for. It's important to describe how these roles have helped you develop certain skillsets whether it was dealing with difficult people or learning how to manage a team.
Once you've familiarised them with your background and experience, then it's time to dive into why you'd be such an invaluable addition to their team. Do remember to highlight certain soft skills you've developed and honed over the years, like communication and teamwork, which will demonstrate that you're someone who's able to problem-solve effectively within a group of people! A hiring manager wants an employee who has both the hard and soft skills, but most importantly, they'll look for a person who's able to fit into their organisation seamlessly.
Be careful when describing yourself. Don't brag too much but instead focus on highlighting specific skills and accomplishments. You would also want to keep your cover letter short and to the point so that they can get an idea of what you're capable of within a limited amount of time.
Finally, make sure that you thank them for their time and consideration. Let them know that you would like to get the opportunity of interviewing with your company soon. You can also include a sentence such as "I look forward to hearing from you at [insert desired contact information]"
Ending it on a positive note is always best- this way they will be more likely to reach out if interested in moving forward with an interview since there is no pressure. They may not respond immediately so do not let this discourage you if it takes some time before receiving any feedback or communication after submitting your application. Wait patiently but still follow up once every week or two just in case someone has lost this cover letter. Thanking them again will remind them about who you are, and what you have to offer.
You can also include a sentence such as "I look forward to hearing from you at [insert desired contact information]"
Overall, the key to writing a good cover letter is understanding what makes your resume unique and tailoring it accordingly. Hiring managers don't want to read through dozens of generic letters – they're looking for someone who can add value immediately. You need to show that you have relevant experience or knowledge that will help them with their current needs while also detailing how this position aligns with your career goals.
Your cover letter should be no more than one page long so make sure not to include anything extraneous in order to avoid coming off as unfocused or scattered. There are many ways for you to stand out from the crowd but these four tips will allow you to start thinking about where you might fit at a company like theirs. Now all that's left is filling out an application and sending over your resume.