Your cover letter is the first thing the hiring manager sees, so you should make it count.
Before curating your cover letter, you should first understand what your prospective employer is looking for. Researching the company you’re applying to is crucial. It will help you know what to include in your letter.
But first things first, you should write your cover letter from a hiring manager’s perspective. It should have a compelling introduction, a little tasteful humor, a lot of confidence, and precision.
Let’s find out what you should include in your cover letter to land that job.
How a Cover Letter Can Impact Your Chances of Recruitment
A cover letter gives you a chance to grab your recruiter’s attention and make your first impression.
It will make them decide whether to call you in for an interview or not.
Let’s see how a cover letter can land you your dream job.
When it Demonstrates Your Communication Skills
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Even if your credentials and resume are perfect, your prospective employer still needs to measure how you communicate.
The only document that will demonstrate your communication skills is the cover letter. First, it lets you write in a more conversational language, in the first person.
It gives the recruiter a good sneak peek into how you’ll be communicating with clients and coworkers if and when you’re hired.
Presenting a persuasive cover letter gives the recruiter an idea of your personality. It also establishes your interest in that position while covering a few career highlights.
Being able to present a solid argument explaining why you’re fit for the role strengthens your chances of getting hired. You’ll also show them how good you are at communicating and expressing yourself.
Also Read: Best Counter Offer Letter Examples
Contains the Most Relevant Information
A cover letter allows you to talk about yourself and your career journey. If there’s an explanation you need to give, like why there’s a gap in your resume, you can briefly do so in your cover letter.
It helps you elaborate on your strengths and explain why you’re the perfect person for the position in your own words.
It is a part of your marketing team (the other is your resume) as it lets you present facts while also personalizing yourself. Your recruiters will get both the facts and the personalization that only comes with a cover letter.
Shows Your Seriousness as a Candidate
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Although some recruiters don’t go through cover letters, it’s still important to send yours with the rest of your documents. The fact that you made time to curate it sets you apart from those who never bothered.
The thing with interviews is that when the candidate pool is trimmed to just a few candidates, recruiters often refer to their application materials. It helps a lot in the final decision-making.
They often take cover letters into account, giving you a better shot.
So if you’re planning to apply for a job you’ve been eyeing, now you know the importance of starting with a cover letter.
Before we delve deeper into what to put in your letter, let’s first understand what recruiters look for in your cover letter.
What’s the Recruiter Looking For in Your Cover Letter?
A cover letter’s goal is to make your case to the hiring manager. But writing a spectacular letter that will draw the recruiter’s attention is no small matter.
A good cover letter should be customized to the unique position you’re applying for and the company. This technique can get your letter onto the interview shortlist.
Writing and customizing your cover letter increases your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers.
That aside, what other details are recruiters looking for when they read through your letter?
Let’s find out below.
1. Actions and Outcomes from Previous Work Experiences Related to the Role You’re Applying for
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Recruiters look for details of your previous work experience related to the job you’re applying for. It’s not necessary to highlight all your skills and experiences.
Use your strategic thinking to highlight examples from when you used your top skills successfully in your past employment. Consider how this makes you perfect for this particular position.
Remember that the recruiter only needs to know what you’ll contribute to the organization.
Also Read: How Many Hours Is Part-time A Week?
2. Company and Job-specific Content Indicating You Researched Well
Consider your cover letter as a sales magnet. Use a sales pitch when writing since, in reality, you’re selling yourself, your knowledge, skills, and experience.
The hiring manager often looks for details that confirm that you’re familiar with your prospective employer (company) and that you’d be the best fit for the job.
Make sure to customize your letter for each position while staying on top of industry-related latest announcements, newly launched products, and news to show that you are well informed.
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Showing professionalism in your cover letter is crucial. Always remember to proofread it before sending it.
If you’re writing many customized pieces for different positions, you’ll likely omit a few crucial details or make an error. When the recruiter notices errors in your cover letter, they won’t hesitate to toss it into the wastebasket.
The same thing happens to letters that show no professionalism. It’s great to have some creativity, but you must be professional in your writing.
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4. On-Point, Succinct Details
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While you want the recruiter to know the details, you shouldn’t bore them with long explanations. Short and succinct paragraphs will make it easy to read through.
You should share the most important details and get to the point. Try the situation-action-results formula, and your recruiter will be impressed.
Remember what the cover letter is all about: What you can do for the organization and why you’re a perfect fit for the role and the company. The recruiter will be going through your cover letter quickly, so you have to ensure it’s professional, short, and with the details they’re looking for.
Now that you know what hiring managers want in a cover letter, let’s find out what to include there.
Also Read: Best Questions To Ask The Interviewer
What to Include in Your Cover Letter
The goal of writing a cover letter is to make your case, so you get shortlisted for an interview. It is essential to include a compelling argument about why you fit the position together with the required details.
So what are these crucial details you should put in your cover letter?
A Formal Salutation
A great way to address the recruiter is to call them by their name. A “Dear Mr. Clark will be perfect. Addressing them by title and last name is okay, but you can also impress them by calling them their first name, like “Dear Andrew.”
Dear is among the best cover salutations. It can be used informally or formally, whether you know the recipient’s name or not.
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The Opening Statement
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Like an eye-catching first line of a story, the opening paragraph of your cover letter should entice your recruiter to read further.
Write about the company and give a compelling argument why you’d be an excellent addition to its team. It will make a great introduction that will persuade them to read more.
Like you called out the hiring manager’s name in the salutation, mention the company’s name in your introductory paragraph. It will look personalized and make the recruiter see it as a cover letter dedicated just to the company.
Remember to list your responsibilities and achievements.
Reasons Why You’re the Best Fit for the Role
Now that you have the recruiter hooked, start showing them why you’re the only person who’ll do justice to the job. Show them how you’ll fit in the company as a team player.
In your second paragraph, you need to show them that your acquired skills, friendliness, and attitude make you the perfect new hire.
What you write in your second paragraph is very important to the recruiter and the company. Make it a bit longer if you have to.
Also Read: Best Executive Summary Examples
Why the Organization is Good for You
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Tell the recruiter why this particular position and company are an excellent fit for you in the third paragraph.
Praise the company and show them how great it would be for you to get a position there. Provide specific examples of what attracted you to the position and made you apply. Such an attitude will get you noticed by the recruiter.
Convey all your excitement and enthusiasm for that position in the third paragraph of your cover letter.
A Powerful Closing Statement with a Call to Action
At this point, you’ve grabbed the recruiter’s attention in your introduction and given them reasons why they must have you in the company and team. You’ve also told them why the role fits you perfectly. What’s remaining is very simple.
Make a strong finish with a compelling closing paragraph. Sum up your cover letter by welcoming the chance to discuss more and show your potential employer how your past success can drive growth for the company.
It is satisfying to end the letter by summarizing things and leaving the ball in the recruiter’s court.
Closing strong is as important as a compelling introduction.
Also Read: Killer Interview Questions To Ask Employers
A Professional Sentiment and Your Name
End your cover letter with a complimentary closing and your name.
Don’t forget to put a cover letter enclosure to let the recruiter know you forwarded a complete application.
Also Read: Best Short-term Goal Examples
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.