Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Written by Bella Yoloff
Cover letters are a vital supplement to CVs. A cover letter gives you the opportunity to target a job or employer in a very specific and detailed way. Each cover letter is tailored to the job you are applying to and is your chance to showcase your attributes and skills for that certain job description. Imagine it is the opportunity to pitch yourself. It is strongly advised that you do not use the same cover letter for every job, even if it is in the same industry.
1. Do your research
Before preparing your cover letter, it is imperative that you find some information, if accessible, about the specific role and its job recruiter. There may be times when you are able to find the hiring manager and it looks very professional to address that cover letter specifically to he/she. If not, keep it simple and write “Dear Hiring Manager”. LinkedIn is a great place to search for the company and job role; chances are you will be able to find the information.
Include a header with your contact information: name, phone number, address, and email. Make sure that the font matches your CV font and size. The cover letter should be no longer than a full page.
3. Brief introduction
The next step is to include a brief introduction that will grab the employer’s attention. Explain a little bit about the role and perhaps how you came across it. If you have a contact that has informed you about this role, the introduction is the best and most important place to emphasis this as it will gain the attention of the hiring manager. You can mention the company as a whole and why you want to be a part of that specific company team.
The body of your cover letter is where you showcase how you are different than other candidates. Mention the key qualifications emphasized in the job description and write about your experiences and examples that demonstrate those requirements in about two-three paragraphs. Remember, it is not just about you, so try to not overuse the word “I”. Keep in mind the cover letter is written in order to explain how you can fulfill employer needs. In addition, let the company know about relevant knowledge you have for this job and touch on why you would like to work in that specific sector/role.
The conclusion of your cover letter is briefly restating some of the key skills you have highlighted above. Thank the employer for considering and reviewing your application. Mention that you would be more than happy to answer any other questions they may have about your candidacy.
Lastly, remember to add a signature such as a complimentary close to your cover letter with your full name. Words suggested for this are best regards, kindest regards, regards, sincerely, cordially, etc.