What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a professional document that accompanies your resume when applying for a job or internship. It serves as an introduction to your qualifications, skills, and experiences, providing a personalized touch to your application. The purpose of a cover letter is to capture the employer's attention, highlight your suitability for the position, and express your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
It allows you to showcase your relevant accomplishments, explain how your skills align with the job requirements, and demonstrate your understanding of the company and its values. A well-written cover letter can help you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of securing an interview.
Related: How to Write a Resume in 2023
Are Cover Letters Still Relevant?
Yes! Cover letters are still very important.
Cover letters continue to be relevant for several reasons.
- Many employers still require a cover letter as part of the application process. It demonstrates your ability to follow instructions and submit a complete application package. By including a cover letter, you show that you have taken the time and effort to tailor your application to the specific position and company.
- Cover letters exhibit your dedication and genuine interest in the role. They provide an opportunity to explain why you are applying and how your skills and experiences align with the job requirements. A well-crafted cover letter allows you to showcase your passion, enthusiasm, and motivation, making a positive impression on potential employers.
- Cover letters help you stand out from other applicants. While resumes summarize your qualifications, a cover letter allows you to go beyond the bullet points and provide additional context. It enables you to share specific examples of your accomplishments, explain any employment gaps or career transitions, and highlight unique aspects of your background that make you a strong fit for the role. This personalized touch sets you apart and gives employers a deeper understanding of your candidacy.
- Cover letters provide valuable supplementary information about you as a candidate. They allow you to communicate your communication skills, attention to detail, and writing abilities. You can convey your professionalism, confidence, and ability to articulate your thoughts effectively through your writing style and tone. Additionally, a cover letter allows you to address any specific aspects of your application that may not be evident in your resume, such as a career change, relocation, or passion for the company's mission.
How to Write a Cover Letter
- Include your contact information at the top of the cover letter, including your name, address, phone number, and email address.
- You can also have the date of writing just below your contact information.
- Address your letter to a specific person, preferably the hiring manager or the person responsible for reviewing applications.
- If the job posting doesn't provide a name, try to find it through research or use a general salutation like "Dear Hiring Manager."
- Start with a strong opening sentence that grabs the reader's attention.
- You can mention how you found out about the job or highlight a relevant achievement or connection.
- State the position you are applying for and briefly explain your interest in the role and the company.
- If you have a mutual connection or were referred by someone, mention it in the introduction.
- Highlight your relevant skills and experiences that make you a strong fit for the job.
- Refer to the job description and use specific examples to demonstrate your qualifications.
- Explain how your past experiences have prepared you for the role and how you can contribute to the company's success.
- Focus on the most relevant and significant accomplishments, emphasizing results and impact.
- Use bullet points or short paragraphs to make your letter easy to read and to highlight key points.
- Demonstrate your knowledge about the company by showcasing your understanding of its values, mission, and recent achievements.
- Explain how your skills and experiences align with the company's goals and culture.
- Show enthusiasm for the company and explain why you want to work for them.
- Summarize your key qualifications and express your eagerness to contribute to the company's success.
- Mention that you have attached your resume for their review and consideration.
- Thank the reader for their time and consideration.
- Include a professional closing, such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name.
Proofread and edit:
- Review your cover letter for grammatical or spelling errors.
- Check for clarity and ensure that your points are well-organized and concise.
- Reading your letter aloud or having someone else review it for feedback is a good idea.
- Use a professional font and keep the formatting consistent throughout the letter.
- Use a standard business letter format, including single-spacing, left alignment, and clear and readable font size.
- Keep your cover letter to one page if possible.
Customize for each application:
- Tailor your cover letter for each job you apply to.
- Highlight the most relevant qualifications and customize your opening and closing paragraphs to fit the company and position.
Save and send:
- Save your cover letter as a PDF or Word document with a professional file name.
- When submitting your application, follow the employer's instructions regarding email attachments or online application forms.
Related: Why Soft Skills Matter
Tips for An Effective Cover Letter
1. Tailor it to the job
Customize your cover letter for each position you apply to. Highlight relevant skills, experiences, and qualifications that align with the job description. This shows that you've researched and are genuinely interested in the role.
2. Address the hiring manager:
Whenever possible, address your cover letter to a specific person rather than using a generic salutation. This demonstrates that you've taken the time to find out who will be reviewing your application.
3. Engage with a strong opening:
Start your cover letter with an attention-grabbing opening sentence highlighting your enthusiasm and interest in the position. You can mention a specific accomplishment, relevant experience, or a shared connection that piques the reader's interest.
4. Showcase your skills and experiences:
Use the body of your cover letter to provide examples of how your skills and experiences make you a strong fit for the job. Be specific and provide concrete examples to support your claims. Use keywords from the job description to make your letter more relevant.
5. Keep it concise and focused:
Aim for a one-page cover letter that concisely conveys your qualifications. Avoid unnecessary repetition and stick to the most relevant information. Use bullet points or short paragraphs to make it easy for the reader to skim and grasp the key points.
6. Demonstrate your knowledge about the company:
Research the company thoroughly and incorporate this knowledge into your cover letter. Show that you understand the company's mission, values, and recent accomplishments. This demonstrates your genuine interest and makes you stand out from other candidates.
7. Show enthusiasm and confidence:
Use a positive and confident tone throughout your cover letter. Express your enthusiasm for the role and the company. However, be careful not to overdo it and sound insincere.
8. Proofread and edit:
Before sending your cover letter, proofread it for grammatical or spelling errors. Read it aloud to catch awkward phrasing or unclear sentences. It's also a good idea to have someone else review it for feedback.
9. Follow a professional format:
Use a professional format for your cover letter, including your contact information, the date, the employer's contact details, a formal salutation, a clear introduction, a well-structured body, and a polite closing. Choose a professional font and keep the formatting clean and consistent.
10. End with a strong closing:
Conclude your cover letter by reiterating your interest in the position and expressing your eagerness to discuss your qualifications further. Thank the reader for their time and consideration, and include your contact information.
Cover Letter Examples
Example 1: Electrician
The Electrician is responsible for plant maintenance, electrical systems, apparatus, and electronic components of industrial machinery and equipment.
- Minimum 2 years of relevant experience in a manufacturing environment
- Troubleshoot daily maintenance/electrical issues and problem-solving.
- Able to work safely with 480 volts.
- Ability to lift 50 lbs
- Basic metal welding skills are required.
- Carry tool bag continually to work station, as needed
- Ability to read blueprints
- Demonstrated attention to detail
Dear [Recipient's Name],
I am writing to apply for the Electrician position at [Company Name], as advertised on [Job Board/Company Website]. I believe I am a strong fit for this role with [X years] of experience in a manufacturing environment, troubleshooting maintenance and electrical issues, and working with 480 volts.
I have a proven track record of handling daily maintenance and electrical challenges, ensuring machinery and equipment operate smoothly. My expertise in reading blueprints, attention to detail, and ability to lift 50 lbs enable me to deliver precise electrical installations and repairs. I also possess basic metal welding skills, further enhancing my capabilities.
Safety is paramount to me, and I consistently follow safety protocols to create a secure work environment. My dedication to quality and problem-solving has earned me the trust of colleagues and supervisors, resulting in efficient and successful outcomes.
I am excited about the opportunity to join [Company Name] and contribute to its plant maintenance. I have attached my resume for your review, and I would appreciate the chance to discuss my qualifications further in an interview. Thank you for considering my application.
Example 2: Account Manager
The Account Manager works closely with the Sales Department and adheres to the established guidelines to maximize revenue opportunities and ensure customer satisfaction. The primary focus of this position is to support the needs of two salespeople through data entry, research, order review, and customer service. This is a sales profession.
- 1+ years of sales experience preferred but not required.
- Basic computer skills are required.
- Excellent communication and customer service skills.
- Excellent attention to detail and time management.
- Proactive in problem-solving.
- Able to work in a group setting.
Dear [Recipient's Name],
I am writing to apply for the Account Manager position at [Company Name], as advertised on [Job Board/Company Website]. With a focus on maximizing revenue opportunities, supporting salespeople, and delivering exceptional customer service, I am confident in my ability to excel in this role.
Having worked in sales for [X years], I have developed a solid foundation in understanding customer needs, establishing rapport, and driving revenue growth. While not required, my sales experience enables me to effectively contribute to the sales department's success.
I possess basic computer skills for data entry, research, and order review. Furthermore, my excellent communication and customer service skills allow me to build strong relationships with clients and ensure their satisfaction. I am adept at paying attention to detail and managing my time efficiently, which is essential for providing accurate information and meeting deadlines.
As a proactive problem solver, I quickly identify and address challenges that may arise. I thrive in a group setting, collaborating effectively with colleagues to achieve common goals and drive success.
I am excited about the opportunity to join the dynamic team at [Company Name] and contribute to its sales efforts. Please find attached my resume for your review. I would appreciate the chance to discuss my qualifications further and how I can contribute to your organization's objectives. Thank you for considering my application.
Interested in getting connected with a recruiter? Contact us today!
- Job Seekers