A Cover Letter is useful to elaborate on your profile and motivation, while backing it up with facts. It gives you the opportunity to address the recruiter in a slightly less formal compared to a CV. A job application usually presents itself with two familiar names - CV and Cover Letter. While it is never a question whether or not sending a CV is important in order to apply for a job, there is very often a hopeful wondering about the Cover Letter's "optional" nature. So, how to write a Cover Letter? While it may or may not be the most important document in a job application, a cover letter definitely requires considerable investment of time.
Read 10 detailed answers on "how to write a cover letter" by experts in job application documents -
1. DO SEND IT ALONG
Unless the job application form does not have the option of writing a cover letter at all, you should send the cover letter along. Do not leave that "optional" motivation letter box empty. It could be worse than sending a not-so-great cover letter.
"RECRUITERS MIGHT NOT READ A COVER LETTER THAT IS PRESENT,
BUT THEY WILL NOTICE WHEN IT IS LEFT BLANK"
Therefore, it is in your best interests to appear motivated, to say the least. If you are not motivated to send the cover letter, how can you possibly motivated to work for the position? Thinking from the recruiter's perspective sheds light on these important questions. After all, the question is not "when to write a cover letter", it is "how to write a cover letter".
2. WRONG COMPANY NAME - THE PROBLEM WITH THE GENERIC TEMPLATE
While it is a common practice to keep a generic cover letter template and make a few changes for different job applications, it is a breeding ground for mistakes. Keep a count of the changes to be made, in order to avoid missing one of the changes. Writing wrong company names or wrong dates or position names are some of the common mistakes that stem out of this practice.
"CATEGORIZE COVER LETTER
TEMPLATES & KEEP THE NUMBER OF CHANGES FIXED"
It is true that the cover letter is less important than the CV, but yet it requires more changes and customization per application. However, hard work should go along with smart work. In order to avoid the fear of not making enough customization and therefore wasting time on re-reading the cover letter to ensure that you are not writing the wrong company name, memorize the number of and the places where you need to make the small amendments. However, it does not mean that the only things you should change are the company name, the date, the job position name on the cover letter before sending it.
3. HOW TO MAKE A COVER LETTER
The format of a cover letter largely falls into two categories.
One: The words "Cover Letter" as the title, followed directly by the body of the text.
Two: Mimicking to some extent a letter - Date, addressing the person/salutations, the body and the valediction (usually - Sincerely, Name)
"A COVER LETTER SHOULD LOOK LIKE A
WELL PRESENTED AND PROFESSIONAL DOCUMENT"
The first of the above mentioned two ways of writing a cover letter is the one seen more commonly. To make your Cover Letter stand out, use an approach to make it look more like a letter. Apart from the un-required details of a general letter, include the other components and make the appearance (for example using colors) - similar to that of your CV. In this way, not only your cover letter but your entire job application can stand out.
Dear Sir/Madam is not a bad salutation for a cover letter. However, "Dear Recruiter" is much better. There is something even more powerful though it is not completely in your hands. On some job application platforms, it is possible to see the name of the person who uploaded the job offer. In that case, you can go ahead and write the name of the recruiter! For example, "Dear Janine"
IT IS ABOUT TAKING THE SAFEST ROUTE,
IF NOT THE MOST POWERFUL ONE
What needs to be ensured is that you are not unintentionally ending up offending someone. For example, addressing a female recruiter as "sir". It isn't the best feeling when someone emails me for help and their emails starts with a "Dear Sir", says Aishwarya Pandey, the founder of Hello Job in Paris.
4. HOW MANY PARAGRAPHS?
Sure, there do exist cover letters with seven paragraphs. They are more like a story than a document which simplifies the job of the recruiter. Psychology plays a significant role in job application process. A candidate who sub-consciously pleases the recruiter will reduce the negative prejudices against their own application.
Three paragraphs look the best on a cover letter, however, if you decide to go with four, it is better to go with five - as odd numbers somehow are better when it comes to bullet points or number of paragraphs.
"THE GOLDEN RULE IS THREE,
WITH THE PURPOSE OR EACH CLEARLY VISIBLE"
We would really encourage our readers and clients to stick to three paragraphs. However, if they have a lot of content that needs to be conveyed essentially, five would be the next option.
5. HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER ?
The question of how to write a cover letter is not only about its layout. The body of the cover letter is the soul of the document. It is very important to make sure that each paragraph serves its own purpose - and to write it in a way that the recruiter is able to identify this loud and clear. In case of three paragraph cover letters, here is an example of the purpose they could serve.
"THE COMPANY WANTS TO HIRE A GREAT TALENT AS MUCH AS
YOU WANT TO JOIN A GREAT COMPANY"
Introduction to yourself and a summary of your motivation - maximum 3 to 4 lines
- Explanation of your skills (only the ones relevant to the specific position)
- Following from your skills and connecting your motivation to the current job position - It is very important in this paragraph to highlight how the "company can benefit from your skills".
- Link the previous paragraph smoothly again - explain how the skills are indispensable for the company
6. THE BEST COVER LETTER TEMPLATE
The best template does not tell you all the words that you must write, it tells you what to write where. The same is true for a CV. No online cover letter template which is created without considering your specific profile can be useful for your job applications.
"THE SECRET BEHIND THE BEST COVER LETTER IS THE INGREDIENTS
NOT THE SERVING"
Click here to download a layout that will give you a basic structure over which you can build your Cover Letter. With the help of this layout, you will be able to use all the above mentioned points and take them into account. If you need our help on how to write a cover letter, use the contact form below to reach out to us. We provide you with the service at an unbeatable price - because we are here to sustain our business, not to make profits by demanding huge sums from our clients.
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Read more - 10 Tips on how to create a professional CV