Do you ever freeze when a job posting requests that you MUST include a cover letter? Instead of being lazy (or scared) and skipping the job posting entirely, check out these tips that will help you write a successful cover letter. You might actually land the job!
1. Start off with a Heading
Instead of jumping straight to the point and saying “Dear…”, include a heading that contains your name, address, phone number, and email to make your letter more formal. Then include the hiring manager’s name, company address, phone number, and email.
Format your contact information like this:
First and Last Name
City, State Zip
2. Cover Letter Salutation
When writing a cover letter, you must always formally open it by saying “Dear Mr./Mrs. Last Name”. If you happen to not know the hiring manager’s name, write “Dear Hiring Manager” instead of “To Whom it May Concern.”
3. Write an Introduction that will stand out
The introduction of your cover letter should state what job you are applying for. You can also mention briefly how your skills and experience make you an ideal candidate for the position. You do not need to elaborate too much but that is what the body of the cover letter is for. Also, include any value mutual connections such as a “former colleagues, First Name Last Name, referred me to this position.” Like all introductions, your goal is to get the reader’s attention.
4. Be Enthusiastic
In order to write a successful cover letter, keep in mind that you do not want to make your letter sound dry by writing “I am applying for position A because x, y, and z”. A great way to convey your enthusiasm is mentioning your admiration or knowledge of the company. Enthusiasm can translate to employers someone who is highly-motivated, successful, and confident. A great example is the following:
“I was excited to see that Company ABC is hiring an event manager skilled at increasing brand awareness and driving growth with high-traffic events—especially since I’ve attended several of your company’s speaking events myself.”
5. Include your skills and abilities
In order to write a successful cover letter, the body of your letter should answer one question: Why you are the perfect fit for this position? Don’t be afraid to sound braggy; now is the time for you to elaborate on any skills or previous experience the elevates you as the perfect candidate for the job. Also include how you will be an asset to the company. Do a little research on the company to delve further into the company’s mission and vision and see what skills or abilities you can bring to the company.
6. Do not repeat your entire Resume
Though you can evidently pull a lot of information from your resume to your cover letter, do not completely use the same sentences like “Handled customer disputes.” A resume is meant to be concise with everything compacted onto one page. With a cover letter, you now have the advantage to elaborate in more detail about your previous work experiences. Describe any additional details and be more precise when you mention something like “handled customer disputes.” Maybe write an example or two for the situation as well.
7. Close your cover letter politely
You should close your letter by expressing how grateful and appreciative you are that they are taking the time to consider you and state how you look forward to hearing from them and how you are willing to further discuss your abilities and experiences with them. A great example is the following:
“Thank you for taking the time to review my resume. I truly believe that my past experience and education would make me a valuable asset for your organization. I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to learn more about (insert something specific about the company from your research) and how I can contribute to that effort.”