The pandemic has forced organizations to rethink their decentralized recruitment strategies. Virtual interviews have become the new normal. HR managers are encouraging candidates to submit job applications including cover letters and resumes online.
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a single-page document that goes with your job application. Think of it as your introduction to the hiring manager. Moreover, it provides context for your qualifications and achievements. It also allows you to explain your reason for joining the organization.
It’s not just about writing a cover letter. The document must be able to appeal to the employer in every way. Yes, we’re talking about the perfect cover letter. A good cover letter is essential when it comes to selling your application to the company.
What are the Must-Haves in Cover Letter?
A good cover letter consists of four elements. They are:
A cover letter begins with a professional greeting aka salutation. This is the part where you address the company or the organization by name.
Your introduction to the hiring manager as well as your reason(s) for joining the company. It should be simple, concise, and to the point. You must create an attention-grabbing introduction to make an immediate impact.
The body usually consists of two paragraphs (max three). They provide context for your experience, skills, achievements, and educational background.
This part contains the call to action. You are asking the hiring manager to schedule an interview with you. The closing statement should be clear, articulate, and impactful.
What to Include in the Header of a Cover Letter?
The header is one of the most important parts of a cover letter. It is usually written in bold to create an impression in the eyes of the hiring manager. In all, the header includes the following information:
- Contact Info (email and phone number)
- Name and job title of the hiring manager
- Name and address of the company
You can also add:
- Your current designation
- Home address
- Link to your digital profile (websites, blogs, social media accounts)
It is advisable to keep the cover letter as presentable as possible. Make sure to use a valid email address issued by respected providers such as Gmail or Outlook. Also, don’t use ids like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You’ll regret it, trust me.
How to Write a General Cover Letter?
Suppose you are applying for a mid-level content writing job. The header of your cover letter should include all the elements listed above. Here’s a refresher:
- Your name and other relevant information
- Salutation followed by the name of the hiring manager
- Company name and address
The next part is the introduction. Use attention-grabbing words to introduce yourself to the hiring manager. Important elements to incorporate include self-introduction, expertise, how you came across the job posting, and why do you think you’re the best fit for the job. Consider the following example:
I’m writing to apply for the position of content writer at XYZ company. I have more than three years of experience creating marketing copies for different organizations and am confident that I’ll be a valuable addition to your organization.
The next two paragraphs should include details of your skills, achievements, experience, as well as your educational background. You can use bullets to highlight your responsibilities and achievements. Take two paragraphs max to convey your intent.
What Makes a Great Cover Letter?
A good cover letter consists of multiple elements as well as compelling words. Make sure to sound as polite as possible in your cover letter. The content of the cover letter should be concise and straightforward. Do not waste your and the hiring manager’s time by talking about your interests or why you haven’t watched Squid Game yet.
Make sure to list specific responsibilities in addition to telling how you have proved to be a key player to your current employer. A good cover letter adds value to another important document that is your resume. It should complement your overall work experience. Also, don’t forget to include a call-to-action so that the hiring manager could call you without giving it a second thought.