It is a common mistake to spend too much time building a strong resume and underestimating the power of a cover letter.
A resume is a professional reflection of who you are as a specialist, your skills, and your knowledge. The cover letter is a statement of your potential contribution to the company reinforcement. Cover letter writing is a creative process that requires more than stating your qualifications. At the same time, CL has a strict structure and vital points highlighted. In a nutshell cover letter is professional business writing with a personal touch.
Professional Cover Letter Structure
The well-structured cover letter should include:
- Contact area
- Opening paragraph
- Middle paragraph
- Closing paragraph
- Professional Sign off
This is the basic 3-4 paragraph cover letter which should not be more than 500 words. The rule of thumb is to make it concise but mention all the important information.
This section is important because the hiring manager should easily access your contacts if they want to write or call you back. It is also important to mention the contacts in case the cover letter and resume are sent separately or files get lost in pairs. By seeing your Name on the top of the letter, the hiring manager will be able to match your CL and resume.
The contact area should include:
- Your Name and surname
- Your address
- Your cell phone number
- You email
- Your LinkedIn URL (if any)
You must introduce yourself and greet the reader. This letter section is a basic formality that is always necessary for formal letters.
Greet your reader in a professional way:
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear Hiring Manager Name (if known)
- To whom it may concern
When you’re writing a cover letter, it’s important to remember that first impressions matter. Your cover letter is your opportunity to make a good first impression on a potential employer, so you want to be sure that it’s well-written and free of errors. Go straight to the point after you greet your hiring manager. State the most important points shortly but strongly:
The opening paragraph should include:
- Mention the job title you are applying for and where you found out about the job advertisement.
- Explain your special interest in the role and company. Briefly describe major experience or qualification that makes you a good fit.
It is the biggest and most crucial part of your CL. Here you should use all your writing skills and creativity to show you professional strength and experience relevant to the company you are applying to. Remember to use a story-telling approach and give some cases and achievements examples. Add a personal touch and describe the work challenges and how you conquered them.
The middle paragraph should include:
- A concise summary of your experience relevant to the role.
- Essential accomplishments, abilities, and specialties that uniquely qualify you for the company and position
- Share specifics about the success, including quantitative impacts.
- Pay close attention to the job description’s keywords and incorporate those in the body of the cover letter.
When you’re closing a cover letter, thank the employer for their time and express your interest in the role. Close your letter appropriately and use those last 2-3 sentences to make the most powerful statement. Reinforce your strength and motives, show why you are the right person to hire.
The closing paragraph should include:
- Highlights why you are the perfect candidate one more time.
- Do not repeat the same patterns; instead, find the shared values, add stories, describe goals.
You can also mention that you will follow up with them soon. Keep it professional, friendly, and positive, and you’re sure to make a great impression.
Professional Sign off
Another formal element of the letter, which you should add to your CL.
As a professional sign off include:
- Show that you look forward to hearing from the employer about the next steps.
- End with sincere signature at the bottom.
The cover letter is an essential part of the job application process. Even if the application does not require the candidate to include the cover letter, it is always nice to send it added as an email or in a doc. Format to show your interest in the position. The perfect CL should follow the structure discussed above. It is crucial to have an attention-grabbing introduction to state your top skills, accomplishment, and possible positive contribution to the job. Gather all your inspiration and get ready to create your advertising in the form of a cover letter. Remember: do not tell – show!