The cover letter added to your CV is an efficient tool to present your skills better and tell people your professional story. It can help you introduce yourself in a more personal way, stand out from other applicants of the company and give the employers reasons to memorize and choose your candidacy for this position. The importance of a well-crafted cover letter is hard to underestimate: it directly impacts your first impression and future career.
Cover Letter and Its Structure
Let’s start from the basic terms: find out what the cover letter means, examine its structure and provide writing tips. As an addition to your resume, a cover letter is your first introduction to the future employer which is intended to convey your personal qualities. There are no templates for cover letters: each one should be unique and targeted at the company you are writing to.
There is no official format: however, it has to be organized visually and follow a certain structure. Here is the standard body of some quite good cover letters:
- Memorable introduction;
- Specific and relevant examples of work;
- Problems successfully solved;
- Conclusion and call to action.
Taking it as the foundation, you can describe your professional experience by adding some valuable personal information.
Building Structure for a Strong Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter you do not have to fit all your career in there. It should contain carefully selected stories to give the reader a good idea of who you are and why you can bring value in the work of this company. Here is how you can achieve this:
- Address the recruiter by name – no standard sir or madam;
- An appropriate tone. Writing to the company, you first have to research it online, understand its culture and follow its general tone (for example, a legal firm`s voice greatly differs from a tech startup);
- Your story. Describing your previous career experiences is a good way to demonstrate your skills in practice and give some insights into your work style. Make sure that the stories are relevant and always stick to the job description;
- Honesty only. Stating the skills that you do not actually have can later ruin your overall impression and relationship with colleagues. It can also impact the work negatively;
- Sound different. HR managers read hundreds of cover letters and can distinguish a personally written letter from a template used by everyone. Do not use standard words like creative, ambitious, responsible, etc. At least its synonyms can make you sound different from other applicants;
- End with a call to action. Finish your letter with a good reason why they should contact you. Make it polite and let them know you are looking forward to their reply.
Things to leave off your cover letter:
- all irrelevant information that can confuse the readers or make them bored;
- overused phrases that are known by HR managers and annoy them (you can look up a detailed list of such phrases).
Submitting a Cover Letter
The longer you work on the creation of a perfect cover letter sample, the fewer chances you have to succeed (remember, your opponents are awake and ready to fight). Submit your cover letter as soon as you finish, proofread and edit it. Make sure that:
- Both CV and a cover letter have no grammatical and style errors;
- It has a balance of professional and personal qualities;
- It catches the attention from the first sentence and makes read to the end;
- All the job requirements are included;
- You have enough examples to reveal your strong points and stand out positively.
When submitting your CV, follow the instructions in the job description to make sure you did not miss anything. Find more examples of cover letters on the web to get inspired and apply for your dream job with no doubts!