How to write a cover letter?

cover letter

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a document we add to our CV when we are looking for a job. It is not compulsory and is not always required. However, it is a good idea to create one in order to attract the attention of a recruiter or future employer. In the covering letter, we present ourselves at our best. You describe your strengths, aptitudes and interest in the job. Justify why you are applying to a particular company.


An effective cover letter – how to write one?

There are many generic templates for a cover letter. If you don’t know how to write it, you can follow the ones given on the internet. Start it by breaking it down into sections. 

Introduction

Address your cover letter to a specific person or department. By doing so, you will show that you are addressing it individually and not to all workplaces. It is a huge mistake to create general CVs and cover letters. By doing so, you show your commitment to the job.

Write the date and location in the top right-hand corner. Show that your cover letter is up-to-date and created specifically for the recruitment.

Include your name, contact details, phone number and a relevant email address. Many people add an unprofessional email that is glaring in the eyes of recruiters. A professional email should include your name.

Remember that the introduction of your cover letter should be quite short and contain 2-5 sentences. You can write your introduction simply and formally or you can start unusually – more creatively to attract attention. Most importantly, start with polite phrases such as: “Dear Sir”, “Dear Madam”. If you don’t know to whom the document will be addressed, write “Dear Sirs”. Remember that the introduction should encourage further reading and pique the interest of the recruiter.

This is the time to make a good first impression. Write what position you are applying for, perhaps the company is recruiting for more than one. Start by saying “I am happy to apply to your company XYZ for position X”. Find out as much as you can about the company and elaborate on why you chose it and want to work there. Convince the recruiter or future employer that you are the right person for the job. Remember that just saying that you are interested in the job is not convincing.

Development

This is where you need to show your attractiveness among other candidates. Present yourself.  Include any information that is not in your CV. It is very important not to copy them directly. The cover letter has to refer to these details, but not duplicate them. Expand on them by showing your human side. 

If you do not meet all the requirements, please write to say that you want to develop yourself. Acquiring the right knowledge and skills will be important and desirable for you to make the best possible introduction to your new job.

Tell us in detail about your experience, qualifications and achievements. List some reasons why you are the right person for the job. Describe your character traits, skills and tell how you would use them in the position.

Write concretely, avoid vague phrases like ‘I am responsible and can work in a group’. Try to act out of the box. Instead, write “I led a team of eight people”. 

Pay attention to the number of paragraphs. Remember that a cover letter should be no longer than one sheet of A4. There may be as many as several hundred applicants for one position. Recruiters certainly do not have time to read very long cover letters. Focus on the most important things and present yourself in this way. Be concise, but at the same time credible.

Conclusion

Include your signature and a courtesy phrase at the end. Express your willingness to meet and talk about yourself in person. Summarise again, briefly, why you should be invited to it. Express your interest in the company and the job. Thank the person reading your cover letter for their time. You can also ask the recruiter at the very end if he/she would like to invite you for an interview. You might just make yourself memorable with this question.


Is it worth writing a cover letter?

Not every employer requires you to include a cover letter in your application documents. However, it is worth adding one to show your interest to a prospective employer. It will help you complete your CV and show your commitment to the job. You will help convince them that you are suitable for the position.


What else to look out for in a cover letter?

  • Format the text.
  • Check that the information given is up to date.
  • Describe only the facts. Do not write false information. 
  • Save it as a PDF.
  • Check for typos.
  • Adapt the style of the language to make it understandable. 
  • Try to make the whole cover letter coherent.
  • Insert your consent to data processing (RODO).
  • You can briefly state your interests (preferably industry-specific).
  • If you are sending your application documents electronically, include them in one file.
  • Gather as much information about the company as possible – this will provide you with clues as to what to look out for (company objectives, mission, vision).
  • Remember the culture of the language.
  • Take inspiration from templates available on the internet – do not copy ready-made sentences.

Cover letter – summary

  • Create a cover letter individually for each job offer. 
  • Do not copy data from your CV. 
  • Pay attention to the length of the document. 
  • Refer to the requirements of the advertisement.
  • State your responsibilities at your previous company. 
  • Describe only those skills that will be useful for the specific job.
  • Use polite phrases.
  • Write the current date and location. 
  • Focus on the benefits you will bring to your employer. 
  • Be specific and detailed.
  • Provide evidence of why you are suitable for the job
  • Express your willingness to meet.

A cover letter is a document that will help you stand out from other candidates. Prepare it professionally, paying attention to our tips, and you might be able to find a new job! 😉


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