How To Write A Compelling Cover Letter That Gets Noticed

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph May 29, 2023
Updated 2023/05/29 at 5:16 PM
Strong employer brand

You’re almost at the end of your extensive job search after putting in weeks of effort. Your resume is now flawless, and you have carefully selected the most appealing job opportunities to pursue. Additionally, you have received comprehensive interview question training from a friend.

However, just when you thought you were ready to submit your application and be done with it, you realize that the job advertisement requires a cover letter.

Now you find yourself in a dilemma, unsure of how to approach writing a cover letter. But there’s no need to panic! We are here to help you. Crafting a cover letter is actually much simpler than you may believe.

In this guide, we will provide you with valuable instructions on writing a cover letter that will greatly increase your chances of securing the job you truly deserve.

Why Need A Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a concise document, usually one page that accompanies your job application along with your CV or resume. Its main objective is to provide an introduction and summarize your professional experience. It is recommended that your cover letter falls within the range of 250 to 400 words.

An effective cover letter has the potential to capture the attention of the HR manager and encourage them to review your resume.

Conversely, a poorly written cover letter may result in your application being discarded. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the art of crafting a persuasive cover letter in order to avoid such a fate.

Remember, it’s important to note that a cover letter should complement your resume rather than duplicate its contents. In other words, you shouldn’t simply reiterate what is already mentioned in your resume.

Cover Letter Preparation

Initially, it is essential to engage in preparatory research. Take the initiative to gather extensive knowledge about the team you aspire to become a part of. Begin by examining your company’s website and, if accessible, the team’s intranet.

Subsequently, delve into industry websites, journals, or newsletters to acquire relevant news and information concerning both the company and the overall industry.

This approach ensures that you remain well-informed about the latest developments and possible challenges within your field.

By utilizing this information, you can enhance your comprehension of the team’s requirements and identify ways in which you could potentially contribute and provide assistance.

It is important to ensure that your cover letter strikes the appropriate tone, aligning with the culture of your organization. You probably have a good understanding of this already, but it’s worth noting that different teams and departments may have varying work styles.

For instance, some may prefer a formal and reserved approach, while others may have a more relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Additionally, it is crucial to assess your résumé from the perspective of the hiring manager. Are there any aspects that might raise concerns for them?

For instance, are there any gaps in your work history? It is advisable to provide concise explanations for such instances in your cover letter, such as taking a career break to prioritize family responsibilities.

Elements Of A Cover Letter

Grammar And Punctuation:

You can easily prevent these errors from happening. A poorly written cover letter with spelling mistakes or omissions appears negligent and lacking in professionalism. Utilize a dictionary to aid you in avoiding such mistakes.

Additionally, it is advisable to seek the assistance of another person to review your letter, as a fresh perspective can catch any errors you may have overlooked.

Reading the letter aloud can also be beneficial in ensuring that it maintains a smooth and coherent flow.

Confidence:

Instead of expressing your “belief” or “feelings” about being the ideal candidate for the job, display confidence in your convictions and assert that you possess the certainty that you are indeed the right person for the position.

Clichés And Jargon:

While incorporating relevant technical terms, keep in mind that the initial reader of your letter might be an HR manager rather than a team leader or subject matter expert.

It is important to note that jargon and acronyms can have varying meanings across different teams or businesses, which may lead to confusion.

Likewise, please refrain from using overused phrases like “people person” or “thinking outside the box” that lack meaningful substance.

How To Write A Compelling Cover Letter:

Introduction:

Capture the reader’s attention from the start by crafting an engaging opening paragraph. Briefly introduce yourself and emphasize why you would be a valuable addition to their team, showcasing your enthusiasm for the position.

For instance, you might begin with something like, “Having successfully led sales teams and consistently surpassed targets for the past six years as a sales manager, I couldn’t contain my excitement upon discovering your advertisement for the role of regional sales director.”

This introduction is far more captivating than a simple statement like, “I am writing this letter to apply for the position of regional sales director that I saw on LinkedIn.”

Salute The Hiring Manager:

After ensuring that your contact information is accurately provided, it is important to begin composing the content of your cover letter.

The initial step is to address the cover letter specifically to the hiring manager.

Yes, that’s correct—the hiring manager! Instead of using the generic and widely used “Dear Sir or Madam,” you want to demonstrate to your prospective employer that you have conducted research and possess genuine enthusiasm for joining their team.

Employers are not interested in hiring job seekers who simply send out mass applications to numerous companies, hoping to be hired by any of them.

So, how can you determine who the hiring manager is? The easiest approach is to search for the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn.

For instance, if you are applying for the role of a Communication Specialist at BusyTape, the hiring manager is likely to be the Head of Communications or the Chief Communications Officer.

Sell Yourself:

Subsequently, elucidate the contributions you can make to the position. Provide instances of skills you have honed or accomplishments you have achieved that align with the job requirements.

Ensure precision and quantify your achievements whenever feasible. For instance, if you surpassed your sales goals, mention the exact percentage or monetary value.

It is important to maintain honesty and resist the temptation to overstate or embellish your accomplishments, as this is unethical and can have negative consequences if discovered.

Show Passion:

While possessing the necessary credentials and professional background is crucial for a job, employers also value your genuine enthusiasm for the position and their organization.

Articulate the reasons why the company or department captivates you, such as emphasizing your alignment with their core values.

This demonstrates your potential for active involvement, dedication, and long-term commitment.

Conclude And Request Follow-up:

In conclusion, summarize your written points and express your readiness for an interview. You can end with a powerful closing statement like, “Throughout my career, I have consistently achieved exceptional outcomes and embraced every opportunity for growth.

I am excited to have the opportunity to meet with you and explore how I can contribute my expertise to your team.”

How To Format Your Cover Letter

To enhance the professional appearance of your cover letter, structure it as if you were preparing to mail it, even if you intend to send it via email. Follow these step-by-step instructions for organizing your cover letter:

  • Place your name and address at the top right corner of the page.
  • Write the name and address of the potential employer on the left side of the page.
  • Include the date of your letter below the employer’s address, aligned to the left
  • Begin your letter with a salutation like “Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name].” Avoid using “To whom it may concern.” If you’re unsure about the appropriate recipient, send an email to the HR department to inquire.
  • Opt for a clear and legible font, such as Arial or Helvetica, with a font size of 10 or 12 points.
  • Maintain adequate spacing between paragraphs, use wide margins, and avoid overcrowding the page.
  • Leave a line space after the final paragraph and conclude with a closing phrase like “Yours sincerely” or “Best regards.” Leave a couple of line spaces below the closing and then sign your full name, typing it out beneath your signature. If you’re sending the letter electronically, there’s no need to physically sign it—simply type your name instead.

Things To Omit From A Cover Letter

Telling Jokes:

It is advisable to refrain from engaging in such behaviour, as humour is extremely subjective and prone to being misinterpreted with ease.

Mentioning Your Salary (Current Or Anticipated):

Avoid doing this unless specifically requested in the job advertisement. It is advisable to withhold this type of information until you have the opportunity to negotiate a job offer.

Duplicating Same Cover Letter For Every Role:

Naturally, there will be some similarities between cover letters for various applications. However, it is crucial to ensure that your cover letter is explicitly tailored to the specific job you are applying for, rather than being a generic copy-and-paste with minor adjustments.

Conclusion:

By presenting a well-crafted cover letter, you can demonstrate to prospective employers that you possess the qualities necessary for the desired position. The opening of your cover letter provides an opportunity to express your genuine passion and eagerness while emphasizing the relevant skills and attributes that align with the job requirements. Acquiring knowledge on how to initiate a cover letter effectively enables you to captivate the recruiter’s interest.

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