Did you know that a good cover letter is very essential when looking for a job? Well, just like a CV, a cover letter is equally important, especially for the job seekers. A nicely written cover letter with a decent striking appeal can surely win you a job. This article will specifically address some of the ways on How to write a cover letter.
But first, before embarking on How to write a cover letter, you need to reflect on some vital information to include in your letter. Think about building your information. For instance, address the reasons why a particular company should hire you. Everything that you’re writing should always encourage the recruiter to consider you.
If you are not sure of what to include in the letter, it is advisable that you do some research. You can do the research regarding the company or that particular job you are applying for. Include such things like what the company does, their position in the market and their competitors. Doing a thorough research demonstrates your factual interest in the company and in the job you are seeking.
There are different types of cover letters that you may choose to write. For example, you may choose to write an email cover letter or a paper cover letter. Here are the steps to follow when writing a cover letter.
An Email Cover Letter
Include salutation at the beginning of your text. This depends on the amount of information you have about the company or institution. If you know the name of the manager, you can include the name in the salutation. For example, “Dear (insert his/her name) then include a colon or a coma.
However, if you don’t have enough information regarding the hiring manager, you should address your letter as “Dear (insert the company name) Team”. You can also choose to address the letter “To whom it may concern,” that is as your last resort.
2. First paragraph
Here, the writer must mention the job that he/she is applying for. It is also vital to include the place where you found the job listing which can be from the newspaper or their publications. The introduction needs not be too long. One to two sentences are perfectly enough.
Usually, the body of the letter will only contain 1 or 2 body paragraphs. This ensures that you don’t waste the time for the hiring team reading your letter. Be precise and try to answer such questions like;
Why am I qualified?
Why do I need to work for this specific company?
What job experience do I have?
4. Final paragraph
This is where you wrap up and discuss the way you’ll proceed with the application. In this last paragraph, consider including the following points:
Reiterate why you feel like you are perfect for the position
Discuss what you’ll contribute to the success of the company
Provide your contact details. Include a valid email address and a phone number
Mention that your references or resume are attached if that is applicable
Always thank the person for their time
Lastly, end your cover letter with a very respectful closing statement. For instance, you can say “sincerely’ or “Best”. They are both classic options to contain in the letter. Since you may not be able to append your signature, it is important to finish your letter with a full name.
Paper Cover Letter
Here are the steps to follow when writing a paper cover letter:
1. At the top of the letter, add a letter head. The letterhead should contain your full name, telephone, and email address. Here are some useful guidelines;
Write the name in bold, 14 or 16 point font
Addresses and other personal information are written in normal 12 point font size.
The font at the letterhead doesn’t need to be in Times New Roman or Arial format. Just make it professional and readable
Include up-to-date information so that the hiring employer can be in touch with you anytime
Include an optional extra line under your letterhead to create an impressive visual appeal. This is also vital as it separates the letterhead from the body.
2. Write the name of the recipient plus the address under the letterhead. The position of the date doesn’t actually matter. You may choose to write it first or last. It just ought to look very professional.
From this point, use a 12 point Arial or the Times New Roman throughout the letter. The margins should be one inch with a single spacing. Use a black font. When printing, always use a standard-sized paper.
3. Address the recipient. Always address your recipient by his/her proper title. If you are not sure, choose to write “To Whom It May Concern” or you can say “Dear Sir or Madam”. However, it is advisable to address the letter to a real person.
4. State the purpose of your letter in the first paragraph. Tell them the reasons you’re writing to them the letter. Use two to three sentences in order to keep the precision. State the position or the job description that you are applying for.
Here, you don’t need to tell how you found the position unless it was through a recruiting program or a mutual contact.
In case you are writing a letter of interest, state the reason why you are particularly interested in working for the employer.
5. Clearly outline your qualifications
Match your qualifications with the requirements of the job position. Make your qualifications impressive by doing a thorough research on the company history. This is particularly useful during the interview.
Include an appropriate positive statement or question that can motivate your impending employer to contact you. However, make it simple and precise. It can be two to four lines, but which are catchy and remarkable. Specify that you are available in case of an interview and direct your employer to your resume. Finish your cover letter by thanking the recruiting team for their time and consideration. Moreover, welcome them to contact you anytime.
6. Write an appropriate closing statement. You may choose to thank the readers for their attention and time too. After that, write” Respectfully,” Sincerely” or “Regards”. Leave enough space and print your name.
7. Append your signature. If submissions will be done in a digital format, it is advisable that you scan the letter and append your signature. Use a digital writing pad to write it. You may also choose to use appropriate software to write a digital signature stamp.
As a final point on How to write a cover letter, make the necessary notations for enclosures. If you enclose a resume in a cover letter, clearly indicate that your cover letter contains a resume. This will give the recruiting team an easy time looking for your documents.
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