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Writing great resume cover letters

The cover letter is an introduction to the resume and a unique chance to draw the attention of the employer and demonstrate the qualities that will stand out against the background of other applicants for the position under consideration. That is why itis very important to approach the writing of a cover letter with attention and special care. Below are some tips on how to write great resume cover letters that will help you make sure that your cover letter is noticed from a number of other letters.

How do you write a cover letter?

First of all, every cover letter should take into account some particular features of the vacancy and show the employer why you are the very person the company needs. In order for your cover letter to attract attention, review the job description again and highlight the main words describing the skills and qualities necessary for the position. Then try to bring from your previous experience those specific examples that will confirm your skills in this area.

For example, in the description of a position, it can be written that the employer company is in search of an active and open person with pronounced abilities to work in a team. The key words here are “active and open”, “pronounced”, and “team.” To get an invitation for an interview, the cover letter should show how you meet the criteria. Remember that the cover letter should no duplicate the resume. It is only its addition, emphasizing your abilities and drawing attention to the very resume. To begin with, it’s better to write a draft and then ask someone to view it, and then send it to the employer.

Secrets of writing a successful cover letter

Here are some secrets to write a successful cover letter:

  • Make sure that the subject of the letter is written clearly.
  • When addressing a person, do not use the impersonal expressions such as “Dear employer”, “Hello”, or “Good day!”
  • Address the person by name. Be sure to include the name of the vacancy and leave your contact information.
  • Keep in mind that everything should be on the same page.
  • Write clearly, on the matter. Indicate the skills and experience, giving specific examples, proving that it is you who approach the position in this company.
  • Adapt each cover letter.

Forget about standard cover letters. Your task is to show your uniqueness and convince the employer that you are the best candidate.

Greeting

A greeting may seem a little detail but the greeting in the letter can say a lot about the candidate. Use a greeting for the cover letter that fits into the rules of business correspondence:“Good afternoon” or “How do you do.” This will immediately ask a benevolent tone, while not being obtrusive.

Interest

Recruiters have to face candidates who clicked the Respond button just because the vacancy seemed alright to them. At the same time, it is not clear whether the applicant wants to receive this post or he responds to all ads in a row. Literally, in one sentence in the cover letter, tell why you liked this vacancy.For example, if the company is looking for the head of the department for the sale of real estate, you can write something like this “For over four years, I managed a team of managers for the sale of building materials. The sale of real estate has always seemed to me more attractive, and your vacancy is an opportunity to change the scope of activities to the one that is more suitable for me.”

Specificity

In the cover letter, it is important to answer the question why you are ideally suited for this job. To do this, in one paragraph, describe the significant achievements and skills that the employer will read in more detail in the resume.

If you are interested in the vacancy of the designer, you can write: “In the last year I work more with vector graphics, mostly outdoor advertising. A job that I’m proud of is a corporate calendar for the year (link). Our team managed to make it not boring, we got a lot of good feedback from clients and users of our website. I also made animated screensavers for one of the TVchannels, here are links to them.”

Coincidence of values

Before you compose a cover letter, examine the company’s web page to understand the characteristics of its corporate culture. If there are direct coincidences with your values, then this should also be indicated when responding to a vacancy.

Let’s say that a separate collection of garbage is organized in the office of the company, and you really like this idea. Then in the cover letter, you can write: “It’s great that you think about the ecology of the planet. Every year I participate in planting trees and get rid of plastic and glass separately. For me, it is important that the company shares my values.” Use this technique only if your values really match the values of the company.

Call to action

In fact, with the help of a cover letter, you are trying to sell your candidacy to the recruiter. Therefore, at the end of the letter, a call to action is appropriate – “pay attention to my resume”, “please, consider my candidacy for a vacancy”, “I am ready to answer your questions”, etc.

Structure of the letter

To properly write a cover letter to the resume, you need to talk about these 4 things:

  • What do you want to do (or what job do you claim)?
  • A brief description of your experience (2–3 sentences).
  • A brief description of your strengths and abilities.
  • Why do you want to work in this company?

All these 4 topics should occupy a maximum of half of the A4page. The attempt to write a covering letter in the form of a treatise is critical.

You can imagine that your resume is a product and a cover letter is its packaging. Now, remember how you choose the products in the store. A worthy packaging attracts attention and makes you come up and look at the goods closer. The same principle works –the packaging is extremely important for a resume.

What should you pay attention to?

Here are the things you need to pay attention to when writing a cover letter:

  • A greeting by name. Do not be lazy, call the company and find out the name of the head of the department or company. In the worst case, send a resume to the HR manager. But address them strictly by name.
  • In the first line after the greeting, immediately designate the purpose of the letter.
  • Write about yourself and your experience very briefly. This is described in detail in the resume.
  • A little more detail about your preferences in work and the strongest abilities. It is optimal to choose 3 strong abilities.More is a lot, less is little.
  • Indicate your interest in this company. To do this, you need to carefully study the company’s website, its activities, communicate with those who work or worked there (these people are usually easy to find on social networks), etc. The more exclusive your motivation for this company is, the higher the chances of getting a job there.
  • Offer to see your resume.
  • Your signature and contact information. A signature is generally a sign of a good business tone. In this case, it’s just convenient for the employer.

The cover letter should not be too long. Otherwise, you risk that the recruiting manager won’t simply read it since nobody wants to read a long composition. Ideally, your cover letter should consist of no more than three to four paragraphs, containing only the most important details and relating directly to a particular job. Therefore, you will have to write a few cover letters for each specific position, the same applies to the resume.

What to avoid when writing a letter

These are the things you need to avoid in your cover letter:

  • A letter with errors doesn’t look professional at all. Joke sand emoticons are in most cases inappropriate.
  • It is better to attach the photo to the resume (it should not be your selfie on the beach).
  • Don’t write anything like “I’m not looking for anything special” – the recruiter should be sure that you are interested in a particular position and company.
  • It is not recommended to indicate the desired salary, especially to high-level candidates.
  • Do not list what you are not ready for (moving, start-up or frequent business trips), that is, trying to dictate your terms.This discourages the second party from continuing to communicate with you.

Of course, your letter should contain formal sections that correspond to the requirements of business correspondence, address to the addressee, and a signature with contact coordinates.

The appearance of the letter also matters. Do not use more than two font sets in the letter. Be cautious with underlining, italic, and text in bold. Like any other document, the letter should be neat and well-structured. All this shows that you have taken care of making your letter easy to read and it is important for you to make a good impression.

If you send a letter by mail, make sure that the letter itself, the resume, and the envelope are of good quality, beige or white.Print a letter on a quality printer. When sending a letter and resume by e-mail, make sure that you saved them in a standard format. For example, as a Word document. The e-mail letter, to which you attach the resume file should be brief, polite, and to the point.

A bad cover letter may cost you a good job. In order for the employer to notice you, you need to write a laconic and memorable letter.

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