Introduction

A cover letter is a document through which you get a chance to introduce yourself to the hiring manager in a different way – in ways that are memorable and also leave a mark on their minds. A recent study by the New York Times says that cover letters can give you a serious edge in a competitive market if they are written and presented effectively.

Well, that also means that a cover letter needs to be unique with every job application in order to increase your chances of being picked for an interview. Here's a simple outline for you to follow when writing a cover letter.

1. Contact details & Date

To start with, right beneath your header, there should be your contact details given to the recruiter. Remember, a cover letter is independent of the resume and hence cannot be written as a continuation of the same.

Contact details to be provided are:

  • Name
  • Email ID
  • Phone Number
  • Location
  • LinkedIn profile link
  • Website/Portfolio link

Leave a line and include the date of when the letter will be sent. This requires timely changes because you’ll be applying to umpteen jobs. Remember to change the dates when you do so.

Also, don't forget to add the company's contact information below the date. You will easily find it on the internet. It majorly includes:

  • Name of the person/company you're sending the cover letter to
  • Address of the company
  • Phone number of the company
  • Email ID of the person/company you're sending your cover letter to

2. Greetings

The first thing to do when you start the content of your cover letter is to address the hiring manager. Try using their full name after a suitable personal or professional title. For eg., Mr. X or Mrs. Y, or Dr. Z.

Use a standard greeting for the introductory salutation like ‘Dear’ or ‘Hello’. Don’t be too casual. If you know the person that you’re writing this to, then you can very well address them.

In most cases, candidates are not aware of to whom to address the letter. In such cases, using Sir/Ma’am also would not be required. Just writing the greeting or adding 'Hiring Manager' after the salutation would suffice.

3. Body

Firstly, you need to grab the attention of the hiring manager. Start off the letter by introducing yourself, and mentioning the position you’re applying for.

Follow it with how and where you found out about the position opening, be it on social media, through a friend, LinkedIn postings, or any other.

It would be great if you could also write a line or two about the organisation and why you would like to work with them. This will constitute the introduction paragraph.

Moving on to the main body of the letter, it should talk about your attributes, skills, and achievements that make you stand apart and make you a good fit for the position. Try to use phrases from the job description itself, but subtly. Cite some examples of where you encountered success in your previous endeavors.

Remember, statements when supported with examples become facts. Examples will strengthen your candidature. Talk about qualifications that make you eligible for the role. Everything you mention here should be interesting enough to grab the attention of the hiring manager.

4. Conclusion

The conclusion of your cover letter should be impactful. Maintain the attitude that you've been following for the entire body of the cover letter.

Summarize your main skills and give a recap of why this role is the one perfect for you, and why you will perform the best if the role was given to you. Be confident and showcase yourself as the best candidate for the job. Add in a quote for that creative touch.

5. Signature

Sign off with a closing salutation and put in your signature below. A few examples of closing salutations are:

  • Regards
  • Best Regards
  • Sincerely
  • Thanking You
  • Respectfully

You can use any other salutation, keeping in tune with the rest of the cover letter.


Here’s a sample cover letter that you can prepare for yourself by filling in your relevant details:

Manisha Shah
s.manisha@email.com
Mumbai
9xxxxx6xxxx

December 10th, 20XX

HR
Revolve Inc.
Mumbai

Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. (Hiring Manager’s name),

I have been looking for a company that values employees’ growth and development along the lines of its mission. I am interested in the position of (job role) as I have experience in this field, under (mention previous company's name).

My position at the company can be defined as (mention job role) with responsibilities which include (explain job description). I have managed to carry it forward (mention a successful project that you have completed under your previous company). This endeavor has turned out to be successful, with (mention examples with numbers).

I also have taken up courses such as (mention a course) as well as (mention another course) that have taught me valuable skills in (name of the field). In the future, I plan to complete (mention another course) for a better understanding of the field of (current job position).

My resume mentions the full extent of my career growth. I hope you will take a look at it and give me a call soon.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

(Signature)

Conclusion

A cover letter is sometimes the only thing that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd, that differentiates your application from an ocean of regular applications. You have to be careful and consider a multitude of things on how to make your application stand out.


If you want help with your resume, check out Board Infinity's free Resume Builder course where you could learn about a resume's formats, what action words to use, the skills you should mention, and find the best sample templates for your resume.