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.
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.
Well, that also means that a cover letter needs to be unique with every job application.
Let’s see how to write a perfect cover letter with a sample.
Contact details & date
Remember, that a cover letter is independent of the resume and hence cannot be written as a continuation of the same. As any standard letter, contact details like name, email ID, LinkedIn profile link should be included at the top of the cover letter. You may keep the format the same as how you have written in the resume. 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. Add the employer’s address below the date. You will find it on the internet.
Use a standard greeting 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 whom to address the letter. In such cases, using Sir/Ma’am also would not be required. Just writing the greeting would suffice.
Start off the letter by introducing yourself, and mention the position you’re applying to. Write a few lines about why you would be interested in taking up that particular job role.
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 endeavours.
Remember, statements when supported with examples become facts. Examples will strengthen your candidature. Talk about qualifications that make you eligible for the role.
The conclusion should be impactful. Summarise 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. Add in a quote for that creative touch.
Sign off with a salutation like ‘Yours sincerely’ or ‘Hoping for the best’ and put in your signature below. Keep this to the left.
Here’s a sample cover letter that you can prepare for yourself by filling in your relevant details:
December 10th, 20XX
Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. (Manager’s name),
I have been looking for a company which 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 forward (mention a successful project that you have completed under your previous company). This endeavour 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 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.