12 Jan How to Write an Effective Cover Letter to Apply For a Job?
When you apply for work and respond to job advertisements, sending a cover letter along with your resume is not only required, but also is one better and preferable way to present yourself to the hiring manager and to shine in front of the other candidates. Your cover letter is powerful tool when it comes to finding a job and it is essential to provide very well-written one to increase your chances for success. Keep in mind that it works in your advantage only when it is written in really good manner, otherwise it can lead to opposite results and have unwanted effects.
Typically a cover letter is written in addition to your resume. It is fundamental to create custom cover letter for every position that you apply for. Your cover letter has to be personalised and specially created for the position that you are interested in. Spend enough time and effort creating it and do not rush during your writing process. It seems as very difficult task, but when you practice and approach with the right technique, soon you will master this very important skill.
Your cover letter is not a copy of your resume. It is written with the purpose to support the information in your CV and to relate this information with the description of the job that you are applying for. When you work on your cover letter, you can choose between many formats and templates, but there are certain steps and requirements that you have to add in account to create very well-written and catchy text.
There are particular elements of the cover letter that need to be taken under consideration when you are writing yours. These components are: contact information, yours and the employer’s; appropriate salutation; body of the letter, which includes three or more paragraphs; cover letter closure; signature and enclosures.
Every cover letter starts with adding your contact information, your name, address, city, phone number and e-mail address. The employer’s contact information is included as well in the beginning of the cover letter following the same order. If you don’t have the specific contact information of the company, you can search for it on their website. When your cover letter is in e-mail format, better include your contact information in the end.
When it comes to salutation of the cover letter, it is always good to address the person that you are sending your documents to with his full name. Example of the most appropriate way is: “Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss [include the name]. If you don’t know the name of the person, then you can address the letter to Dear Hiring Manager, for example. It is not recommended to use “To whom it may concern”, even though it is still very wide used salutation, it sounds very summing and inconvenient.
After you include the right and appropriate salutation, then you can start with writing the body of the cover letter. In the first paragraph it is very common to mention the exact position you are applying for, where and when the job advertisement was published. Then you can include summarized text of what your skills are and how they meet the requirements of the job advertisement, why you are interested in this ad and how you can bring benefits to the company if they choose to hire you. Do not copy and paste paragraphs from your resume or from the job advertisement description. Underline the information that displays that what you have to offer meets what they are searching for.
“Do not copy and paste paragraphs from your resume or from the job advertisement description”
Write your closing paragraph in a manner that explains how you will follow up after you send the resume and the cover letter. Provide information about what actions you are expecting to be done. Add that you will be waiting for response via phone call or e-mail, which is basic call to action approach.
Once your letter is ready, you need to finish it with the appropriate signature. The most preferable signature phrases are: Yours Sincerely or Best regards, followed by your name and signature.
In the end of the cover letter you can add a list of the documents that you are attaching to the file in addition to your cover letter and resume. The enclosure section is important, because it dismisses the possibility some of your other documents to stay unnoticed.
On the next page you can find a sample letter template that can help you write the best cover letter on your own. This one is created specifically as a response to a job advertisement from a company that needs to hire senior accountant.
Each application letter should be unique and specific to you and the employer. Keep it brief – never more than 1 page. Each paragraph should have no more than one to three sentences.
First paragraph (2-4 sentences)
State the title of the job you are applying for and where you saw it advertised. (This is important as the organisation may have advertised more than one position)
Show enthusiasm for the job. Capture their attention.
Second paragraph (1-2 paragraphs depending on background )
This paragraph tells the employer why you believe you are the ideal person for the job – what skills and experience match the job description. Highlight your most significant accomplishments. Make reference to enclosures. Your aim is to encourage the employer to seek more information from your resume. Use solid action words.
Third paragraph (or dot points)
A series of 5-6 dot points reflecting what they have asked for in the advertisement
Fourth Paragraph (4 sentences maximum)
States your personal attributes that are applicable.
States your commitment to attend an interview and your availability
Mention that you have enclosed a resume
Your contact information:
Employer contact information:
Address of the company
Dear Mr. [include his name here],
I am writing to you in conjunction with the job advertisement for the open position of Senior Accountant that you have posted on Jobs.com.
I have a Cert III in Office Admin and specialization in data entry. I have worked as Senior Administrative Officer for over four years. My duties and responsibilities included preparing accounting reports for our clients, budgeting, tax planning and developing investment strategies. I have managed a team of five junior and assistant accountants and have good experience as a team leader. I have high level IT skills and work comfortably with some of the most popular and widely used accounting software programs.
My ability to handle critical situations and to take fast decisions, combined with my strong personal skills, high education and work experience make me believe that I am the candidate that you are looking for to join your highly professional team of experts.
I wish to meet you personally so we can discuss in details my qualifications and my ability to bring benefit to your company. If you are interested in my offer, do not hesitate to contact me through my e-mail or to reach me by phone call.
Thank you for your consideration.
[include your name and signature]