Writing a cover letter

18 Jun 2021

Now that you’ve identified the jobs that you’re interested in, it’s time to start sending out your CVs and cover letters. The issue now is that some aren’t sure what to say in cover letters and what to include. Let’s get right into it. A cover letter is sent alongside your CV as part of your job application. The letter acts as an introduction and a way to talk about your previous jobs. Your goal here is to convince your potential that you’re worth a shot and that they should shortlist you for an interview. You need to make them want to know more about you, without being mysterious, of course. HRs tend to go cover letter, then CV, so keep that in mind. On the other hand, a bad letter is likely to end up in the recycling bin. 

Moreover, don’t forget that the cover letter goes with the CV and not instead of, so you’ve got to offer something different. If you’re repeating the same content as your CV, the HR will get bored, and you won’t stand out. What many fear about such letters is that quality writing may not be their strongest suit but luckily, good writing won’t get you on the shortlist. By following a format that’s been tried and tested, you can forget about creativity and your writing skills worries. The cover letter should be one page long and between 250 and 400 words. Try following this format when writing the document: 

  • Header, where you should enter your contact details.

Include your full name, phone number, email, date, name of the hiring manager and their professional title, name of the company you’re applying to. 

  • Greeting, identifying why you are writing the letter.

Address the reader and don’t use the generalised “Dear Sir/Madam”. Don’t underestimate the power of personalisation. Research the company and check its social media platforms, especially LinkedIn so that you could learn who you’re writing to. 

  • First paragraph, listing your top achievements to get the reader’s attention.

Make a strong start. You’ve competing against hundreds of other applicants and the HR has read hundreds of job applications. If the letter doesn’t start strong, your chances of getting called in for an interview are low. Don’t write a general introduction – make it interesting and use your achievements to put you ahead of the other applicants. 

  • Second paragraph, state why you should be considered for the job.

Study the job requirements and show how you would be a key member of the team. It’s alright to show off a bit at this stage. Constantly refer to the job description and requirements so that you show that you are the perfect fit. 

  • Third paragraph, point out why you would fit within the company. 

You may have convinced the reader that you’re perfect for the role but now it’s time to show that you fit in the company’s work culture. It’s important to research the company as well to see their business model, their products and services and the work atmosphere. Looking up information on the web is likely to give you the answers you’re looking for. So, you can say that you’ve used their products before and you’re passionate about them and saying that you like the idea of the open floor as it allows for better communication. 

  • Conclusion, formally thank the reader and sign off. 

Do you have anything left to say? Now is the time to say it. Once ready, thank the reader for taking time looking at your letter and CV and finish off with a call to action.