Welcome to our free resume guide, where you can learn how to write a winning cover letter. Take a look at the five components of a great cover letter.
A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit along with your curriculum vitae or resume as part of your job application process. Its purpose is to introduce you and provide a brief overview of your professional experience. Cover letters should be between 250 and 400 words in length on average. A strong cover letter can give you a slight advantage over other candidates, but keep in mind that a weak cover letter can also do damage to your application. One thing a cover letter is not, is a chance to rehash the contents of your resume. Its purpose is to convey the full scope of your experience by delving deeper into your most impressive accomplishments. A cover letter is also a place where you can list things that you are passionate about but don’t necessarily have experience with. Your personality can shine through your cover letter more than a resume since the resume primarily focuses on your professional experience.
Here, you want to include all essential information, including:
The introduction should be a brief paragraph that summarizes your background, the position for which you’re applying, and the skills you’ll highlight throughout the letter. Recruiters receive hundreds, if not thousands, of applications, and the chances are that they will not read each cover letter from end to end. Rather than using generic opening lines, you want to begin with 2 to 3 of your most significant accomplishments to capture the reader’s attention. Preferably, the accomplishments should be as relevant to the position as possible.
This is your opportunity to demonstrate your professional abilities and persuade the hiring manager that you are a better fit for the job than the other applicants. Before you write anything, you need to understand the role’s most critical requirements. Therefore, open the job advertisement and determine which responsibilities are the most critical.
The cover letter’s body should consist of one or two stories. Each story should demonstrate your ability to make a difference by resolving a specific issue. Begin your story by describing the context of the issue you encountered, then discuss the specific actions you took, and finally, discuss the outcomes you achieved.
If you have two stories, devote one to your hard skills (for example, analytical) and the other to your soft skills (for example, leadership).
This is the section in which you tailor your cover letter to the particular firm you’re contacting. Focus on the experience itself, rather than on the benefits you will receive as a result of it. Put your attention on why you believe you’ll be a good fit and a valuable asset. The only way to communicate this in a credible manner is to have done your research on the company and the position.
Connect your previous professional and extracurricular experiences to demonstrate why you’ll make an excellent choice. Finally, express gratitude to the reader for their time and consideration. Use one of the most common cover letter conclusions:
Not every candidate submits a cover letter these days but the ones who do definitely are standing out. Although they are less common that can mean they are more impactful to the decision-maker. Build a great cover letter today so you can stand out from the crowd.
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