Successful Cover Letter Formula
A cover letter is often even more important than a resume when applying for a new job. Unfortunately, few jobseekers pay much attention to this document. Proper structure of a cover letter and relevant information included in it can strongly affect the employer’s decision on your candidacy. In this article, we will provide you with a few tips how to write good cover letters. Don’t make the cover letter a rewritten version of your resume
The first thing you need to know about a cover letter is that it should not repeat the information mentioned in your resume. A typical candidate usually sends both a resume and a cover letter when applying for a job. It means that the recruiter will definitely see your resume if he/she considers your candidacy relevant to the position advertised. To make the recruiter or hiring manager read your resume, you should impress him/her with your cover letter. Hence, this document has to contain only the most significant achievements or descriptions of job duties that display your skills best.
A good practice is to combine descriptions of your previous or current duties with the skills required to occupy the position you want to apply for. For example, a typical part of a cover letter may look like this: “Evidence of my staff management skills can be found in my responsibilities as a Regional Coordinator. In this role, I directed over 100 Sales Representatives”.
A typical cover letter contains several paragraphs. Usually, there are 4 paragraphs that can be classified in the following way:
- Introductory paragraph.
- A paragraph, telling about your current (or last) job.
- A paragraph, describing your responsibilities at previous jobs.
- Closing paragraph.
The first paragraph is extremely important to impress a recruiter. It should contain the reason for applying for the job advertised and your professional motivation. It is also a good practice to mention one or two defining professional skills and highlight that you would like to apply them to benefit the company. Some career experts also recommend showing the knowledge of corporative culture and history of the organization you want to work in. However, this approach is not always relevant because recruiters usually prefer to read about your skills, not about their companies.
The introductory paragraph should not contain more than 5 rows. Usually, it has three or four rows and is easy to read.Second paragraph: tell, what you do
Briefly describing your current work responsibilities in the second paragraph of your cover letter is a good practice. As already mentioned above, you should focus on the combination of relevant skills with the work you do. Try to include two or three such combinations in the second paragraph of your cover letter and you will succeed.
If you don’t have a job at the moment, write about your previous role in this paragraph. The main idea is to show what you did in your previous position and how this experience can help you in the intended role.Third paragraph: highlight the most important parts of your career
The third paragraph is often used in cover letters to describe the applicant’s skills. However, it is much better do display main highlights of your career in it. If a candidate is applying for a position in a field where he or she has a lot of experience, this experience is worth mentioning in a cover letter. We recommend you to write the third paragraph of your cover letter in accordance with the scheme used for its 2-nd paragraph. Combine descriptions of your previous job duties with skills. Such combinations will allow you to better explain the recruiter how you can benefit the company.Fourth paragraph: invite the employer to contact you
The closing paragraph of the cover letter is rather formal than informative. However, it is a rule of business etiquette. Invite the employer or hiring manager to contact you and tell that you are open both for emails and phone conversations, as well as for personal interviews.