Writing a good cover letter is essential while applying for jobs. Your resume lists your achievements and qualifications, but it is your cover letter that showcases your personality. A good cover letter also expands on your accomplishments and experience while showing your potential employers why you would be an excellent fit for their company. Unemployment rates are higher than they have ever been, and writing an impeccable and impressive cover letter will definitely help you stand out when you apply for jobs.
Basic Structure of a Cover Letter
In the opening paragraph, mention your relevant experience, how you came to know about the job, and why you are interested in applying for the position. Make sure you specify the job title you are applying for, or the employer will think you are lazy and simply send a generic cover letter.
In the body of the letter, mention your relevant skills, accomplishments and specific work experience that make you the ideal candidate for the job. You can use bullet points to properly highlight your most relevant achievements, skills set and experience. Using numbers is also a great way to highlight the significance of your accomplishments.
In the closing paragraph, express your interest again and restate the factors that make you the right candidate for the position. You can also mention how you would prefer to be contacted. If your preference is a phone call, provide the hours you will be available.
If You Don’t Have Work Experience
In case you don’t have work experience to write about in your cover letter, don’t worry. A lot of recent graduates on the job hunt are in that very position. You need to focus on your academic performance and extracurricular activities to show your potential employer why you would be perfect for the job.
Here are some tips for showcasing your academic and extracurricular achievements:
Academic: Mention your academic achievements like high scores and scholarships. If you have ever received an academic award, make sure that you highlight that point.
Extracurricular Activities: Have you ever participated in literary or drama clubs, athletics or other activities? Have you volunteered in non-profit organizations that strive to improve the condition of your community? Make sure you write about your experiences and what you learned while participating in these activities.
Goals: Write about your short-term and long-term goals. Explain how applying for this particular job will help you attain them.
Keep in mind that the information you decide to include in your cover letter should be relevant to the job that you are applying for. For instance, being part of a debate club will be very pertinent information to provide if you are applying for the post of lawyer. However, it won’t do you any good if you are applying for the position of accountant.
The employer will also evaluate you based on the quality of your writing. Thus, it is crucial that you take your time and produce a good cover letter that will impress whoever reads it.
Your cover letter should be polite, confident and expressive. You should be able to sell yourself as the ideal candidate for the job without appearing arrogant or full of yourself. Every paragraph should be crafted strategically and thoughtfully. Make sure that you precisely summarize in the closing paragraph why you would be a great hire. Thank the person viewing your application for their time and politely ask them to inform you about their decision as soon as possible.
These are just some of the points that you need to keep in mind while drafting your cover letter. Which of these pointers did you find the most useful? Let us know in the comment section below.