Looking for ways to write the perfect cover letter? Writing a cover letter can be daunting especially when you don’t know what not to say in it. And, not to mention how confusing it seems with writing a resume. When in the process of a job search, your first mode of communication with recruiters and employers is only through mails. So, prepping your mailing skills comes in handy when trying to make that good first impression. But, you’re probably thinking what could you possibly write that other applicants wouldn’t already do? We have some smart tips to help make your cover letter stand out from the sea of candidates, and possible get you the opportunity.
Since you are working on your cover letter, you might as well check on some resume tips: Make Each Word Count! Top 10 Tips for a Winning Resume
Here we list out five great tricks to writing a cover letter with examples that you can use to tweak the average cover letter into a cleverer, more relevant one.
1. Take cues from the job description
For the most part of your cover letter, you will be talking in response to a job vacancy. This is where you can pick up points from. Carefully look at the points mentioned in the job description and use them to match your own experience and skillset.
Example: With 5 years of experience in coordinating email and phone communication, documentation, making meeting, travel and stay arrangements for executives, and liaising with vendors and other teams, I believe I would make a suitable candidate for your requirement.
Keep a check on what not to do when writing your cover letter too: Avoid These 8 Common Cover Letter Mistakes When Applying via Email
2. More keywords = More relevant cover letter
Make sure you have enough keywords running through your cover letter so it stands out when being read. Also, many recruiters sort applications through software programs which track applications based on relevant keywords. So, add in as many keywords in your cover letter as you can but be careful to do it in a such a way that they look natural rather than force fit.
Example: If you are applying for a content writer’s position, try to use words related to this field wherever possible, such as content writing, content management, blogs, articles, grammar, proof-reading, editing, error-free communication, and similar others.
3. The cover letter and resume have two different motives
In the hope of getting the recruiter’s attention, it can be quite tempting to list out your skills and qualifications in the cover letter itself. But, that is not the purpose of a cover letter. Your cover letter is only a preview to your resume, and mostly a space to tell them who you are and why you are writing this mail in the first place, and why you would be an appropriate candidate to be considered for the position.
Example: I am writing this mail in response to the job posting on your company website. I am a [role] with over 5 years of experience in the field. I am currently working with [company] as [role], and am looking to move on to a bigger venture. This opening is the kind of opportunity I’m looking for, and with my relevant experience and skillset I do believe I would make a competent candidate. Attached is my resume with my complete professional history for your perusal.
Meanwhile, you may also draw some tips for your resume here: Best Practices: How to Write an Outstanding Resume
4. Customise your cover letter for each company
While your basic information can remain the same when applying to multiple job posts, it is advised not to copy and paste. This holds true for your resume and cove letter as well. Recruiters can tell when you make that extra effort. Wherever possible, try to make your application customised to the company. One of the ways to do that is by aligning your personal or professional goals with those of the company.
Example: I am excited to work with [company name] as this has been an opportunity I have been looking forward to for some time. Apart from my experience and relevant skills for this vacancy, what makes this more appealing for me is the chance to work for a larger vision that is personally close to my own. This is the perfect opportunity for me to contribute to [company’s] ideals while also meeting my own career objectives.
5. Don’t send the cover letter out as soon as you finish writing it
It always helps to re-read whatever you write. When you are done writing your cover letter, go through it from the beginning. You’ll be surprised to find errors and a lot of unnecessary information that you can take out. Remove whatever you feel is unrelated and make sure what is left is perfect in terms of language and relevance.
Tip: Reading your cover letter out loud will help you track mistakes better. If you are not so sure about your grammatical skills, have it run by someone who can review it for you.