This article contains information about how to write an eye-catching cover letter for your dream job in 2020.
Did you know when a job is listed, over 100 applicants apply within the next five minutes?And within hours this number could reach thousands. It is the work of hiring managers to find a way of reducing this number to the minimum before scheduling a few for interviews.
Getting a call for an interview is a good start to getting a job but that doesn’t come on a platter. Writing a good cover letter is your best shot to get noticed as it comes before resume. If your cover letter is bad, you will in the number of people who never get a chance to prove their skills to the recruiters physically because a bad cover letter puts you off the list. Some job seekers are still unemployed because their cover letter doesn’t sell them in the right light.
Crafting a compelling cover letter is keen-witted. You must catch the attention of the hiring manager within one page, and that can be difficult judging from how diverse someone’s experience might be. Cover letter is like a self sales pitch, which means that you have to get in, get them interested, and then get out while they still want to know more.
There are things to put into consideration when crafting a cover letter for your dream job.
Cover letter writing tips
1. Get to the Point
Avoid the cliche over 90% of jobseeker start their cover letter with, which is “I’m applying for XYZ as advertised in ABC. Stand out from the start, recruiters would have read this line a thousand and one times, and this makes your cover letter one of the many. Human resources executives are constantly looking for reasons not to advance a candidate to the interview round. It is advisable to let the cat out of the bag in the first sentence, state why you’re enthusiastic about the job, how you are the perfect candidate and sail into your expertise from there. Here’s an example:
I’m a front end developer with more than 5 years of experience, and I’d love to bring my expertise and enthusiasm to your growing development team. A better opening than narrating where you heard about the job.
2. Know Who You’Re Writing To
Recruiters feel more connected if the cover letter is directed to them as against to whom it may concern that most job seekers write. Do the job of an FBI and discover the name of the person doing the hiring. Social media can be of help, between LinkedIn, Twitter, and the company’s site, the actual name of the person doing the hiring should be fished out.
3. Know their Problems
Between a candidate that just want to work and a candidate who wants to help solve a problem, the latter will be more desirable. Do some groundwork beyond drafting your letter. Figure out the hurdles the company or the industry they belong is facing, this can be gotten in so many ways- news, people working in the same industry, articles, blogs and more. Having discovered the problem, talk about how your experience has equipped you to meet those needs. Give a brief example of how you used your skills to solve similar problems in the past or relevant achievement.”
4. KISS: Keep It Short and Simple.
Writing big vocabularies in your cover letter does not make you a better candidate, in fact, it sends your application faster to the bin than most applicants’. Recruiters spend less than a minute on each application, and the last thing a hiring manager wants to do is to grab a dictionary to check difficult words while reading your letter. This same goes for a lengthy cover letter, an ideal cover letter should be a page (A4 paper) written in a formal tone.
5. Avoid Errors
A letter filled with errors makes you unfit for any job no matter how competent you are. Avoid commonly made mistakes such as punctuation error, typographic error, commonly misspelt words, longer sentences that may be difficult to read, bad structures, tenses disagreement and others. It is advisable you proofread your letter as many times as possible, give a friend to proofread. And if you have access or can afford a professional writer, seeking the help of one will be a better option.
6. Don’t Duplicate Your resume.
The employer will still have to read your resume, your cover letter shouldn’t be a copy and paste of your resume. They can be connected but shouldn’t be a replica. The purpose of your cover letter is to get the hiring manager interested in reviewing your resume.
7. Include keywords from the job description.
Hiring managers now use tracking systems to shortlist applicants, the language of this tracking system is highly dependent on the keywords in the job description. Make sure your cover letter includes the relevant keywords especially the skills listed so when this tracking system is analysing, your cover letter can be found relevant.
8. Write a custom cover letter.
Each job is specific in its description, make sure you write your cover letter to suit the job. Most job seekers use the same cover letter to apply for many jobs which is not a good act considering the differences in the requirement for each job.
9. Avoid Pre-Written Templates.
It is no news that we all dread writing letters and we can easily fall back to online templates to fast-track our cover letter. Often times, many applicants use the same format and twist the words in these formats, some don’t even bother to make changes to the format. Hiring managers are not fools, with their years of experience, they can tell if a cover letter is a random format picked from a pool of samples online or a genuine one from the heart of the applicant. A genuine cover letter speaks to the heart of the employer easily.
10. Don’t lie
There is a difference between presenting yourself and set skills well and lying. Many applicants call themselves lions when they are mere cats. Avoid stating skills and experience you don’t have. You might get through with it to the interview room but you will surely be caught during the interview and this might put you in a bad record, eliminating the chances of a future job offer with the company. Rather than lying, you could let the recruiter know you have interest in a particular skill and you have plans of learning it.
Some industries or companies use a certain format for their cover letter. If this is stated in the job advert, kindly adhere to the format. Not using the stated format automatically disqualifies you no matter how appropriate your skills are and well- written your cover letter is.
12. Be Unique
Being witty, fun and fearless can make the hiring manager remember you for good. A candidate who started his cover letter with how he has admired the way the company workers dress since his elementary school days can put a smile on the recruiters face and makes the applicant memorable. Don’t be afraid to infuse some humour, charisma and creativity. In as much as this is encouraged, it should not be overdone or taken for granted. Avoid insults, profanity and going overboard.
13. Include testimonials.
A testimonial from a high profile person can help prove your skills. A recommendation, quote, words from a formal boss or a respected person boosts the credibility of your cover letter. Your application carries more weight when people other than you also speak on your behalf. Include the contact information of the referee, should the employer want to confirm the testimonial and make sure you let the referee know they are likely to be contacted so as not to be caught off-guard.
Cover Letter Template
There has been a new development in job applications. It is now a trend for recruiters to ask you to send your cover letter as the body of the mail and not as a separate document. Whether you are writing you cover letter as a separate document or as the body of an email, here are the steps or formats to follow:
If you’re writing your cover letter as a document, the address is the first thing to write. Your address comes first and the address of the recruiting company follows. The letter should be directed to the contact person on the job advert which is often the Human Resources Head. If the cover letter is to be sent as the body of your application mail, then you start with the subject line of the mail.
2. Subject Line: Job Title – Your Name:
The first thing an employer sees when opening an email is the subject line. The title of the job you are applying for should be listed as the subject line unless the employer stated otherwise in the job advert.
As mentioned earlier, it is paramount you address the recipient or the contact name by his or her name rather than the usual “Dear Sir/Madam” which makes it look like you didn’t make an effort to research well about the job.
4. Body of Email Cover Letter:
This is the heart of the mail, where you convince the employer with no iota of doubt that you’re the right applicant with the required skills for the job. Only state your relevant skills and experience.
Irrelevant skills and experience should not be stated here or else you bore out the recruiter with unnecessary details that may cost you an invitation.
First Paragraph: An impression must be made in this paragraph. This will help grab the attention that will propel the recruiter to be curious and continue reading willing to know more about you. Here, you state why you are writing and the position you’re applying for. Convey interest for the company. Employers prize genuine enthusiasm because it often translates to deeply motivated and flourishing employees. A novel opening can set you aside from other applicants just by reading your first paragraph. It is professional to start with a solution-oriented statement. “For example, ‘If you are looking for a versatile content creator with diverse knowledge in multiple industries, who can effectively manage a large team of creatives, look no further” Such an opening concurrently clutches the employing manager’s attention and illustrates your value.
Middle Paragraphs: This paragraph can be called the hook. Having grabbed the recruiter’s attention, hook him or her with what you have to offer by highlighting instances of how you’ve used your skills to achieve noteworthy results in the past. Equate this with the required skills as stated in the job description and connect your abilities as well as the company’s needs.
Third paragraph: Enunciate how well you know the company. This will let the recruiter know you have researched the company, you’re sincerely passionate about the job and willing to contribute to its aim and mission.
Conclusion: This is like the anchor leg in a relay race. You must end well just the way you started well. Summarize what you would bring to the position and insinuate next steps by entreating a meeting or suggesting a call. Let the recruiter know your resume or curriculum vitae as the case may be is attached and ends by being thankful for an optimistic feedback from him or her.
Signature: Include your name, full address, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn Profile URL, if you have one.
Always remember that your resume or curriculum vitae is expected to set out the facts about you, but your cover letter is meant to communicate more personality. The cover letter is your first introduction to the person who may hire you, and its goal should be to make you as exceptional and memorable as possible.
In summary, successful cover letters must have the following:
- Memorable introduction
- Specific, organized examples of relevant work done and problems solved.
- Concise conclusion with a call to action.
Before you apply for your next job, make sure you do your ground breaking jobs well before writing a word. Success in your next application.
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