Writing a good cover letter for resume

If you want to get additional attention of a potential employer to your CV, compose a good cover letter for resume.

It is always recommended to submit a cover letter when replying to a vacancy, but in some cases, it is simply necessary.

It is particularly required in the following cases:
  • If the requirements for the vacancy state that the candidate has to send a cover letter along with the resume. Some employers resort to various tricks. For example, they want to be certain that the applicant carefully read the instructions for the job by asking to write a particular code word or phrase in the letter.
  • If you’re applying to a company abroad.
  • If you want to alter your main activity.
The letter has to reflect:
  • Your motivation
  • Relevant experience in a particular area
  • Personal qualities and skills required to fill in the position
  • Other advantages of you as an applicant

Characteristics of the cover letter to the CV

Most recruiters are positive about the letters, which are submitted along with your CV. This is your opportunity to appeal to your potential manager or a human resources manager and attempt to interest them. Thus, the letter becomes a manifestation of good tone and a significant advantage of your resume and personally.

Even a brief letter to the CV will help attract the attention of the human resources officer.

By enclosing such a document, you:
  • Immediately demonstrate that you’re polite
  • Show that you can competently conduct business
  • Establish the first personal contact with the future boss
  • Have a chance to interest a potential employer
  • You get the opportunity to highlight the best things about your CV

Imagine how many CVs the HR managers get every day so you really need to do everything you can to be given preference. Of course, this is a more difficult task than to impress someone during a conversation. When composing a letter, your main weapon is convincing, correctly indicated information and facts, and the right tone. Therefore, you need to spend some time to create a high-quality letter in order for your CV to be chosen among many others.

7 simple pieces of advice on how to compose a cover letter

Here are some 7 pieces of advice on how to write a cover letter:
  • The introduction should be convincing: it is necessary to choose that magic word order, which will force the recipient to read your letter to the end and most importantly will prompt the person making the decision to meet with you. By and large, the purpose of the cover letter is to ask for a personal meeting, where you can present yourself to the future employer.
  • Find and use a secret signal. When looking for employees, many companies insert a so-called secret signal in the job description. This is some keyword or quality that they expect from applicants. Every applicant who responds to this information in the cover letter is likely to get an interview. What should you do? Carefully read the description and make it clear that you are interested in a particular job rather than just sending out resumes in batches.
  • First of all, the cover letter should be individual. It is very useful to address a specific person if you know his name. Often on job sites, it is indicated on whose behalf the vacancy is posted. You can also try to call the company and find out in advance who is holding this vacancy, and possibly in advance, discuss the requirements for vacancies with this employee in order to make your letter even more targeted.
  • Choose the correct format. The best cover letters are non-standard messages. For example, two short paragraphs full of confidence, combined with a list of suggestions for improving the company’s work. Such letters attract attention not only because of the lists, but also because they differ from others. Remember that a resume helps find a job, but a cover letter in this sense is the main key to success. Take time to design a cover letter, give preference to short formats.
  • Complete the letter with the call to action. This is your opportunity to sell your candidacy to the employer. Thus, a call to action is relevant at the end of the letter. Recruiters have seen a lot of letters during the years of work, so they will appreciate unobtrusive communication.
  • Cut the letter. Often letters have too much useless information. Some add an autobiography, others talk too much about their motivation. Leave only important and interesting information. For example, you can add links to your portfolio, if it is required for your profession. This will tell you better than words.
  • Check your letter for mistakes. Just in case, read the letter again: random typos can spoil the impression.

Structure of the cover letter

There is no common example of a letter, but you can many good examples online. What do you need to describe in the letter? First and foremost is to offer answers to introduce yourself, explain how the company will benefit by having you as their employee, and how this company will help you reveal your potential.

A high-quality letter is not a shortened copy of the CV. If you respond to a specific job, then the letter should emphasize your competitive advantages as a candidate for the post:
  • If you have a deeper knowledge of the subject than indicated in the requirements – emphasize this, if you have more experience, please specify this as well.
  • If you do not meet 100% of any specific requirement, but you have other competitive advantages, then it makes sense to emphasize such advantages and induce the person in charge to personally meet with you.
  • If the description of the vacancy talks about any specific skills that the applicant must have – indicate them and give specific examples, where these skills were successfully applied by you.
  • Indicate your 1–2 achievements at past jobs – something that allowed your previous employer to earn substantially or save with your help. After all, it can come in handy in a new place as well.
Look at the letter through the eyes of the employer. If it is a vacancy where a lot of experience is not necessary, but a capable and motivated person is needed, demonstrate these qualities:
  • Refer to examples where your abilities have helped you achieve better results
  • Mention specific information that you learned about the employer from open sources (the website of the company, the media)
  • Make a statement that you dreamed of working in this particular company, in this team of professionals or under the guidance of an authoritative leader

Summarizing, indicate your willingness to come to a personal meeting at a time convenient for the employer, and that you are looking forward to feedback on your letter. Alternatively, you can specify in the letter that you will call back one or two days later for feedback.

5 “no” in composing cover letters

Try to not include the following information in your cover letter:
  • Do not retell your CV. Both documents have to complement each other, but not repeat. Note here only the most significant information – first of all, explain why you’re a better fit for this position than other candidates.
  • Be careful when being creative. You can try to be a bit creative only if you’re applying for a creative position when you need to create by the nature of the activity (designer, copywriter, PR manager, animator, and others). But even in such responses, you should to address the employer in the most respectful way. Greetings like “Hey, guys! Take me into your team!” will most likely be gotten rid of in the basket.
  • Don’t talk about career ambitions. Speaking about the contribution to the development of the firm, don’t mention that you want to climb the career ladder, become a deputy, displace the head, and then completely open your business in the same field. No recruiter will like this.
  • Don’t discuss personal problems. In the letter, don’t tell why you have not worked for half a year, why you want to quit your present job, and also describe any personal reasons why you need work (paying for housing, studying, treating your grandmother, etc.). These things can be discussed only at the interview and only if you are asked about it.
  • Avoid banal phrases. There is no point in writing that you’re active, positive, stressful, sociable, executive, and responsible. The recruiter himself will make a conclusion about all these qualities, based on the facts in the resume and your behavior at the interview.

Recruiters note that cases where candidates are overly persistent in their attempts to attract attention once again are unpleasant. If you are sending your resume with a covering letter for the fifth time, then be sure your candidacy was considered and either rejected or postponed for the future until the appearance of suitable vacancies.

5 “yes” when writing cover letters

Here are the things you should include in your cover letter:
  • Write in the official style. CV is a business document. It is recommended to write it officially, avoiding conversational phrases, jargon, and jokes. Creativity can be encouraged only in exceptional cases.
  • Declare yourself. Describe the advantages that will distinguish you among others (profile education, many years of experience, practice abroad, knowledge of languages, possession of special services, etc.).
  • Initiate contact. In conclusion, add the phrase “Thank you in advance for your answer” or “I will be happy to answer all your questions during the interview.” Also, it is not superfluous to thank the counterpart for the time spent. This will position the recruiter and present you as a polite and educated person.
  • Be honest. If you can not name any special achievements, it is much more correct to write a simple template message, rather than giving employers knowingly false information. It’s better to say that you want to study and develop in the company, name the areas of activity that you are interested in.
  • Check the letter for errors. Re-read the letter for several times, if you doubt how the word is spelled, look in the rules or let the proofreader check. It will be very unpleasant if the employer refuses because of the large number of grammatical errors.

How to send a cover letter

If you send a resume by e-mail, insert a cover letter in the body of the letter, and attach a resume in the attachment.

If you send the resume by fax – make a cover letter on a separate page and send it in front of the resume.

On recruiting sites, as a rule, there is a special window for inserting the cover letter to the employer.

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