Some IT specialists make a huge mistake simply because they believe that a resume is everything that matters when applying for a job in this field. However, you don’t have a second chance to make a positive first impression. Your IT cover letter serves as the first impression that you leave on potential employers and the main message that compels them to read your resume. Hiring managers are often understaffed and they must sort many cover letters on a daily basis. That’s why you should make your cover letter impress employers and stand above the competition. Use effective tips and guidelines because they can help you create the best one that will open a door to brilliant career opportunities.
The definition and importance of cover letters
A perfect cover letter is the main key to get a future job interview, so open new career doors with the most engaging one. It’s the first element of any job application that prospective employers read, ahead of any CV. You need to get it right, which means knowing how to write a brilliant cover letter to grab recruiters’ attention for all reasons.
How to ...
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A poorly written cover letter fails to clearly articulate why you’re the best candidate for a particular job. If it contains any spelling mistakes or bad grammar, your application will end up with a reject pile. A good one can work wonders in convincing future employers of your high professionalism levels and credentials. It will also provide them with better insights into your character and personality. To be considered for a desirable IT position, it’s necessary to write a catchy letter of application that has the following functions:
- Introducing you as a job applicant;
- Explaining the main purpose for writing;
- Highlighting the most important working skills and experiences;
- Requesting a future opportunity to meet with potential employers personally.
Take great care when writing an effective and impressive cover letter because it’s your introduction to employers and your first impression counts. It not only tells others of your career accomplishments, but also shows how you can communicate effectively. Its format, content, and tone may vary based on your personality and the chosen position. Talk to other people to check samples related to a similar job or field to get valuable suggestions.
The preparation of your cover letter
The first thing that should be done to write the best IT cover letter is your in-depth research. Visit the official websites of prospective companies and do your online search on their names to gain a clearer understanding of what they’re looking for in candidates. Job openings always represent the attempts of employers to solve a specific problem. Sending a random resume and cover letter in hopes that your job application may match is a big mistake. Explain potential employers why you’re a perfect candidate who knows how to solve their problem. Find out their contact details because the cover letters addressed to decision makers prove that you took enough time to find out who is hiring for a particular job opportunity. If you can’t find this information for any reason, look for possible alternatives when sending your job applications.
What to include in your cover letter
As a rule, IT cover letters shouldn’t exceed 1 page in their length, and you shouldn’t get caught up in the minutia of professional backgrounds. Although there are certain differences in what constitutes a perfect cover letter, these basic suggestions will help you:
- Be succinct and limit this document to only one page;
- Tailor it to each separate job opportunity as much as you can;
- Demonstrate your knowledge of a particular company;
- Assess the needs of potential employers and your working skills to match them in your cover letter and appeal to their self-interest;
- Write it in a clear and mature style;
- Avoid using any jargon, intricate sentences, and long paragraphs;
- Use the active voice and action verbs;
- Convey your optimism, confidence, enthusiasm, professionalism, and respect;
- Show your personality, but avoid sending any unorthodox and hard-sell cover letters;
- Arrange all points in their logical sequence;
- Organize all sections around your main point;
- Start your cover letter fast and attract employers’ interest right away.
How to organize cover letters correctly
Many job applicants fail only because their cover letters aren’t organized correctly. Start this document with an opening paragraph where you state why you’re writing it at all. You also need to establish a certain point of contact while providing future employers with a brief idea of who you really are.
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In main paragraphs, you should highlight some of the most important points from the resume that you enclose. Arouse the curiosity of employers by mentioning a few points that are quite likely to be crucial for the job position that you’re seeking. Next, show how your working experiences and education suit its basic requirements. Elaborate on several key points from your IT resume to explain what you can contribute to employers. Ensure that your cover letter complements it, not restates.
In a closing paragraph, request a future interview politely and stress action. Indicate any supplementary materials that you send, offer to give any additional information, including working samples, and explain how employers can get it. Finally, thank potential employers for their consideration and indicate that you’re looking forward to hearing from them.
Helpful questions to guide your cover letter writing
To be guided in the right direction when writing your IT cover letter, give answers to some important questions, such as:
- What is your basic objective?
- Who is your targeted audience?
- What are the needs and goals of potential employers?
- What benefits can you offer to them?
- How can you best express your career objectives?
- Can the opening paragraph of your cover letter grab attention and invite employers to read more?
- What evidence do you present in this document?
- How can you increase the desire and interest of employers?
- How does a cover letter advertise your IT resume?
- Does it show your best professional efforts?
- Does its closing paragraph assure readers of your working capabilities and persuade them to contact you?
- Do you spend enough time on revising, writing, and proofreading your cover letter?
How to format cover letters
To ensure that your cover letters are formatted correctly, follow these simple guidelines:
- Use only high-quality bond paper;
- Type each cover letter separately;
- Address every employer by the title and the name;
- Use a conventional business correspondence form;
- Ensure that every document is properly punctuated, grammatically correct, and perfectly spelled;
- Write the cover letters that are free from errors;
- Proofread them carefully and attentively.
Common mistakes when writing cover letters
You should never underestimate the power of your cover letter because it serves as one of the most important deciding factors when helping your job application to stand out. To be guided in the right direction, avoid common mistakes because they can cost you a future job and career opportunities.
Using the same cover letter for all job applications
If you keep sending the same cover letter for any IT job that you want to get, you should stop because it’s a huge mistake made by many other applicants. This approach can save your time, but it will cost you future career opportunities. The main problem is that your stock cover letter contains only generic phrases and doesn’t offer anything specific about a particular company, role, and industry. You may also include a lot of information that isn’t really relevant to a job offer, but it will only indicate your laziness and lack of your genuine interest. It’s necessary to refer to a specific job by its description and title while explaining to potential employers how your working skills can benefit their company. After all, they all want to know how you can benefit them, so they aren’t likely to be impressed by applicants who assume that all companies are on the same level.
Appearing overly personal
When writing your IT cover letter, don’t include any information that seems overly impersonal because it’s not cover letter friendly. You should never talk about your personal life or share unnecessary details in this important document because this information won’t improve your chances to get employed. Besides, there are other topics that should be avoided, including overly detailed justifications for your professional breaks, reasons for leaving a current job, and badmouthing your employer. Keep your cover letter to the point while focusing on a particular job that you want to get.
Making everything all about you
Remember that your job application isn’t based on your desires because it’s based on what potential employers want. Of course, you need to talk about your professional experiences, skills, and achievements, but only if they’re related to the chosen vacancy. Don’t detail your personal dreams and hopes in a cover letter. Avoid explaining what you will get out of a particular job personally because making this document all about you is a big mistake. It shouldn’t fulfill your objectives because a cover letter is targeted at proving employers that you’re a good candidate for them. Focus on what they will get if they hire you and explain how your working skills can benefit them to sound impressive.
Drawing attention to weak sides
If potential employers aren’t interested in the things you can’t do, they want to find out what you can do. If you lack the necessary working experience in specific areas, but have strengths in many others, you need to focus only on your strong sides. A winning cover letter has no place for negativity, so don’t draw any attention to your weaknesses. If there is anything that fails to prove why you are the best candidate for a particular job, it’s not worth including in your application. Confidence is the main key when hunting for a good job, and employers aren’t likely to be impressed by applicants who have doubts in their suitability. If you don’t think that your skills are sufficient for a vacancy, hiring managers will have the same impression.
Being too keen
Avoid desperation and add more enthusiasm when writing your cover letter. Your job application alone tells future employers that you’re interested, so you don’t need to go overboard with your unwarranted eagerness. Begging for the chosen job won’t do anything good for your selling potential. If your IT cover letter sounds overeager, potential employers will only assume that you aren’t that high in demand. Stay enthusiastic about the chosen job position and why you consider it a perfect match for you. Avoid using any over-the-top hyperboles and adjectives when writing your cover letter. There is a fine line between trying too hard and showing your genuine interest. Take into account these important mentions to end up with a winning sample:
- Failing to proofread;
- Using clichs;
- Overselling or underselling yourself;
- Lying and being arrogant;
- Including any headshot;
- Talking about personal salary expectations.
Simple tips that always work wonders
You should start your cover letter strong because the first impression always lasts very long. Its opening paragraph should grab the attention of potential employers and impress tem with your suitability for a given job. Address this document directly to the person stated on a particular job ad.
Why conduct your research
In your cover letter, demonstrate that you researched a specific company and have enough knowledge of its operation. Describe everything that attracts you to working for it, show your passion, and convey enthusiasm for the chosen field. Your research plays an important role in sending a winning resume and job application.
Choosing the best bits
The next step is summing up your main working experiences and skills. Your goal is to condense the most compelling parts of your IT resume while highlighting all the skills related to specific job requirements. If you succeed to prove that you have the necessary professional qualities, experiences, and talents that potential employers are searching for, you have a high chance to become their top candidate. Make it clear what you can offer and how you will contribute to their success.
Listing other professional skills
Outline any working skills if you think that they’re relevant to the chosen vacancy, including your organizational strengths, interpersonal and communication skills, problem-solving abilities, etc. Use some dynamic verbs in your cover letter to convey the main points and add more professionalism to it.
Ending with a call to action
A winning cover letter should be finished with prompting future employers to take the next step politely. This is where you need to ask them to contact you for a future interview before thanking them for considering your application. This simple step will prove your keenness to meet and finish your cover letter on a positive note. When sending any speculative application, let employers know when you will call them to follow up because it will demonstrate your great initiative.
How to come up with a winning cover letter
When sending any CV to potential employers, you always need to include a perfect IT cover letter because it will make them interested in reading your application attentively and calling you for a future interview. However, many job applicants find it hard to formulate a winning cover letter. If you’re one of them, keep reading to get the information necessary to receive a job of your dreams.
This document must provide employers with a clear idea of who you are while explaining your important professional skills. Tell them why you’re interested in their vacancy and show your genuine interest to stand out among others. Tailor your cover letter to be specifically related to every vacancy.
Do your career experiences and skills match job requirements?
To get future employers interested in your application, explain to them how your professional attributes, skills, and achievements match their job requirements. Use any relevant information about your work history, life experience, voluntary work, training, education, and so on. Show why you are the best candidate for a particular company and how your working talents can meet its needs. Link all of your qualifications and experiences to job requirements to show that you can meet them. Use a few strong examples to prove your suitability for a given vacancy. Promote yourself to show how you can contribute to employers and focus on everything you have to offer. Research companies and share your valuable recommendations to show your knowledge.
Why do you want a particular job?
There are different methods that can be used to demonstrate your genuine interest in a given vacancy, such as:
- Discuss personal qualities and why it interests you;
- Show how enthusiastic and motivated you are;
- Demonstrate how you can fit a company;
- Mention any personal activities and interests if they are relevant to a job;
- Comment on positive things and let employers know why you want to work for them.
What should your cover letter look like?
A cover letter is the first contact that you have with prospective employers, so you need to leave a positive impression. If you fail to do that, your IT CV won’t be even read by them. Start it with stating where you heard about a given job offer to relate your job application to the advertised position. It’s also advisable to state your job objective and end your cover letter by telling employers that you’re looking forward to a future interview. State that you’re willing to share any additional information.
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