When it comes to writing a cover letter, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are some key elements that should always be included in order to make a good impression on potential employers.
In this blog article, we will provide some top tips on how to write a great cover letter, as well as some free templates and examples that you can use.
What makes a great cover letter
Here are some tips to write a great cover letter that will help you make a good impression with a potential employer:
- Start with a strong opening sentence that will grab the reader’s attention.
- Highlight your relevant qualifications and skills for the job you’re applying for.
- Tailor your cover letter to each specific job you’re applying for – generic letters won’t cut it!
- Keep it brief – no more than one page is necessary.
- Proofread carefully before sending – errors will reflect poorly.
- Use a free cover letter template as a starting point but be sure to customize it to fit your own needs and personality.
How to tailor your cover letter for each application
When you’re applying for jobs, it’s important to tailor your cover letter to each position. A generic letter won’t tell the employer what skills and qualifications you have that match the specific job requirements.
To make sure your cover letter is tailored to the job you’re applying for, start by reviewing the job posting. Make a list of the key qualifications and requirements that are mentioned. Then, take a look at your own skills and experiences and identify how they match up.
Once you’ve done that, you can start writing your cover letter. In the opening paragraph, mention the specific job title and company name and how you heard about the opening. Then, in 1-2 paragraphs, describe why you’re a good fit for the role by sharing relevant examples from your past experience.
Common mistakes to avoid
Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when writing a cover letter:
1. Not tailoring the letter to the company/position.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when writing a cover letter is not tailoring it to the company or position you’re applying for. Your cover letter should be specific to the company and position you’re applying for, and it should be clear why you’re a good fit for that particular role. Generic letters that don’t mention anything about the company or position are likely to end up in the trash.
2. Getting the company name wrong.
Another common mistake is getting the name of the company wrong in your cover letter. This is an easy mistake to make, but it’s also a sure-fire way to get your cover letter tossed in the trash. Make sure you double-check the name of the company before you send off your cover letter.
3. Typos and grammatical errors.
Typos and grammatical errors are another major turnoff for employers. If your cover letter is full of errors, it shows that you didn’t bother to proofread it (or worse, that you don’t know how to use proper grammar). Always proofread your cover letter before sending it off, and if possible, have someone else take a look at it as well.
Writing tips from a Recruitment Expert
First and foremost, your cover letter should be addressed to the specific person or team who will be reading it. You can find this information by doing a quick search on the company website, or by calling and asking for the name of the hiring manager.
Once you have the name of the decision maker, make sure to use it! Addressing your cover letter to ‘To Whom It May Concern’ can be seen as outdated and impersonal. Including a name shows that you’ve done your research and are truly interested in the role.
Finally, close out with a strong call-to-action that encourages the reader to get in touch. Thank them for their time and let them know how they can reach you if they want to learn more about your candidacy.
Cover letter template
Here’s a template you can use for writing your next cover letter:
Dear [Recipient’s name],
With [number] years of experience as a [job title], an [academic qualification], and a proven track record of excellence in [mention two or three tasks that align with the position you seek], I am confident in my ability to handle [tangible result of your proficient skills in the previous sentence].
I am excited to apply for the [job you are applying for] position at [organization’s name], where I can focus on [using quantifiable data, name your accomplishments to demonstrate value to an employer]. As the current [job title] at [organization], I have gained valuable experience in [specific job experience from current or prior roles showing your skills and how you produce positive results for other team members, your company, and clients].
Prior to my current role, I acquired [include a few sentences about any special skills, training, educational accreditation, or certifications you possess that are relevant for success at the job], which have prepared me for the challenges of this role.
Please find my CV attached for your consideration. I would be glad for the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications and suitability for the position, either over the phone or in person.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Writing a cover letter can be intimidating, but with the right tips and resources it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following the advice from our recruitment expert plus taking advantage of our helpful, free templates you will now have everything you need to make your cover letter stand out for all the right reasons. Spend some time crafting a creative yet professional cover letter and increase your chances of success when applying for new job opportunities!