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Every job-hunting website tells you to start strong with an impressive cover letter. If you are still confused with those vague online instructions, our “Cover Letters What To Include” guide today will be your game changer.
How to write a powerful cover letter?
In today’s article, we will detail all the things a cover letter should include to convince every headhunter. We also have samples for you!
What Is A Cover Letter? And Why Do You Need An Outstanding One?
Nowadays, many fresh graduates ignore writing a cover letter. Instead, they prefer sending out their CV solely as they believe that’s all they need to impress the recruiters. However, the fact might be the opposite.
Unlike a personal statement or a resume, a cover letter is a document centered on specific skills or experience that job seekers think best fit the open position.
A cover letter is essential in the job application process – Source: mercadonegroantiguidades
There is a famous saying in the HR Department: “The strongest candidate is the most suitable one.”
Indeed. Recruiters always prefer those who can fit their work culture, share the same vision and goal. Because only when a candidate shares the same values does he/she benefit the company in the long run.
Therefore, between two applicants with similar qualifications, one who fits better will take the job. And that’s exactly why you need an impressive cover letter – to highlight your compatibility with the vacancy.
Cover Letters What To Include: The Complete Guide
The Basics Of A Cover Letter
Unlike your concise CV, a cover letter is all about expressing your outstanding traits. However, it shouldn’t be a long story where you talk a lot of hot air. Here is some information to include when writing a cover letter:
- Your information (such as your name, address, email, and numbers).
- The recruiter’s name (if available).
- Where you discovered the open position (optional).
- Suitable personal traits, skills, and qualifications.
- What you can bring to the table.
- A thank-you statement and conclusion.
How To Draft A Cover Letter
Handing in a cover letter does not only show that you’re serious about getting the job, but it also helps the company know more about you. Thus, it would be a massive advantage if you could leave a profound impression before the interview.
Below are five steps you could follow for the best cover letter.
Step 1: Do Some Research
Most of the time, when recruiting for a vacancy, HR staff always attach a document called a job description. And our first suggestion is to dig in and find as much insight as possible from this document.
You might wonder why, and here is the answer.
As mentioned earlier, recruiters are searching for the most compatible candidate. And there are no better ways to figure out what the company wants than reading the job description. It expresses all the essential requirements and what the HR Department expects applicants to have.
Furthermore, you could research the company culture or visions to understand the organization in depth. Thanks to this careful preparation, you can sort out what to include in your cover letter later.
Now, when you’ve gathered all the traits, skills, and experience that best fit the open position, it’s time to start drafting your cover letter.
Step 2: Follow The Cover Letter’s Etiquette
Writing a remarkable cover letter requires you to follow some rules. First, let’s begin with your personal information.
Please insert your name, email address (a professional one), phone numbers, and home address in the header.
Cover Letters What To Include: Personal Information In The Header – Cover letters what to include. Source: resumegenius
Then, provide your writing date, the person you send it to, and his/her information.
Following is the salutation. As mentioned earlier, if you know your recruiter’s name, it’s best to address him/her directly to be more friendly.
However, if you cannot find out his/her name, try “Dear the HR Department of [name of the company]”. In any situation, conventional greetings like “To whom it may concern” are sights of passiveness, and thus, we recommend avoiding these general salutations in your cover letter.
Step 3: Write A Hooked Introduction.
We know opening a cover letter line sounds challenging, especially if you want it to appear intriguing. However, jumping straight to the point is the simplest method.
A basic introduction should include:
- The vacancy for which you are applying.
- The name of the company.
- A statement notifies your intention to work for the company.
If you’re able to cover all of these three factors in your introduction, there is a high chance that the recruiter will scroll down for more. A standard opening line could be:
I’m writing this letter to apply for your Marketing Executive position at XMA Marketing Company.
However, if you want to stand out within the first few words, try to add more personality, emotions, or career highlights. For example, an engaging introduction could be:
For the longest time, I’ve always wanted to become an audit at Deloitte, one of the famous Big 4. And now I have that opportunity in front of me. That’s why today, I’m writing this cover letter.
I saved my last company from a yearly $25000 loss. As an experienced and meticulous risk manager, I would love to apply for your open position in the Risk Management team at MRUB.
Watch this video for more ideas to create an attention-grabbing introduction:
Step 4: Convince The Recruiters
Now, it’s time to persuade the HR Department that you’re the most suitable applicant. Show them relevant traits, skills, qualifications, and what you could bring to the table.
If you’re experienced, focusing on your work achievements will best prove that you have what it takes to get the job done. For example, did you achieve something great? or did you receive any praise from your last boss? It would be even better if you earned professional awards like “Best writer of the year.”
Personal achievements is on the list of “Cover letters what to include”. Source: media.petersons
However, for those who have little or no experience, the battle is a bit more challenging. Luckily, employers nowadays are more open to fresh graduates as they’ll evaluate the applicants based on different criteria.
If you’re a hard-working student with an excellent academic record, don’t hesitate to mention it in your letter. Similarly, notable extracurricular activities could prove great teamwork, effective communication, outstanding time management, and leadership. Besides, including your future goals could help you stand out, especially if it shares the same direction as the company is heading to.
However, make sure you only include relevant information. For instance, your football prizes hardly help you win a ticket to the interview for an accountant.
See how to convince your recruiters to hire you with no experience here:
Step 5: Conclude Your Letter With A Thank-you And Request For An Interview
Finally, end your letter strongly with politeness, confidence, and positivity. You need to sell yourself as an ideal candidate throughout the letter, even in your conclusion.
Begin with a thank-you statement to the recruiters for assessing your CV and cover letter. Then, rehash briefly reasons why you’re a good choice. Also, mention how exciting it is to apply for the vacancy and ask for an interview politely. Finally, conclude with your signature and full name.
What To Avoid In Your Cover Letter
Now, when you’ve finished your draft, it’s time to proofread your letter. Below are a few common mistakes that usually appear in cover letters. Check them out and make some final changes.
Don’t Turn Your Cover Letter Into A Summarization Of Your Cv.
Technically, you send both documents together. Then, what’s the point of restating your resume?
Remember that your cover letter helps recruiters know that you fit the vacancy both qualifiedly and personally. Therefore, show them highlighted traits, notable achievements, and convincing reasons to let you in the interview round.
Don’t Be Unconfident.
An outstanding cover letter expresses confidence. Because only when you trust yourself can the recruiters trust you. Acts of confidence would also bring certainty and earn you a ticket to the final list. If you can prove a specific claim (like how you’re the best fit), make sure to write it down, too.
Don’t Talk A Lot Of Hot Air.
Having a loose tongue regarding your skills or experience can ruin everything if you get caught. Otherwise, being honest about your profile might earn you a bonus point. Therefore, we don’t encourage any acts of embellishment.
Two Samples Of An Outstanding Cover Letter (Body Parts Only)
Below, we’ve prepared two cover letter samples for your reference. Check them out for a final vision of an impressive cover letter.
For experienced applicants
Dear Mrs. Jane William,
For the longest time, I’ve always wanted to become a Pixar animator, which is why I’m so thrilled to apply for this vacancy.
During my last five years working for Nintendo Studios, I’ve contributed to over 300 designs, including both main and leading characters. I’ve also received praises from my last boss for my meticulousness and unique ideas. Moreover, I’ve won the first prize in the last company’s annual contest (Best Designer of the Year).
However, designing game characters doesn’t satisfy my creativity. Thus, I decided to apply for your company, Pixar, a prestigious name for creativity. The following are what I’m ready to bring to the table:
- A complete set of skills: Besides my expertise in character designing, I also work well with animating tools like 3ds Max Autodesk, Adobe, and Blender. I have also finished a 150-hour course and earned a certificate regarding animation.
- An eager attitude: I’m always ready to equip myself with more knowledge and experience. You name it, and I do it. My willing-to-learn attitude and my relentless spirit are critical to an excellent animator. I work well under pressure and could keep up with intense deadlines, which I have proven in my last job.
- Boundless creativity: My creativity is what helps me go this far in my career path. I’m always excited to try new ideas and bring unique concepts to the table. In such a creative industry like animation, we need to adapt and change continuously, and I believe I could be that game-changing factor.
Please take a look at my resume attached with my certificates below. Thank you for reviewing my cover letter and CV. If possible, I would love to have an interview to discuss further how I could serve your company.
For fresh graduates
Dear Mr. Benson,
I have been a long-term admirer of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) since my first year of college. Thus, today I’m incredibly excited to apply for your available position as an intern auditor.
As a fresh graduate with a 3.8/4 GPA in Accounting major, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate, and a meticulous attitude, I’m confident that I have what it takes to fulfill the duties of an auditor.
In my former role as the treasurer of Texas University’s Student Board, I was in charge of compiling data, managing the money flow, and auditing data quarterly. During my time there, I have successfully saved $15000 from annual sorority events while ensuring the transparency of financial records.
I’m also an eager-to-learn and responsible person who promises to work well under peak periods while keeping up with accurate data. I fully understand and have what it takes to become your new intern auditor.
Attached below are my resume and certificate. Please contact me for an interview if I’m qualified. Thank you for your time.
There you have it, our “Cover Letters What To Include” guide. We know writing a cover letter isn’t an easy task, especially if you’re not good with words. But we hope our instructions today clear the path for you. Refer to our job application section for more writing tips.