How to write a perfect tailored cover letter for getting hired
Too many job seekers understand the importance of a well-written resume, but spend little time or care on their cover letters.
A great cover letter can be the thing that gets you hired, which means it’s just as important as an original or fake university transcript, references, and job history.
One of the worst ways to make an impression is to submit a generic cover letter. Hiring managers get a lot of these, and they can spot them a mile away. It’s actually an excellent filter when it comes to the hiring process – if you can’t be bothered to write a cover letter that is tailored, the employer knows that you’re probably not going to put in the extra effort required on the job.
On the other hand, a great cover letter will make an employer sit up and take notice. It will show that you’ve done your research on the company, and that you’re excited about the opportunity to work there. It will demonstrate your attention to detail, as well as your ability to communicate clearly and concisely.
To help you write a perfect cover letter, we’ve put together a few tips.
1) Do your research on the job and the company
Before you even start writing, take the time to do some research on the company. Find out what they do, what their values are, and what kinds of employees they’re looking for. This will give you a good foundation to work from, and it will help you tailor your letter to the specific employer.
A few places to kickstart your research:
- The company website
- Social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
- Press releases
- Industry news articles
Make sure to look up the job itself. For instance, what value does the position bring to the company? What skills and qualities are required for success? Try looking up similar positions at other companies to get a better understanding of the role.
2) Start your cover letter with a bang
The first sentence of your cover letter should be attention-grabbing. Remember, hiring managers don’t have the time or inclination to read cover letters from start to finish. So, you need to hook them in from the first sentence alone.
There are a few ways you can do this:
- Open with a question. For example, “Do you want to work for a company that cares about its employees?”
- Use a statistic. For example, “Did you know that X company has a turnover rate of Y%?”
- Tell a story. For example, “I was working in my last job when I saw a post on the company intranet looking for someone with my skill set. I knew it was meant for me.”
Imagine the impact of such a statement versus one that simply says, “I am writing to apply for the job of X.”
3) Use specific examples and achievements to sell yourself
In the body of your letter, you should provide concrete evidence that you have the skills and experience required for the job. Remember to use specific examples and quantify your achievements whenever possible.
For example, rather than simply saying that you’re a “good communicator,” you could say that you gave a presentation to 200 people and received positive feedback. Make it as specific as you can. The more targeted you are, the more likely it is that the employer will sit up and take notice.
4) Use strong language to demonstrate your qualities
When writing about your qualities, use language that demonstrates rather than simply describes. For example, don’t just say that you’re “hardworking.” Instead, say that you put in extra hours to meet deadlines or that you took on extra assignments to help out the team.
The same goes for other qualities, such as “creative,” “analytical,” and “motivated.” Use specific examples to show that you have these qualities.
5) End your cover letter on a proactive note
The last sentence of your cover letter should be a call to action. In other words, you want to tell the employer what you’re going to do next. For example, “I’ll call you next week to follow up on my application.” This shows that you’re interested and proactive, and it gives the employer a way to get in touch with you.
6) Proofread every part of your letter
Make sure to proofread your cover letter carefully. Check for grammar and spelling errors, and make sure that each sentence is written in the active voice. Why the active voice? It’s more powerful and easier to read.
It’s also a good idea to have someone else proofread your letter for you. Have a friend or a trusted colleague take a look, and ask for honest feedback.
A strong cover letter can make all the difference when applying for a job. Better yet, tailoring it to the job isn’t that hard either – as long as you do your research, dedicate some time to it, and focus on writing a letter that’s specific to the company and position you’re applying for. The effort will be worth it!