Cover letter remains favorable for some recruiters because it gives them an in-depth review of prospective employees, such as their efforts and genuine intention of applying for a particular position. Moreover, a standout cover letter will make a job seeker more memorable for the recruiter who reads it, as it serves as an opportunity to tell future employers about who you really are. The ‘you’ that you convey through a cover letter could be the reason why employers consider hiring you. Your cover letter might be a unique one, a super frank one, or anything. But on top of everything else, make sure your cover letter is easily noticed.
Here are some tips on how to write an exceptionally good cover letter:
1. KISS (Keep it short & simple)
A long and pointless cover letter should be avoided. ‘Less is more’ principle works for a cover letter, so skip lengthy exposition. Two or one paragraph is the best you could have, while three paragraphs are maximum to avoid a long cover letter. Focus on inserting catchy words for your short cover letter.
See also: Scannable Resumes: Beating The ATS
2. Showcase the right skills, attitude and experience
Your cover letter is not a diary or a place to tell everything you’ve achieved in life. There is no point to mention irrelevant skills, characteristics, and experiences in it. Do note that a cover letter’s actual purpose is answering a question: “Why should this company hire you?”.
With that purpose, you should understand the key requirements and priorities of the job you are applying for. After that, reflect on how to show future employers what you can do for them. For example, write on your cover letter: “Here is what I can deliver in this role…”
Focus on the skills you have, as well as your attitude towards the job. If you have no experience for the role, just explain your strengths that might work for the position. If you are experienced, then highlight the right experiences. Every recruiter cares about work experiences the most.
3. Input some numbers
What is your accomplishment in your previous job or school? Write this down in detailed information with statistics, such as numbers or percentage. Many people believe that numbers speak louder than words. Thus, illustrate your amazing skills or work experiences with numbers because employers like to see numbers since they are always looking for results in employees. You can say, for example, “In my previous role as a marketing manager, I managed to increase sales by 90%. I also won the employer of the month award with my performance….”
4. Tell a story
Many people write boring cover letters like this: “My name is ____, and I am applying for the position as ____”. Well, recruiters know that! That kind of cover letter is the reason why some recruiters don’t read cover letters anymore. You can use story-telling technique in your cover letter because stories bring your background and experiences to life. Let’s say, the company you are applying for is your dream company since you were a kid. That way, your cover letter will be a memorable one.
Points to keep in mind when writing a cover letter:
Make sure you know the name of the hiring manager or person who will read the cover letter. If you don’t know the name, do your research. If you still cannot get the name of the hiring manager, you can say, “Dear Hiring Manager”.
Cover letter is unique to each company so don’t apply the same cover letter to the same company.
If you send the cover letter via email, you can put your phone number and email address below your name.
If you send the cover letter via mailbox, make sure you write with address and date. See below for the format:
Example 1 - when you send the cover letter via email
Dear (Specifically cite the name of the hiring manager),
I am thrilled to be applying for the opportunity to become a Translator at ABC Marketing and be of assistance to your company when communicating with international clients. I believe that with my somewhat peculiar background and collection of skills, I can be of great use to ABC Marketing in this role.
Growing up, I travelled around the world with my parents and visited more than a dozen countries. This, combined with a natural love of and talent for languages, allowed me to pick up and attain fluency in quite a number of them. I would develop and expand this ability even further throughout my education and working career.
I completed a bachelor's degree in Foreign Languages from WHY University, specializing in French and Russian. Beyond this, I can also speak fluent Spanish and German. Indeed, I regularly read books in all these languages to maintain my fluency in them. I am also able to read in Italian, Dutch, Polish and Ukrainian. I believe that I have a decent conversational grasp of these latter four languages.
I am also able to speak clearly and effectively and write tight and readable prose. During summers as a college student, I worked as an intern at the United Nations, translating political speeches and legal documents from one language to another. With this experience, I can be relied on to translate technical documents like corporate earnings reports, instruction manuals for products and forecasts of upcoming market trends.
I am deeply grateful for your time and attention in considering me for this position. I would be honoured to apply my abilities to help grease the wheels of your business relationships and assist ABC Marketing in attaining yet greater success.
(Your contact number)
Example 2 - when you send the letter via mailbox
(Date your write the cover letter/your application)
(Hiring Manager’s Name)
Dear (Manager’s Name),
In response to the posting for a Sales Manager at Central Technology, I am writing to demonstrate my interest in this position. Based on my many years in sales, marketing, management, and customer service experience, I believe that I have the necessary expertise and qualifications to fulfil this role. I am both proficient and competent in my skills and knowledge.
As the present Sales Manager at Brooklyn Inc., I have had experience in recruiting, training, and developing my sales team nationally. I understand what it takes to manage a team, develop strong relationships with clients, efficiently meet sales quota, and maintain a vibrant and ambitious attitude as a representative for my company.
For the past 7 years as the Director of Sales, I persistently exceeded quotas and generated sales of at least $120,000 per fiscal quarter. I’m confident in my abilities to do the same and perform well for Central Technology. I’ve also managed a sales team and have trained each of them to be a motivated sales representative for my company. I’ve successfully taught strategic sales and operations to my team, applying effective sales tactics that have proven to exceed quotas. With this managerial background, I can certainly achieve the same as a Sales Manager for Central Technology.
It is with great interest and enthusiasm that I apply for this position. With my strong work ethic and proactiveness, I believe that I can contribute tremendously to Central Technology. My sales and managerial background, in addition to my industrial knowledge, makes me the perfect fit for this job.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I sincerely hope you will allow me the opportunity to prove my skills and experience through an interview. I look forward to hearing from you.
(Your contact number/email)