Remember that even if you tailored your CV, using a fill-in-the-blank cover letter can destroy all your efforts in job search. Below I listed a few tips that will help you to create a cover letter format that will bring attention of recruiters.
- Length of the cover letter. One of things that has been brought to my attention is that many people still write 2-3 pages when applying for jobs. Recruiters would like to read something original and something that would show them why you would be good for the job. Remember that “less is more”. Keep your letter simple. After an interesting beginning, jump into the core of the letter with a few examples. 3 paragraphs is enough.
- Do not repeat your resume. I saw many cover letters in which people were quoting bullet points from their CVs when talking about their responsabilities. Cover letters aim to show your personnality, a passion for the field that you are applying for.
- Addressing cover letters. In an ideal world you would know to whom you are writing. Of course if you are applying through a portal, you cannot address it to a concrete person. Still, “To Whom It May Concern” is too bland. If you don’t know who you should be writing to, don’t address anybody just jump right into the body of the letter.
- The opening paragraph/sentence is the crucial element, it will bring or lose the recruiter’s attention. Instead of saying “I would like to apply for the role of…”, use something more original e.g. “I have wanted to work in education ever since my English teacher showed me passion to languages.”
- Don’t tell in the letter that you are qualified explicitly, show it instead. Many cover letters start with “I would be an excellent candidate for this role”. This sentence is very empty and does not mean anything. Tell about your experiences, use examples – it will show that you are qualified without using an explicit sentence.
- Read about the company before writing a cover letter. Share why you are interested in joining the team and working for the company by dropping in a few details that will show that you did your homework in doing your research about the enterprise.
- Close your cover letter in a strong, decisive way. Finish off by quickly explaining why you would be an added value to the company and that you look forward to meeting the team to discuss your skills.
- Pay attention to structure of your cover letter. The first part should be about who you are and why you are contacting this particular company. The second paragraph should be focused on showing why you are an added value to the company. The last part should conclude on a potential collaboration.
Remember there is no “recipe” for a perfect cover letter. If you are able to keep it short, tailor it, focus on examples of your achievements and prove to the recruiter that you are a good fit to the company, you did a good job and you have a big chance to make the recruiter read your CV and get an interview. Good luck 🙂