A cover letter is a one page letter written long with your job application.
This document should be always included with job application unless the hiring manager mentions that you don’t need to include one.
Why should you include a cover letter?
A cover letter is an important piece of document which will introduce you to the human resource manager and fill up information about you which is missing in your job application
or resume. When you are writing your cover letter then you focus on few things:
- Write the company name & address
- Address the hiring manager or the person who posted the job
- Introduce yourself in the first few lines
- Mention your last job and the job you are applying for
- Demonstrate your skills and talk about your ambition
- Show the hiring manager how you are the right match for the job
- Let the hiring manager know about any career gaps
- Make your letter interesting enough with limited words. So that the hiring managers read your complete resume.
- End your cover letter with a call to action. Which can be – eagerly waiting for our meeting or you can reach me via phone or email etc.
How long should the cover letter be?
The ideal length of the cover letter should be one page. This is a single page document and it shouldn’t exceed more than 1 page.
How to write a relevant cover letter?
We need to write one cover letter for one job application. A cover letter needs to be directed towards only one job.
Each job post has different requirements and you need to write a relevant letter targeted to that particular job.
1. Write the company & address and find the contact person
This is not a indirect letter or where you address to whosoever but it should a targeted letter. You need to do some research and find the right person to address the letter.
Read the job post carefully and you will find the name of the person who posted it or if you find only the first name then don’t use the first name. It is good to use the Mr./Ms. last
name or if there is no information then it is better to use “To Hiring manager,” which is well accepted.
2. Read the job description carefully
Please read the job description multiple times. It is better to read the job description 2 to 3 times to know exactly what your future employer is looking for.
Do note things like:
- What kind of experience they are looking for
- Need to work on flexible timings
- Individual contributor or team
- Team leading experience
- Whether you are OK with job type?
- Is it the right fit for you?
Now, you should write down answers and try to compose a letter which will use some of them. This will make your letter more appealing.
3. Know more about the organization
Also it is good to do some research about the company and collect as much information you can before you make the first move.
Always question yourself and try to find the answers online. Any information about the company will help you in writing your letter.
Some of the questions can be:
- Does the company has online presence?
- Check the social media and website. About us section normally has the required information.
- Are they expecting over time or additional effort?
- Does the company has health insurance or medical expense cover?
- Is the company growing or stagnant?
- Read reviews on Glassdoor or LinkedIn to know more about the company
What are the parts of a cover letter?
The things that you need to include in your cover letter.
1. Name and address of the company/ Date
You have to mention the name of the company and address of the company. This can be found on the job post. If you are writing a physical letter then you have to include the date.
2. Salutation /Greeting
Here you need to address the person in the company to whom you are writing this cover letter.
Example: Mr. John Williams has posted the job. Then you should address “To Mr. Williams,”.
In this section you will introduce yourself to the hiring manager and you can mention where you found the job. It is good to confirm your present job with organization and the job you
are applying for in the future organization.
4. Show your interest
Next paragraph tell them why you are interest in this position? An organization likes people who wants to tell them why they are the most suitable candidate? Speak your truth and be
5. Sell yourself
This is the third paragraph and here you have to sell yourself. This is the sales pitch where you have to show that you are the right fit. Write your 3 to 4 skills and try to match them to
the requirement of the employer. Don’t stretch more than 6 lines here. Two lines of sales pitch with 3 to 4 bullet points for the skills or achievements.
6. Gaps in career
If you had a gap in your career then you can mention about it. Raising your kid or family problem or accident or advance education etc.
Write a one liner closing to your cover letter.
8. Call to action
Call to action is important and this tells your future employer about your job interest.
Top cover letter mistakes
Some of the top silly mistakes are mentioned below.
1. Mention “I, Me, Myself”
Yes, you can mention in first person “I,me, myself” but it is not recommended to use too much of it. It is good if you can use third person to describe your skills or achievements.
2. Spelling or grammatical mistakes
When you write your cover letter, it is important not to make any typos or grammatical mistakes. Please check your spellings and grammar.
3. Same cover letter to multiple jobs
It is a single page document directed and targeted to one job only. So don’t use the same cover letter over and over again.
4. Don’t include resume in cover letter
You don’t have to include the resume in your cover letter. This document should include things which will enhance your resume and not all things in your resume.
5. Long cover letter
A cover letter is a single page document and don’t write long letters.
6. Don’t talk about other job applications
You don’t have to mention about other job offers or applications in your cover letter. This letter is only for your future employer to introduce yourself and show them how suitable you
are to the organization.
Yes, cover letter is indeed a requirement with every job application. Many candidates don’t think that it is not mentioned in the job post and so they don’t include it.
This document will help you to introduce yourself to your future organization and tell them that you are the best candidate for them.
So, you should not ignore it unless the job description says “no cover letter required”.