A cover letter is an important tool when looking for a job.
HR managers read hundreds of resumes every day, so it is not difficult to get lost among other candidates just like you. If you really want to land the job, then your mission is stand out from the crowd and deliver not only a win-win resume but also a cover letter highlighting your strong points as well as the benefit you can bring to the company.
It is a big mistake not to use this instrument for attracting the attention of your potential employer. Get the maximum!
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When Is a Cover Letter Required?
There are some cases when you cannot apply for a position without a cover letter.
Sending a CV without any other descriptive text will hardly bring you an interview invitation. So here are the cases when a cover letter is a must for you:
When an employer asks for a cover letter when responding to the vacancy.
Some recruiters do various tricks. For example, they sometimes want to make sure that the applicant has carefully read the vacancy requirements. In this case, they may ask you to have a specific “code” word or phrase in the follow-up email.
That’s why we strongly recommend you to carefully read vacancy requirements.
When you are applying for a job at a foreign company.
Since the chance to meet in-person before a hire is minimal, an employer should get as much information about you as possible. Use this document to introduce yourself better and to add some extra information to your resume.
When you want to change the scope of activity.
In case you want to switch to a different position, explain your potential employer why you have made this decision. Thus, you will significantly increase your chances of getting an offer.
What Should a Cover Letter Be About?
There are no strict rules at this point. However, as the best practice shows, a cover letter should include the following info:
- Your motivation;
- Relevant work experience;
- Skills and personal qualities necessary for successful work in this position;
- Your other advantages as a candidate.
As a rule, a cover letter should be written in a formal business style. However, some deviations from the rules are possible if you apply for creative work. In this case, humor and creativity will be quite appropriate. But do not overdo, and find a balance in your writing.
The Structure and Content of a Cover Letter
There is no universal template. This task requires an individual approach and finding a winning formula that works for you. If you do now know what data to share in a cover letter, check the samples – they will inspire you and help you with some formulations.
Before drafting a text, carefully check the vacancy description and try to imagine the ideal candidate to work in this position. Compare job requirements with your experience and focus on the relevant competencies in the text.
To facilitate the perception of the text, the cover letter should have a clear structure. It should have three sections: the introduction, body text, and conclusion – every section being formatted as a new paragraph.
What data should the cover letter contain?
- Start with a greeting word and indicate the position you are applying for. One recruiter may work on several vacancies and should immediately see what position you want to get.
- Describe your competitive advantages: why you are better than other candidates (be concrete – employers like figures and facts).
- Explain why the company “needs” you. Find specific points in your past working experience that ideally “fit” into this position (projects, scientific achievements, key customers, etc.).
- Indicate your contacts and sign.
Here are some of the tips that will facilitate the process:
- Always address the message to a specific person who will consider your resume; otherwise, your cover letter will look like spam. In the introduction, indicate the source of information where you have learned about the vacancy.
- The main part of the text should contain the answer to the question: why an employer should hire you. At this point, you can explain the reasons for contacting this particular company and your interest in a particular vacancy. Use this space to tell about your achievements and successes.
- In the concluding part, specify how you see your professional development in this company, provide your contact information, and end your email with “Sincerely, First Name/Last Name.”
To ensure that a cover letter is read in full, do not make it too long. The text should take three or four paragraphs.
State your thoughts clearly, without copy-pasting the text from your resume.
A cover letter is supposed to provide additional information about the candidate. When sending an email to an employer, it should be placed in the body of the text, with the CV being attached to an email.
Are you ready to get interview invitations?
Today, the job search culture has developed to a new level, and a cover letter is becoming an integral part of a candidate’s presentation, just like a resume. When attached to the resume, it significantly increases the chances of the applicant to get a job in the desired company.
The purpose of the cover letter is to attract the attention of a recruiting specialist to your candidacy. So you should in no case fail here!
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