A cover letter is generally a one pager that you should submit while applying for jobs along with your full-blown resume. Applicants are usually unsure about the value addition of the letter in the application submission process.
Having myself led the HR function for technology companies for little less than two decades and having been in the fulcrum of recruitment activities, let me assure you that the time and efforts you spend writing your cover letter is worth every bit.
Since the cover letter is your introduction and an abstract of your professional framework, the fate of your resume hinges on the content of the letter. While a good cover letter can spark the recruitment executive’s interest and excite them to visit your resume, on the other hand, a poorly drafted letter can land your application in the shredder.
Given that the cover letter is a document that decides the fate of your application acceptability, let us enumerate some tips to draft a convincing cover letter.
- Decide on the right cover letter template:
We know first impression is the lasting one and the same holds true for this introductory document. Hence, remember that it should not be a rehash of your past letters and you need to spend time to customize it so that the hiring manager can see that you are truly excited about the position and company.
Hence, remember to pick up a visually pleasing, well-formatted template that begins with
- The contact information,
- First paragraph that catches the readers eyeballs with your top 2-3 accomplishments,
- Second one describing why you are the perfect fit for the job,
- Third one expressing why you should be hired by the company, and
- The formal closing!
- Don’t regurgitate the resume contents:
The cover letter is your opportunity to expand on the bullet points in your CV so that you are able to paint a vivid picture of your experiences and accomplishments, and reiterate why you will be the perfect pick for the job and the company.
- Stress upon your offerings to the company’s table:
The Hiring manager is interested to know what will be your contribution to the position and company. Hence, try to figure out the company’s challenges so that you are able to understand the issues they need the incumbent of the position to solve. Additionally, emphasize the skills and experience you possess that makes you the right person for the job.
- Highlight your relevant experiences and skills:
If you are confused about what experiences to showcase, take a cue from the job description since the position requirements will be listed first or more than once. Further, if you are confident that you have the capability to do the job but your past experience does not position you in the right light, shift the spot light to your skills instead.
- Include testimonials:
Positive feedbacks from your ex-colleagues, past managers, or clients can go a long way in encapsulating your passion or skills. Hence, consider adding some!
- Pay attention to the tonality:
While you are trying to come across as a thorough professional, you need to strike the right balance so to ensure that excessive formality does not backfire. Remember that in a corporate landscape, there is usually room to express yourself in a relaxed, authentic way.
Further, visit the company website or their social media platforms so that you get a grasp of the company’s tone, language, and values, and can reproduce it in your writing.
Lastly, ensure that you reflect your excitement for the position and the company and don’t go overboard. Hence, avoid excessive usage of adverbs like “absolutely thrilled for the opportunity” or “very excitedly applying!”
- Your finishing touches are equally important:
Try to keep your cover letter short and to the point. It should be no more than a page. Ensure the final lines of the letter reiterate your enthusiasm to join the company.
Once the letter is drafted, set it aside for a few hours or even a day, and then review it with a fresh pair of eyes. You will be surprised to know that you may want to incorporate some changes. You can even request your friend or family to eye ball it.
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