Job hunting is always a task that requires most of your time and energy. You will need to start going through newspapers, online jobs, edit and re-edit your resume and prepare for some interviews that will basically suck the life out of you. But one of the most difficult parts of them all is writing a cover letter. It can be considered your profile picture, which is why you might want to give it some attention.

Many make the mistake of thinking that they no longer need a cover letter – but how true is that? Fair enough, we live in an age where digital communication is thriving, but do we need to fully discard this document? Experts found out that the answer to that is a definite “No.” Employers see the lack of a cover letter as a sign of laziness. Failing to include a cover letter looks no better than grammar or spelling mistakes made in your CV. Plus, if you DO include one, experts say that there is a 50% chance that it will bump up your opportunities. However, before starting to write your cover letter, you might want to check a cover letter how to article.

Where and Why Would One Need a Cover Letter?

A cover letter (or a motivation letter) is a letter where you introduce your skills and assets for a company. The document is generally accompanied by a CV or a resume, and its main role is to grab the attention of a manager.

A job seeker would often send a cover letter to a company along with the application as a means to ‘personally’ introduce themselves and explain why they believe themselves suitable for the position. Potential employees may scan through cover letters to see whether or not the applicant is actually interested in the job, or if they have the skills necessary to perform the tasks required for the job.

Generally, there are three kinds of cover letters:

  • An invited cover letter (or an application letter), which is actually a response to a job opening that became known.
  • An uninvited cover letter (or prospecting letter), which will require inquiries about any possible job openings.
  • A networking letter, which basically requests the assistance and information in the job search of the sender.

A cover letter for CV can also be used as a marketing device for a prospective job seeker. At the same time, it can also be utilized as an extra for loan applications (such as mortgage loans), executed documents, proposals or contract drafts. What a cover letter actually needs to do is to catch the attention of the reader and convince them of something (most of the time, your skills).

How to Make a Cover Letter for a Job

A cover letter shouldn’t simply be a mere rewriting of what is on your resume. Instead of that, a good cover letter will be a unique piece of text where you attempt to expand your most important selling points. It will direct your potential employer towards your most relevant characteristics and will show them exactly what piece of professional history you want to be emphasized. In a nutshell, compared to your resume, a cover letter will be able to:
  1. Explain to your potential employer why you want the job.
  2. Describe your skills and experience, mentioning why they are relevant to the job.
  3. Describe your personal traits which may not necessarily be on the resume, and express why they might be useful for the job.
  4. Form a connection with the company you are applying for.
  5. Explain the job gaps.

As you can see, some good examples of cover letters can say a lot about you. Furthermore, this is how to write a cover letter for a job that will blow the minds of the managers and win them over.

1.     Make Your Introduction

After you have made your research of the company you are applying for and also reviewed the job description, you need to start writing your cover letter in a personal, yet formal way. You will need to sound as if you were writing to a respected colleague or relative. Do not forget that the first paragraph needs to contain the name of the position you are applying for and the reasons why you believe you are the best choice for the role. Bring as an argument your education, experience, etc.

2.    Format It Perfectly

A good resume cover letter format should never go past one single page, with a normal font size and style. The ones generally used would be Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman, around 10 or 12 points. Remember, you want it to be as readable as possible. Never go past three or four paragraphs, and include your name and contacts at the top of the letter. Be sure to include the name of the manager that oversees the job, and avoid misspelling their name at all costs.  

3. Don’t Beat Around the Bush

A cover letter is not a resume, and you do not need to rehash everything you pointed out in there. Instead, the cover letter needs to be concise, providing insight about your previous work and attempting to identify the position you’re applying for with the qualifications that you retain. Don’t forget to add important keywords, because many companies use computer software to filter a resume.

4.     Customize It

It’s important that your cover letter is original, so avoid using any standard letter templates. You can ask a friend for tips on how to do a cover letter for a resume, or to review your letter for errors before you send it out.

5.     Close On a High Note

Outline your next steps in the last paragraphs, and state that you can be contacted via phone call. Once more, reinforce the enthusiasm you have for the position.

The cover letter should never be underestimated when it comes to job hunting, which is why you will want to pay close attention to what you are writing there.