How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job Application?
Oh, cover letter again. One of the more stressful parts of a job application is, by far, writing the cover letter that goes with your job application.
No matter how you look at it, you simply can’t win. You don’t know anything about the person that you are writing to, and you don’t have any actual idea about what the readers of the cover letter in question want to read in the first place. To top it all off, all the information that you have to go on is in the form of a more or less standardized company and job description.
But that does not mean that it is impossible. In fact, the only difficult part of writing a cover letter is getting started. Writing a successful one, on the other hand, will take a lot more effort and a lot more planning.
Know your Limits when Writing the Cover Letter
One of the more important things to keep in mind is the fact that the cover letter needs to be long enough to describe yourself properly, but short enough to be comfortable to read without dragging on for too long. A good rule of thumb is to keep it no shorter than half a page, and no longer than a full page.
Another good thing to know here is that you need to keep it as simple and as professional as possible. Don’t go overboard with fonts, no matter how much you want to emphasize something, or simply add your own special touch.
Limit yourself to the standard fonts used in business writing, like Calibri, Verdana, and Arial.
Another thing worth noting here is the fact that you need to refrain from using bold characters or underlines, unless grammar rules specifically require their usage, like in a subtitle or in bullet points.
Make Your Sales Pitch and Promote Yourself in the Cover Letter
Something that you need to understand before writing your cover letter is the fact that you are, in essence, marketing yourself and selling your skills as a worker.
You need to make a good impression while appearing as professional as you can and presenting only useful information.
Here are the key things to do:
- Start your cover letter by introducing yourself, followed by a few words about yourself. Not much though, just a small sentence or two.
- Follow by stating your interest in the job description, as well as where you found the ad or post.
- Continue by talking about the job itself, what you understood from the job post, and every single element described in it.
- Explain how and why you are a good fit for the job. A good idea is to talk about previous similar experiences, how your skills can help you and the company you are applying to, and how you both can benefit from your employment there.
- Mention other interests and skills that you have which might benefit the company in the long run.
- Finally, end your cover letter with a simple and straight-to-the-point conclusion.
One last thing to remember here is that each and every single cover letter that you write will need to be uniquely tailored to the job that you are applying to. While it might be a lot less time consuming and a lot more comfortable to use a template cover letter when applying for jobs, it is actually a very bad idea.
Truth be told, employers, clients, human resources representatives, and pretty much everyone else will be able to tell if the cover letter was written for that job specifically, and it will be looked down upon.
Employers will appreciate a unique cover letter a lot more because it shows genuine interest, dedication, and the willingness to do things properly. A standard template simply shows laziness.
Writing a cover letter can be a bit stressful at times, but not impossible. When it comes down to it, it is all about presenting and marketing yourself, highlighting the positives and shadowing the negatives, trying to convince the reader that you are the best choice.
As long as you read the job post carefully and repeatedly, tailor your cover letter to it while following a simple set of professional instructions, and keep it within reasonable bounds, you will be sure to impress with it.