Most times when we want to apply for jobs, write proposals or even get freelance projects there is always a need for a cover letter even though not in all cases but what about when the need arises with all that being said let’s dive in.
A cover letter is a tool to help introduce yourself in a memorable, personal way during a job application, project bid and so on.
A properly-crafted cover letter covers the information on your resume and expands this information for the reader, taking them on a guided journey of some of your greatest career and life achievements.
Contents of a good cover letter.
Information about you
Begin your cover letter with your contact information. It should be in block style, on the left margin of your paper, towards the top.
- Current home address
- Telephone number
Include a date as you would do with any business letter.
Contact Person’s Name, Title, Employer, and Address: Including a specific name can get your letter and resume to the hiring manager more quickly and can be an effective personal touch. If you are applying for an advertised position that does not give a name to contact, call the company and ask for the department manager’s name.
Choose the appropriate way to address the contact person.
- Dear Mr. Johns (if a man’s name is the contact)
- Dear Ms. Smith (if a woman’s name is the contact)
- Dear Sir (if there is no contact name)
In the opening paragraph tell how you learned about the position. You may, for example, know of a job through:
- a classified advertisement
- an unsolicited mailing
- the Internet
- personal referrals
This paragraph gives a summary of your background and critical skills (hard skills) that make you qualified for the position.
Second Middle Paragraph
This paragraph can be used to demonstrate your persuasive skills (soft skills).
Contact Information and Closing
At the end of the letter talk about your availability for the job, where you can be contacted, and when you are going to contact the hiring person for an appointment to discuss your application. If you have no contact name you may simply want to indicate your anticipation for a response in this part of the letter. Thank the person to whom you are writing for his/her time and consideration of your application.
Steps to writing a good cover letter.
Telling stories from your career is a great way to demonstrate your skills and give hiring managers or clients some insight into your personality and work style.
When looking for the right stories to tell, always look to the requirements for the position in the project or job description.
Dishonesty on your cover letter isn’t in your best interest.
Always proofread your cover letter for errors and have friends and family read through the cover letter.
Write with a different approach.
“Hi, I’m ___. I’m a detail-oriented, multi-tasking, natural-born leader and I am perfect for your company” – stop using this approach as it’s way too common as you don’t know the amount of times the hiring manager or the client must have read this adding a little word variation helps you stand out against other applicants.
End with a polite call-to-action.
Let the call to action be polite and open ended, suggesting that you are excited to offer more information and that you’re looking forward to talking with them.