The two most important documents that you can send for a job include your resume and a cover letter. Later in para we will discuss how to make cover letter with effective tips and tricks
The resume contains concise points related to your work and education, whereas a cover letter is an opportunity to explain your skills and how you can contribute towards the job posting. You get to explain in a cover letter why you are the best candidate choice for the post.
In this article we are going to share some valuable insight and tips to help you draft an effective and well versed cover letter.
What is a cover letter?
Before beginning it’s a good idea for you to understand what a cover letter actually is. A cover letter is a document that is sent with your resume for a job opportunity. A cover letter is primarily written to elaborate your skills and experience that pertain to that particular job. It showcases your communication and writing skills and also helps the employer understand why you are a suitable candidate for the job and to show that you have a clear idea about the job requirements. It helps to serve as a sales pitch to market your skills and potential for the job. Cover letters are customized for each job so it’s a good idea to draft a template and utilize it for different opportunities.
Tips for an effective cover letter
1) Customized Cover Letter
Yes, it is necessary to customize a cover letter for every individual job that you apply for. For most employers a cover letter is absolutely necessary and while it may be quicker and hassle free to simply edit a cover letter, putting in extra effort to write about why you are the best choice for every individual job will certainly pay off in the long run.
First make sure you have thoroughly research about the job and the company before you start the letter.
2) A Proper Start
The best way to start off a cover letter is to traditionally start off with the person’s first and last name, for example “Dear Mr. John Doe” or “Dear Ms. Jane Do”. Never start off with a run of the mill “To Whom It May Concern” as nothing can be more outdated and stiff. If you are not aware of the hiring person’s name then address it to the head of the department for which you are applying.
3) Show off Relevant Skills
If a job requires the candidate to be good at communicating then make sure your writing is up to par and include examples of how your communication skills have proven worthy in past experiences. If you are required to excel in marketing skills for the job then ensure your cover letter adequately markets your skills and experience too.
4) Different from Resume
Keep your cover letter different from your resume by avoiding repetition. Don’t simply repeat what skills you possess or the achievements of your past. Highlight the skills that helped you achieve your targets and goals. Aim to explain how you were able to achieve the responsibility that you have mentioned in your resume. Include a short story that shows your passion and drive and how you can use these to help you with the new job as well.
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5) Experience more than Education
Yes you dedicated a good few years of your life in completing your master’s program, however the degree itself is sufficient for your resume. Most employers are not looking to read about your education again and again, instead they are on the lookout for practical experiences that have helped you in achieve real life goals. Even if you are a fresher instead of focusing on your education try to explain how you have grown over the years and the goals that you have set for the next upcoming years as you enter the career path.
6) Understand the Company
Since each cover letter will be customized, it’s wise to draft it in a way that is aligned with the tone of the company. Take time to read about the company on their website and social media, understand the culture and tone of the company and then draft your cover letter in a similar way. Not only will this strike a familiar chord with the employer, it will also show that you will fit in well if hired.
7) Include Testimonials and References
This does not mean that you start asking old colleagues and bosses for quotations and references. It simply means that you include testimonials of the past in your cover letter. For example, ‘in my previous job my boss used to say that he tends to assign tasks to me and ends up forgetting about them because he trusted my memory and efficiency with his life’. Or “My passion for data analysis has gotten enhanced over the years, as my previous supervisor once said that I love Excel more than anyone she has ever known.”
Try not to overdo it though, stick to maximum one reference per cover letter and only include the relevant ones. It’s even better to entirely skip testimonials than to include one that has no link to the skills and experience that you are highlighting.
8) Finish Strong
It’s tempting to include sentences like “looking forward to hearing from you” or “thank you for your time” etc. but your last para is a key chance to highlight any skill that you might have missed and its better to skip these archaic expressions. Instead include something like, “I am keen on working with the company on the mission to educate masses about polio and eagerly waiting to use my community skills to reach out to maximum people” or “2020 seems like a potentially impactful year for your company with the implementation of SAP and I can’t wait to pass on my knowledge of the software to the junior team”.
While the opening para is important, the closing is equally important as well. Avoid cliche sentences like “thank you for your time” or “waiting to hear from you”. Instead either keep it short with a simple “Sincerely” or “best regards” or include a post script such as,
P.S I would value the opportunity to tell you all about the time my data analysis workings helped Ibex Global in reducing the factory overheads by nearly a quarter.
Once you are finished with the letter and have gone through a spell check (absolutely crucial), then keep it aside for a few hours. Look at it from a fresh perspective and make the necessary changes. It would even be a good idea to ask a family or friend to go through it for you and point out mistakes and errors. There are also apps available that help in highlighting wordy texts and also provide grammar editing like Grammarly and Hemingway etc.
Do you have any cover letter tips that you want to add? Reach out to us and let us know
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