As cold emails and online listings become the new norm during the digital age, cover letters have turned into the often-overlooked piece in the job application process. However, writing one can still be the difference between landing an interview or not. Learn these basic rules to start.
Not Just Another Resume
The first thing to know is that a cover letter should not be just another version of your resume. Almost all job applications require a resume, so the recruiter does not want to waste their time reading the same information twice. Instead, a cover letter should include why you are interested in the job and your pitch on how you can bring value to the company. Focus on 2 to 3 ways you bring value and tell the story on how.
What to Include
A cover letter should be no more than 3 to 4 paragraphs which each one having a different purpose. They should go as:
- 1st Paragraph: Why you are writing
Briefly introduce yourself then state the position you are applying for, how you found the role and a sentence summarizing why you are a strong candidate.
- 2nd Paragraph: Your value
This is your pitch. Sell the reader on your qualifications, previous experiences, and any other relevant information. As mentioned earlier, this is where you tell your story on how you can provide value for the company.
- 3rd Paragraph: Contact Information
Your pitch is over and now it is time to close. Give your contact information and again express your interest in the role.
A Strong First Impression
Given that a cover letter is one of the first impressions you make on a recruiter, you need to keep it formal. The document should fit on one page with the below business format:
- Top header with your contact information
- Employer contact information above introduction
- Standard 1” margins
- Lots of white space to avoid being jumbled
Know that you have the basics, want to learn more about perfecting your cover letter? Our creative writing experts have all of your job application needs. Reach out today!