How To Write a Cover Letter + End of Year Special
Your cover letter is like your profile on a dating app. Done well, your foot is in the door, and you are on your way to happily ever after. Done not so well, and you are swiped into oblivion, left to wander the abyss forever doomed… ok, this got a little dark.
The point is, your cover letter is your best representation, your resume shows your skills, your cover letter demonstrates your personality.
In this blog, I will walk you through how to produce a powerful, professional cover letter to help you stand out from the crowd, like how people use pictures with animals in their dating profile pics.
Cover letters are a chance to show off your individuality to a degree, but, there are still specific tips you should follow.
- Avoid “Dear Sir / Madam”, or “To Whom It May Concern”. We are in the age in the internet, research goes a long way. If the person to contact doesn’t have their name on the ad, look at the company website or LinkedIn profile. If you still can’t find it, call the company and ask who you should address it to. Not only will it help your letter stand out, it also shows you have initiative.
- Triple check for typos and spelling errors. Nothing ruins a cover letter like poor grammar and spelling. I know they can be easy to miss, but you need to spend those extra 10 minutes going over it word by word. I cannot tell you how many cover letters I have seen with “I am a percfetionist” or “strong attenttion to detial.” Check it, recheck it, and then, have someone else check it.
- Match the tone of the Ad. If the ad had a fun style or some humour, match it, don’t go crazy, but let your personality shine through more. If the announcement was formal and to the point, make your letter the same. Remember, businesses don’t just want people with skills, they want people with skills who will match the culture.
- Don’t use the same cover letter for every job, this may seem obvious, but it happens way too often. Where you can, tweak certain parts of the message, not just the job title, and who it is addressed to.
4 Elements of a Cover Letter
You can break a cover letter down to 4 parts.
- Value Add
Once you break these down, writing a cover letter will be less daunting.
Naturally, the introduction comes first. Address the person (by name remember), introduce yourself, the position you are applying for, and where you saw the ad. Some companies may have several jobs openings at once, if they can’t see what job you are applying for in the first 2 lines, they will move on to the next applicant. A brief sentence on why you want the position is also a good idea.
Skills are where you match your skills, to the skills advertised on the job. This is not meant to be a full recap of your resume, and you don’t want to pick skills not relevant to the position.
Unless you are trying to join the Chicago Bulls, your potential employer won’t care you can dunk from the 3 point line. But, if you can, that is impressive.
Pick skills they have mentioned in the ad and explain how you meet the requirements, don’t tell them your life story, but add more details than “I meet skill requirements you have asked for.”
Reflect the wording of the job advertisement when highlighting your skills. If they have asked for a creative writer, don’t say “I imagine stuff well, and can write.” Instead, try ” I have 5 years of creative writing experience as a writer and editor for children’s books.
Value add allows you to express further how you would be a good fit for the business. Research the company, find a way you can align yourself with them. If you see they support a charity, you also support, mention it.
Look for any connection you may have with them. Explain why you want to work for them, have you heard the culture of the business rewards hard workers? Do you like the fact 10% of their profits go to helping the homeless? Is their business 100% equal opportunity? If this is what draws you to the company mention it.
This shows you care about where you work and take pride in it, but also, you have researched the company, you understand who they are and what they do.
You have nearly made it to the end. Well Done. Unfortunately, the conclusion is a crucial part. Remember this is the last part they will read, you need to finish strong.
Bring everything together, remind them of your skills x,y,z, combined with your interest in 1,2,3 (relating to the company) would make you an ideal fit for the business. Make it clear this is the job you want, allow passion to come through. Invite them to read your resume, and contact to you arrange an interview to discuss your merits further.
I personally sign my letters off with “Kind Regards”, but “Sincerely can also work.”
You are finished! Make sure you triple check for spelling and grammar. Read it aloud to make sure it makes sense. Then send it off.
NOTE: The end of the year and the start of the new year is when most people look for new jobs. Because of this, I am doing an End Of Year special. From now until December 31st, I am offering a $30 Cover Letter & Resume package. If you would like to know more click here