How to Write a Great Cover Letter
Updated: Mar 12
By the Job Transitions, Inc
A cover letter is an important document that often accompanies a resume when applying for a job. It is a way for you to introduce yourself, express your interest in the position, and highlight the skills and qualifications that make you a strong candidate for the job. In this blog post, we will discuss how to write a great cover letter that will help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of landing the interview.
1) Understand the purpose of the cover letter
Before you start writing your cover letter, it is important to understand its purpose. The cover letter is not just a formality; it is an opportunity for you to showcase your qualifications and make a strong case for why you are the best candidate for the job. It should be tailored to the specific position you are applying for and should highlight the skills and experiences that make you a good fit.
2) Research the company and position
Researching the company will give you a deeper understanding of their mission, values, and culture, which can help you align your qualifications and experiences with the company's goals and objectives.
This type of research also shows the employer that you are genuinely interested in the job and the company. It can also help you implement any keywords that are relevant to the company and position, which can help increase the chances of you generating the interview.
3) Include Keywords
One important aspect of writing a great cover letter is including relevant keywords throughout the document. By including relevant keywords in your cover letter, you can demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and experience for the job.
For example, if you are applying for a marketing position, you should include keywords such as "marketing campaigns," "analytics," "social media," and "branding." Additionally, many companies use automated tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes and cover letters for keywords, so including them can help increase the chances of your application being passed on to a hiring manager.
4) Use a professional tone
When writing your cover letter, it is important to use a professional tone. This means using formal language and avoiding slang, jargon, or overly casual language. Your cover letter should be well-written and free of errors, as it reflects your attention to detail and professionalism.
Using a professional tone also helps establish your credibility and authority as a candidate. It shows that you take the job application process seriously and that you are respectful of the employer's time and attention. Additionally, a professional tone can also help to convey your enthusiasm for the position and your genuine interest in the company.
5) Show, don't tell
When writing a cover letter, it is important to use the technique of "show, don't tell." This means providing specific examples of how you have demonstrated the skills and qualifications required for the job. It is an effective way to engage the employer and to make your cover letter more compelling. Instead of simply listing your qualifications, you can use concrete examples to demonstrate how you have used your skills in real-world situations. This helps the employer to see how your skills and experiences align with the position and how you can contribute to the company goals.
For example, instead of writing "I am a team player," you could write "I have experience leading cross-functional teams to achieve common goals." Additionally, including specific examples of your achievements, rather than day-to-day responsibilities, can help to showcase your value as a candidate.
6) Keep it concise
Your cover letter should be concise and to the point. The employer should be able to easily understand your qualifications and why you are the best candidate for the job. Avoid rambling or going into too much detail.
Additionally, keeping your cover letter concise demonstrates that you are able to communicate effectively and efficiently. It shows that you are able to present your qualifications in a clear and organized manner.
7) Tailor your cover letter to the position
When tailoring your cover letter to the position, it is important to highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job. For example, if you are applying for a marketing position, you should highlight your experience with marketing campaigns and strategies. Additionally, you should use the language and terminology specific to the industry, and match the tone of the company's communication.
8) Show enthusiasm and interest
Showing enthusiasm when writing a cover letter is an important aspect of making a positive impression on the employer. It demonstrates your genuine interest in the position and the company. It can also help to set you apart from other candidates. When an employer sees that a candidate is excited about the opportunity, they are more likely to interview them.
To show enthusiasm in your cover letter, you can mention why you are excited about the opportunity and how your skills and experiences align with the company's mission and values. You can also express your interest in learning more about the company and the position. This helps to convey your passion for the industry and the role, and it shows the employer that you are truly invested in the opportunity.
9) Close with a call to action
Including a call to action (CTA) when writing a cover letter is an important aspect of the job application process. A CTA is a statement or request that prompts the reader to take a specific action. In the case of a cover letter, a CTA can be used to request an interview, ask for a meeting, or express your interest in learning more about the position.
Based on your career goal and job target, create a “Master Cover Letter.” For example, if you’re looking for a marketing-related position, it should be easy enough to write a couple of brief paragraphs on your skills, experience, and accomplishments related to marketing without actually customizing it to a specific opportunity or company.
Then, when you need to use it, just bring up the Master Cover Letter, duplicate the file, and customize it for the specific opportunity you’re applying to. The Master Cover Letter always remains the same, and you do not need to reinvent the wheel so to speak every time you need to use it. At least you have a starting point, and all you’re doing is editing – not really creating one from scratch.
That is where you can edit based on the specific company and open position. The end result is that you will significantly reduce the time it takes to create a customized letter for any position you’re interested in applying to.
If you're looking for extra help in crafting a great cover letter, we can help. Our resume and cover letter writing services are designed to help you get the job you really want. Schedule a free resume review and consultation today > www.jobtransitions.net/contact.