How to Write a Cover Letter: The Ultimate Guide

If you’ve ever applied to a job online, then you’ve probably had to write a cover letter of some sort. But despite their commonality, many job seekers don’t know how to write one well. If you’re struggling with writing a cover letter that will impress employers and get you hired, we can help! Here are some tips on how to write a cover letter that can help you stand out from the crowd and get your foot in the door for your dream job.

Step 1: Identify the Roles

It’s no secret that having the right skills and experience are key factors for securing an interview. Your cover letter is your first opportunity to impress your future employer, so it’s important not only to customize your letter based on the type of position you’re applying for, but also consider what keywords you’ll need in order to connect with the hiring person. It’s also worth noting that this type of correspondence has evolved into more than just a paragraph explaining why you’re the best person for the job. Also, it helps to include the name of the position for which you are applying, and mentioning some of the bullet points in the original job description. For example, if the description lists that you need three years of experience as a virtual assistant, mention that you have X amount of years as a VA which is more/less as requested in the job description (if you say less, explain why you feel you deserve the position!).

Step 2: Answer these Questions

  • Who is the letter for? 
      1. It is important to be clear about who you are addressing your letter to. This person should be listed in the top of your cover letter and throughout the body of your letter as well. If you are unsure about who your letter should be addressed, this should also be stated up front in order to give them an understanding of what you want from them or what you’re requesting of them. This can go hand-in-hand with explaining why they need to read the following contents of your cover letter as well. 
  • What are my qualifications? 
    1. This question is asking for three things in particular that the employer wants a clear understanding on. First off, it asks if you have experience with the industry/company’s specific field. For example, if it is related to marketing then there are quite a few subsets within marketing that require specific experience such as web design. Secondly, it asks if you have any relevant degrees (like a web design or marketing degree). Lastly, the company wants to understand what you bring to the table through your experience such as tools you have at your disposal; sticking with the web design example, the company wants to know if you have all the tools you need already or if you will require them such as a company computer. In fact, some employers look for people that already have personal access to specific software. These questions require very specific answers so make sure they align closely with their expectations and needs.

Step 3: Highlight your Qualifications

By this point, you should have spent enough time talking about yourself so that the business owner or hiring manager knows your strengths and weaknesses. You should also have addressed why you are uniquely qualified for the job. This is where you discuss any qualifications that are related specifically to the job description in question. Make sure that any skills and experience mentioned fit into your objective, though.

Step 4 : Formatting Matters

When it comes time to write your cover letter, formatting is important. A great cover letter tells the story of you and your journey, in such a way that the employer can’t stop reading. No matter how strong your qualifications are, if they’re not presented well on paper they will be overlooked. Check out this example below for guidelines on how to properly format your cover letter and break into the industry of your dreams:

  1. Mention the position and why you are interested.
  2. Go into detail about your work history, but make it interesting; employers are getting tons of cover letters, so it’s important to make yours stand out.
  3. Talk about the job requirements and how you meet them.
  4. Give employers a couple of different ways to contact you.

Step 5 : Tailor Your Cover Letters

Cover letters are one of the most important parts of your job application. They should be tailored specifically for each job so make sure that you spend time personalizing it. If you’re applying for a job as a manager, talk about how your management experience makes you the perfect candidate. If you’re applying for an entry-level position, talk about how excited you are to get started and learn from the people who’ve been there before. Pick which experience to focus on based on what the job is!

What tips do you have for those who are writing cover letters? Let us know!



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cover letter, Getting Hired, job search, Resume & Cover Letters, Work From Home