Whether you’re actively applying for jobs or gathering all the required materials to begin your search, you’ve likely begun to think about how to write a cover letter that will help you stand out among the rest. Writing a cover letter can feel tricky and time consuming, and while you can browse pages worth of cover letter examples, you’ll want to create a piece unique to you, because after all, it’s one of the most important steps of the job application process. We’re sharing four key pointers to ensure you are ready to write your next cover letter like a seasoned pro.
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The cover letter introduction
Hiring managers and recruiters alike are busy individuals, so ensuring that your introduction paragraph is both engaging and unique in its approach to introduce you, the applicant, is key. While you do want to engage the reader, you should use this first paragraph as a way to introduce yourself while including a few key sentences that cover your interest in the company, the position, and the value you could add as a potential new hire. This is not the time to detail out why you’re leaving your current role, skills you’re looking to learn, or why you are the only candidate for the job.
A strong cover letter example introduction might sound like this:
As an active follower of 24 Seven (example company) and its presence in the staffing and recruiting industry (example industry), I was ecstatic to see the open role for an Account Manager. After spending the last two years developing and perfecting my own unique recruiting approach for (current company) through advanced outreach and pipelining, I would love the opportunity to source and hire stellar talent for 24 Seven.
A weak cover letter example introduction might sound like this:
My name is Mary and I’m a great Account Manager. I saw this job posted on Glassdoor and because of my background in recruiting and talent management, I thought I would be a strong fit. I’m currently looking for a new role, as I was recently laid off. With my skills and the skills I look to build, I know I would be the ideal candidate for this role!
The ideal candidate
Now that you’ve taken the opportunity to state your interest in the company and position within, it’s time to share why you’re the ideal candidate for the job. Since you’ve briefly detailed your value-add in the introductory paragraph, now is the perfect time to expand on your past experience and how it directly aligns with the role you’re applying for. While your resume acts as an outline, this paragraph will allow you to go more in-depth about your specific responsibilities and experiences in prior roles.
Cover letter example points to include:
How did you manage the responsibilities you had effectively?
How did you gain and build upon your skillset?
How did you help grow initiatives within the company?
What are some major projects you worked on and how did the final product turn out?
The dream company
Once you’ve expanded on why you are the perfect candidate for the role, now is the time to share why the company is the right fit for you as an applicant. This shouldn’t be a paragraph detailing out how much you love the company, but rather what attracts you to them as an organization and a potential employer. How does the company’s mission and vision directly align with where you see yourself as an applicant now and as you move forward in your career?
Cover letter example points to include:
Stances the company has taken on social issues and how you relate to them
An industry focus that directly aligns with your passions and interests
Steps the company has taken as they have grown/expanded that you have taken note of
A strong company culture presented through social media and the company’s website and how it matches your work style
You have now successfully covered all the bases that come with writing a strong cover letter, but you’re not done just yet. For this final paragraph, you’ll want to briefly summarize the points you’ve made throughout while sharing once again why you are the best fit for the role. This is your last pitch, so make sure your tone is both professional and to the point while including all important parting details. Lastly, be sure to extend thanks for the time spent reading your cover letter – a simple thank you can go a long way!
Are you ready to begin writing your next cover letter? Give it a shot! Using the steps above and the cover letter examples provided, you should be ready to catch the eye of hiring managers and land your next job. Looking for more career advice? Click here!