We have written A LOT of articles and posts on whether to include cover letters or not.
Do you need them? Do recruiters and hiring managers even looks at them? Regardless of our opinion on the importance of cover letters, we wanted to give an amazing blueprint for writing the (almost) perfect cover letter.
What is the ideal length of a cover letter?
Cover letters should contain at least three paragraphs: an introduction, body, and closing paragraph. Outlined below are the questions you need to answer in each paragraph.
Introductory paragraph of your cover letter
Before you get down to writing, you need to think creatively and craft your words in an impressive manner to catch your employer’s attention. Here, you first introduce yourself in a professional manner. You then present your interest in the position and briefly state why you’re interested in it. You also have to state where you heard about the position. Is it from an ad or did a friend inform you about it?
Main body (second paragraph) of your cover letter
This is the part that employers are mostly interested in. In this section, the employer needs to know how qualified you are for the position you’re applying for. Highlight your experiences and specific skills that would make you stand out from the rest of the applicants. These skills should match the employer’s requirements for that vacancy. You ought to convince your employer that you’re really the person they’re looking for.
Key points to include in any cover letter
Again, in as few words as possible, you need to explain your answer to questions like: why are you interested in that job? Why did you prefer company X over Y? Why is the company’s location suitable for you? What attracts you to company X and not Y?
When presenting your interpersonal skills, avoid plain words that most people use. Refer the reader to a project or a portfolio where they can see and review your work. For example, if you’re a web designer, add some links that showcase your skills rather than describing yourself with plain words like creative, hardworking, and other such personal attributes. After all, how can the employer prove that you are not as hardworking as you claim? Providing some evidence will help clear the air for you.
How to finish off your cover letter
This is where you thank the reader for going through your letter. You should never take this for granted. Remember, most of these people are very busy, and for them to read your letter, no matter how much time it takes, is a big deal. You may also want to inform them of any attachments you may have included. Likewise, inform the prospective employer about how you plan to follow up on the position you applied for. Your intention is to show as much interest as you can so that they consider you for the vacancy. You may also add that you look forward to hearing from them, specifically when they call you for an interview. The sole purpose of the letter is to get you an interview, so make it clear to them that you’re really up for the job and that scheduling you for an interview might just be the best decision they’ll ever make.
Still not sure if you have the right content? We offer free resume and cover letter reviews, so just send us your cover letter for an expert opinion.