10 Things A Cover Letter Must Have
When applying for a job, it can be difficult to know what should go into a cover letter. Knowing the importance of the first impression you make on an employer is essential as well as understanding how to put together that first impression into a form that gets right to the point and describes why you are qualified and able to do the job. Cover letters are a great opportunity to sell yourself and show why you would be a great fit for an open position.
You only have a page, possibly two, to do this. You’ll want to use that space wisely to emphasize the reasons you are qualified for the position. After all, if the cover letter is riddled with errors, it will be hard for an employer to take you seriously at all.
If you want to learn how to write a cover letter, Here are the top ten things it should have:
1. Your Contact Information
A staple cover letter format includes your name, address, and phone number. This ensures you get credit for all your hard work! Make sure this comes first so it can be easily found in case they need to contact you. If you need to send multiple cover letters, it’s recommended that you have a cover letter template.
2. The Hiring Manager’s Name and Company address.
This shows that you care enough about the position to take the time to find out who they are. Googling “XYZ Company, Inc.” usually gets the information right on the first page of search results if it is not included in the advertisement for the job.
3. A Greeting Including a Salutation and a Sign-off.
For example, “Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name”. This shows you know how to address someone professionally. Ending your letter with “Sincerely” is the standard for closing a business letter as well as signing it with something like “Yours Truly” or “Best Regards”.
4. What Position You are Applying for Specifically.
Employers look at a resume cover letter to see if a candidate fits the specific job they are looking to fill and what that candidate can do, whether it’s sales, management or customer service. It is short and sweet but should be direct without any fluff or filler that does not apply to what the job entails. For example, if you are applying for a position in sales, your cover letter should list how many years of experience in sales you have along with any certifications that would give the candidate an edge over another candidate.
5. A Brief Explanation About Why You Want to Work for their Company Specifically
You need to show them what makes you the best candidate for the position and not just anyone who can do it. For example, showing in your cover letter for job application that you fit in with their company culture is a good way to make them take notice.
6. What Sets You Apart From Other Candidates
Considering how many people apply for positions these days, your cover letter has to stand out. This does not have to be an essay, but it should give them a hint as to why they should hire you instead of the other applicants. Employers are looking for people who can bring something new and fresh to the table so if there is something that stands out about you it’s best to mention it.
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7. Your Education and Experience
This is important because it shows employers that you are serious about the position you are applying for and have some knowledge of what they do.
8. Your Skill Set – Or More Specifically, Your Professional Skills
Employers want to see how well-rounded their new hire will be which is why this section should highlight not only your education but the skills you have to bring to the table. Employers want people who can make their lives easier which is why they look for candidates who are organized, punctual, and dependable.
9. A Concise List of Key Achievements or Awards
This will show what makes you the best candidate for the position. Giving examples of where your strengths lie lets employers know how you will do in the position they are considering hiring you for.
10. A Closing Sentence That Leaves a Lasting Impression
According to marketing professors, this is the last thing people think of when reading your letter, but it’s important because it lets employers know how serious you are about working for them. Leaving on a good note ensures that employers will remember who you are and why you would be a great candidate for the position. It also helps to include a list of references. And lastly, don’t forget to thank them for considering you for the position.
For someone interested in getting a job, the cover letter is often one of the most important parts of their application. It can be difficult to know what to include and how to get it right, but knowing these ten things will help you get started.