A cover letter is one of the most important documents for your job search. At times, it’s as important as a resume but so many job seekers neglect to write one, or write an effective one. There has been some bad advice circulating the web that no one reads cover letters, that’s just not true. Many hiring managers read the cover letter and decide whether or not to call the candidate in for an interview based on it. We’ll show you what to include in a cover letter today to help you stand out from the competition.
You need to include your contact information on your cover letter but remember that you don’t need your full mailing address – not on a cover letter or resume.
You should also include the name of the hiring manager (if you can find it), the company name and address.
Here is how your header should look:
You need to tailor your cover letter to each position you apply for. You don’t want the hiring manager thinking you’re blasting the same cover letter out to every position.
It doesn’t mean you need to write a completely new cover letter every time, but you do need to swap some information in and out. One of the main things you want to do is mention the company name and the position you’re applying for on your cover letter.
You don’t need to reiterate your resume word for word but mentioning a few professional accomplishments on your cover letter is one of the best ways to capture the attention of a hiring manager. Remember that there are potentially hundreds of other candidates applying, so you need to tell the hiring manager that you’re the one for the job.
Mention how you went above and beyond in a previous position. Mention something specific you accomplished or an award you received.
Remember that you want to tell the hiring manager you’re the perfect fit for the position so you should mention only relevant work history. Talking about your 10 years of experience as a cashier for a bookkeeping position won’t be very effective.
What if you have no experience?
Lead with your education, soft skills and elements of your previous position that are relevant. We wrote a great post on writing a cover letter with little to no experience which you may want to check out.
You want to end the cover letter in a way that makes the hiring manager want to schedule that interview.
How do you do that?
Include a call to action which in this case would be inviting you to an interview. Although it may seem a bit pushy, it’s not. Asking the hiring manager to schedule an interview in your cover letter shows confidence – that’s something you definitely want to portray. Lastly, don’t forget to thank them for their time.
So just to recap:
You can also check out our post on what a cover letter should look like.
A cover letter is one of the most important documents in your job search. It allows you to tell the hiring manager why you’re the best fit for the position in a friendly and conversational tone. It also allows you to show a genuine interest in the position which the resume doesn’t really allow you to do. Take the time to craft an awesome cover letter and you’ll see the difference in the number of interviews you land.
Good luck with your job search!