Cover Letter Guidelines and Templates
“Skip the cover letter, and you miss out on an opportunity to sell yourself,” says Evelyn Salvador, author of Step-by-Step Cover Letters: Build a Cover Letter in 10 Easy Steps Using Personal Branding and principal of Creative Image Builders, a resume-development and career-coaching firm in Coram, New York.
A cover letter should always accompany your CV unless you are told otherwise. It allows you to personalize an application and highlight key areas of your CV in more depth.
Don’t forget that first impressions count, you should write an impressive and effective letter. Remember that the letter not only highlights your accomplishments but also reveals how effectively you can communicate, convince and market yourself and it’s the key to unlock the first door for the interview.
Why should you write a cover letter?
It shows the hiring manager who you are and why they should hire you
Emphasizing your skills, talents, qualifications and experiences to show how you would be a valuable addition to the team. If you have relevant volunteer or professional experience include it briefly in your cover letter.
It shows the hiring manager that you are serious about the opportunity
You have done your research, collected the right information about the company and the post which shows that you are serious about the opportunity.
It lets you highlight your strengths
Your resume lists the roles you played and the significant accomplishments you achieved in your most recent positions. But when you're constrained to one page (or two, if you have that much relevant experience), you may be forced to sacrifice some details in favor of length. In your cover letter, you can explain and draw attention to a few noteworthy experiences from your resume. It also helps start to demonstrate your personality, which is often even more important than your qualifications.
It showcases your writing skills
It’s a persuasive tool and a green light raising the curiosity of the hiring manager to want to know more.
It sets up the follow-up
Follow up every job lead, contact, and communication. Following up is the “golden key” to getting hired for the job of your dreams. Use follow-up cover letters, thank-you letters, and follow-up phone calls. Following up actually doubles your chance for success. It is also the one missing ingredient in 99 percent of all job seekers recipe book.
Sections you should include in the cover letter
Contact information and the date
You should include your contact information to be easily accessible by the hiring manager.
- Email address
- Phone number
- Skype address
- City – Country
The Greeting (the Salutation)
Address the letter to a specific person whenever possible. Use the person’s first and last name, including a “Mr.” or “Ms.” (e.g., Mr. Jack Smith). If you can't find an individual's name, use the job title of the recipient (Maintenance Supervisor, Office Manager), or perhaps "Human Resources" or "Search Committee." Do not address your letter to a business, a department, “Dear or Sir or Madam” or "To Whom It May Concern." —nothing could be more generic (not to mention archaic).
Opening and introduction (The Grab)
Explain who you are and your reason for writing, including how you found out about the position. Your opening paragraph is your introduction and presents the reader with some immediate and focused information regarding the position the name of the position you are pursuing, where you found out about it (website or personal referral) and a few core competencies that demonstrate your strength.
Having contributed as an operations and general business leader, I am writing to express my interest in [Name of Position] with [Name of Company] currently being advertised Global HCI You will see on the enclosed resume I turned around an under-performing business, substantially improved productivity and employee morale, and possess critical and creative thinking skills that will facilitate my swift contribution to your sustained growth.
The Second Paragraph (The Hook)
Sell yourself. Reveal why you are a perfect and unique match for the position. Explain why you have chosen the employer. Briefly summarize your talents, experience, and achievements.
In my position with the Kearney Public School District, I restored the administration’s faith in contracting with temporary agencies and workers, contributed my professionalism during a staffing crisis, and provided valuable insight to help the district recruit and retain productive, happy employees. I’ve applied my excellent communication and customer-service skills to building relationships with customers, clients, patients and team members, listening to their needs, providing workable solutions, and making independent decisions.
The Third Paragraph (Paragraph Of Knowledge)
Here take a few minutes to personalize your letter by demonstrating what you know about the company you are writing for. This shows the reader that you did some preliminary homework and understand the company’s drivers, goals and the position you are applying for:
After researching 123 Company, I understand your immediate goal is to improve business performance and establish key benchmarks within [Name of Industry]. Your recent acquisition of [Company Name], puts you in a position to gain market share and establish a unique brand presence with potential and existing customers. Given my professional achievements, I am in a position to help you quickly achieve your goals.
In the closing paragraph quickly summarize what you offer and Take a proactive approach in your cover letter. State the fact that you are available for a personal interview; give your home, work, e-mail, and/or cell phone numbers where you can be reached; note that you will follow up by phone (where possible) to provide any additional information required.
I bring a tool kit comprised of leadership, strategic planning, and analytical skills; and I would be pleased to review my credentials with you to personally explore how I can contribute as a member of your senior leadership team. Please feel free to contact me at the number above to arrange a time to speak.
“I look forward to being interviewed at your earliest convenience. Thank you so much for this opportunity. Sincerely, Jane Jobseeker.” (Notice how Jane assumes she’ll land the interview? This approach is clever, smart, and it works like a charm).
Download the template below and for more templates read" Free Professional Sample Job-Search Cover Letters"