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Cover letter: writing tips

It took weeks to find the “right” job. It took hours to put together the right resume.
Almost done.
The final touch is the cover letter.

Moreover, not just “a couple of sentences, whatever,” but the perfect text that will touch the recruiter and make him fall in love with your candidacy.

But how can you write a letter that would make the employer rush and call you even in the middle of the night?

It will take you 10 minutes to learn:

  • How to write a cover letter that will help you stand out from the competition;
  • Tips and more tips for writing a cover letter that will increase your chances of getting a job;
  • Practical ideas on how to start and end a cover letter
  • How to properly address a cover letter.

Before we begin, we want to focus your attention on the following. For a successful cover letter, use a three-paragraph format:

  • The first paragraph to get the attention of the hiring manager;
  • The second is to show what you can offer;
  • Third, to prove that you fit.

 

Ready to see in more detail how it works?

Watch your hands.

1.Use a professional headline cover letter

The headline of every professional cover letter you write in hope of getting a job should include:

  • Your name
  • Phone number
  • Your email
  • Date
  • Name of the recruiter
  • Name and address of the company to which you are applying

Also, if desired, you can add:

  • Information about your professional qualifications
  • Your home address
  • Links to your professional websites
  • Your social media accounts (LinkedIn and Twitter only)
  • Your city of residence

Don’t forget to do everything professionally:

  • Use an email address from a serious domain – this means either Gmail or your personal domain (if you have one);
  • Your e-mail address should include only your name and surname – sexyolenka@gmail.com or chotkiydimon@hotmail.com will spoil the whole impression;
  • Do not use your current business email address. This is disrespectful to both your current and potential employer;
  • Make sure your contact information is the same in your resume, cover letter, and social media profiles.

Wise advice. Do you write a cover letter without a recruiter’s name? Specify only the name of the department in the destination section: for example, “What.Is.Love Sales Department”.

2.Start the cover letter with the right greeting

Whom did you address the cover letter to?

Obviously, directly to the hiring manager, who will read it.

A greeting is the first thing a recruiter sees. There is one surefire strategy to get your congratulations on his attention.

Аnd this strategy is to use the name of the recruiter.

If we hear or see our name, we react. There is a lot of science behind this.

As soon as the hiring manager sees his name in the greeting of the cover letter, he will feel that he has found something special for him. Due to the appeal, the text of the letter will be perceived as personal. This will give the impression that all further information may be exactly what the recruiter was looking for.

 

 All the examples below are good examples of a professional greeting in a cover letter:

  • Dear Tatiana;
  • Hello, Catherine;
  • Dear Ms.Yakovenko;
  • Dear Mr. Ostapchuk.

Wise advice. Wondering what to use – the name or surname of the hiring manager? It depends on the culture of the company. If you are applying for a position in a casual-company, use the name. For more serious corporate cover letters, it is safer to write the last name of the recipient.

How to find out the name of the hiring manager?

Do some research!

Use Google, go to the company’s website and look there.

If you still can’t find the recruiter’s name, choose one of the following:

  • Dear hiring manager in the sales department;
  • Dear hiring manager;
  • Dear team [Untitled company];
  • To all interested parties.

Wise advice. If you are not an alien from the past, do not start the cover letter with “Dear Sirs”.

3.Write an exciting introductory paragraph

Did you make a headline and congratulations? Now the time of meat and potatoes are the central points of your cover letter.

Here is the cruel truth:

A few suggestions at the beginning of your cover letter to identify will be read by the hiring manager further.

You need to make sure that your cover letters attract the reader’s attention and interest.

Look at these two introductory paragraphs:

WRONG

In response to your position as a digital marketing manager, I would like to express my interest to be involved in the recruitment process. As a digital marketing manager with 8+ years of experience, I am confident that I will be successful in this role.

Why is that bad?

Because it carries no value or detail. The bottom line is basically, “I’ve done this job before, so I think I could do it.” This is not what the hiring manager is looking for.

What should be written instead?

RIGHT

As an enthusiast for Bud’mo marketing initiatives, I was thrilled when I saw your vacancy as a digital marketing manager. I am confident I can help with future challenges. I have experience of leading successful national online campaigns with budgets over UAH 300,000. In addition, I have been able to expand Saturn‘s customer base by 19% since 2011.

 

 “Wow, I must be crazy not to hire such a candidate.”

This is the answer that the first paragraph of this cover letter will bring.

There are several different effective strategies for getting started with a cover letter. You can highlight your accomplishments, show how well you know your potential employer’s needs, or base your introduction on your sheer enthusiasm.

Even professional writers think well about the perfect introduction to their writing. What can we say about those who are not engaged in the creation of texts on a daily basis.

4.Explain why you are the perfect candidate

You see an open position from a dream employer. Its title is the same as your current position. You have been a very successful professional so far.

So to get this job, you just have to show your best sides in your cover letter, right?

No!

Your cover letter is not a trophy.

What to write in the second paragraph of the cover letter?

You need to give the hiring manager exactly what he is looking for. You need to show that you are going to meet the specific needs of the company.

Take, for example, Oleksandra, a candidate in digital marketing. Lux, which she is applying for, is looking for such a candidate:

  • Clever Digital Marketing Manager (1);
  • Someone who will oversee the development of the new internet portal (2).

Let’s see how Oleksandra showed that she embodies both points.

In my current position at A-store, I oversee all stages of our online marketing initiatives, both technical and creative (1). Last year, my key goal was to develop and optimize nine websites for the most strategic A-store products and improve our SEO and UX results (2). Here we are in a year:

  • Eight of the nine websites I optimized secured their place in Google’s Top 3 results (2). These are organic, unpaid results for 10+ key search terms;
  • Incoming search engine traffic on all nine websites accounts for 47% of total organic traffic (2) for keywords and phrases.

See how it’s done?

In the first sentence, show that you are an expert in your field. But don’t keep bragging. The rest of the second paragraph of the cover letter should contain information on how your previous experience will help the prospective employer implement their plans.

5.Explain why you want to join

Your future employers need it. If they are willing to hire you, it is because they think you will hear these needs.

But they also want you to really enjoy working with them.

They want your future work to be useful for you as well – so they will be sure that you will stay with them for a long time.

The key to writing the third paragraph of the perfect cover letter is to show the hiring manager why you want this particular job, not any job.

Here’s the easiest way to do it:

  • Remember a fact about the company – for example, say a few words about a future project (1)
  • Tell why you are interested (2)
  • Repeat that your experience and knowledge will enable you to succeed in the project (3)

Here’s how it works with an example:

I know that Lux‘s current plans are to develop a comprehensive health-focused internet portal (1). This project is perfect for my personal and professional interests. It is also an exciting opportunity to create a unique online knowledge base for the target audience (2). I would like to use my knowledge of SEO marketing and internet marketing to achieve revolutionary results with this initiative (3).

Wise advice. How long should the cover letter be? In general, short informative emails are the best. Three paragraphs + a couple of final sentences will suffice. The number of your transitions should not exceed 300 words.

6.Crush your sentence in the final paragraph

What do we have now?

Your cover letter talks about your relevant skills. You explained the motivation. What could go wrong?

Actually, a lot.

You still need to finish your cover letter somehow. And this is the crucial part.

It should reinforce the overall impression you made in the previous paragraphs. It should grab the hiring manager when he starts reading your resume.

Let the hiring manager know that you are looking forward to a face-to-face meeting and discuss how your experience and knowledge can help your prospective employer achieve their goals.

For example:

I welcome the opportunity to discuss your digital marketing goals and show you how my success at A-store can translate into better online marketing and sales for Lux.

The two worst mistakes in the cover letter that you can make in the last paragraph:

 

  1. Emphasis on need – focus on how much you want the job, not on what you have to offer;
  2. Repetition of the cliché phrase “Thank you for your attention and your time”.

Once you have written the bulk of your cover letter, you will simply need a formal conclusion at the very end.

Write “Sincerely” and your full name. Adding a handwritten signature is optional, but is recommended for more formal cover letters.

If you are not a fan of well-worn “Sincerely”, feel free to use any of the following synonyms:

 

  • Thanks;
  • With best regards;
  • With respect and best wishes;
  • Sincerely yours;
  • With gratitude and respect;
  • Thank you for your attention.

Wise advice. It is useful to repeat basic contact information, such as your LinkedIn profile, email address and phone number under your signature.

8.Lifehack that no one uses: add Postscript

All of the above sections are required for a good cover letter.

But there is one special trick you can use: Postscript.

Why is PS so important?

Because it’s like a magnet for the eyes of a hiring manager. It shouts, “You can’t miss this information.”

Use a postscript to tell your hiring manager about something impressive in your career (1), even if it’s not directly related to the vacancy.

Say you would be happy to give them more details (2) if they are interested.

Example:

P.S. – I would also appreciate the opportunity to show you (2) how my electronic detailing solutions have increased the combined sales of the three flagship A-stores by a record 13% in one year (1).

Such a magic trick to hook a recruiter.

 

Checklist how to write a cover letter

Save, enjoy and get more cool offers.

 

  1. Post your contact information in Headline.
  2. Contact your hiring manager by name.
  3. Show relevant achievements to introduce yourself in the first paragraph.
  4. In the second paragraph, focus on the needs of the employer and prove that you can help the company.
  5. In the third paragraph, explain why you want to join and stay.
  6. In the last paragraph, repeat your suggestion and call to action.
  7. Sign: use the appropriate official farewell phrase and your full name.
  8. Include another achievement in the postscript to stand out.

The last:

Write clearly and concisely.

Good luck in searching!

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