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How to Write Your Cover Letter

What is a cover letter

A cover letter is an opportunity to sell yourself to the employer and demonstrate why you are the best fit for the role. It should be three to four paragraphs long and include your interest in the job, relevant experience and why you would excel in the role. This letter is usually submitted with your resume as part of a job application. It is here that you can really sell yourself and your skills to the company you are applying to.

A good cover letter can make a big impression on an employer and help you stand out from other job applicants. To write an effective cover letter, take the time to research the company and the specific job opportunity before you begin writing. With this information, you can tailor your cover letter and show why you are a good fit for the position.

1. Do your research

It is significant that you research the company you are applying to and tailor your application letter specifically to the job opportunity. Read and write down to a paper the organization’s philosophy and key market points. Reflect on your skills and experiences by linking them with organization’s values and mission. Thus, take time and familiarize yourself with the company and the specific job you’re applying to before beginning to write. This will allow you to better target your letter and make it more impactful.

2. Focus it on the future

The cover letter should focus on the future rather than showing about your experiences as the resume does. If you’re making a shift in your career, the cover letter is your opportunity to explain why: for example, if you’re changing career from hospitality to marketing. The cover letter is by means a bridge between your past and future. By focusing on your transferrable skills, you can sell yourself to potential employers.

3. Three-paragraph writing style

The cover letter should have an easy go reading time. Do not complicate it and try to keep it short so the employer can read exactly what values you can bring within the company. Use three or four paragraph style, don’t go for more words as it becomes tiring for those who read it. Start from your header by writing: your name, zip code, phone number, email address and date. Below the header write a greeting like Dear Hiring Manager or Dear… [name of the manager]. After these, follow the three steps below:

a) First (opening) paragraph
The first paragraph is crucial because it’s the opening of your cover letter. The first impression is like a rocket for the reader’s attention. In this section mention the title of the job you’re applying for and where did you find about it. Explain your specific interest in the role and company. This shows the reader that you have undertook your research meaning that you’re a serious candidate for the job position. Briefly state your qualifications that make you a good fit.

b) Second paragraph
Your second paragraph should briefly discuss your qualifications for the position. Include key skills, accomplishments and areas of appraisal that make you a strong candidate for the job. Focus on one or two points and provide specific details about your success, including quantifiable impacts you have made. In this paragraph you can state briefly information about your most recent or no more than two professional experiences.

c) Third (closing) Paragraph
With this paragraph you finish your cover letter. Be careful, don’t expand it too much, but in stead keep it focused on key achievements and skills that are relevant to the position. Be aware of repeating details from your resume and try to avoid them and expand only on experiences that show compatibility with the position you’re applying for. Therefore, focus on stories that tell the skills and qualifications required for the job opportunity.

4. Emphasize your personal values

Hiring managers are looking for people with skills and experiences that can improve the way they settle problems. Relating on the research you did early, convey that you know what the organization does and the challenges it faces. These don’t require to be specific, but you might refer for instance; how the industry has been touched by the pandemic! So, when writing your cover letter, apart from keeping in mind of what we said above, try to entwine short examples of your problem-solving experiences, especially within the second paragraph. Sate clearly within your description these two skills that are relevant to almost any job: adaptability and ability to learn quickly.

5. Watch the tone

The style of your writing, words and its tone are significant, don’t go overboard with the flattery or say anything you don’t believe. Authenticity is key here. Be careful! Erven if you’ve been unemployed for a while, you don’t want to come across as desperate. Be professional and mature in your tone so that your message isn’t undermined.

6. Keep it short

Do not overload your cover letter with words. Keep it clear and straight to the points you need to show according to the job position you’re applying for. If you feel the need, ask a friend, collogue or mentor to review your letter, this can be helpful. Ask them to read through and point out sentences where you can cut or add.

To sum up, a cover letter is somehow the outcome of your writing and communication skill. State clearly why you want the job and what you could bring to the company. Be concise and think as you’re the reader yourself. Keep your letter within the frame of showing your key abilities and experiences that are required for the job position. Do not try to be funny, generic in your description and overboard with flattery.

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