A lot of you may be unaware of what a cover letter is, and the importance of one in written communication. Here, we provide you details regarding what goes into writing a cover letter, and some examples too.
A cover letter is often referred to as a document that accompanies another essential document such as a resume. In the terms of a layman, it is referred to as a personal sales pitch. While cover letters are most often associated with a CV or a resume, it can also accompany other documents such as an article for a magazine, a press release, or any other such document. It is extremely important that your document be accompanied by a cover letter, as it explains the purpose of the document, and why it deserves attention and consideration.
For instance, if you send a resume without a cover letter, your employer will not know what position you are applying for, whether you want the job now or in the future, or whether you want a part-time or a full-time job. Furthermore, say, if you are writing a cover letter for a resume, a well-written letter will have your potential employer interested in you as a candidate, and will convince her/him to schedule an interview for the job. Ensure that you are aware of the person you are addressing the letter to, so that it falls into the right hands, and follow-up for feedback is easy.
Paragraph 1 will contain the purpose of writing to the person the letter is addressed to. If you are writing one along with a resume, you will need to speak about the position you are interested in, or that you would like to be considered for a particular position. You should also speak about why you want to work with this organization, in order to establish the purpose of the letter. Do not use unnecessary floral language. Just ensure that you state specific facts in a manner that is convincing.
In the second paragraph, you will explain to the employer why you are a suitable candidate for the position, and why you should be considered among everyone else. Though your experience has been clearly stated in your resume, highlighting aspects of it in this letter will give the employer a reason to go through the rest of your letter. Experience pertaining to the position you are applying for along with personal qualities that are relevant to this experience and the position should be clearly stated. Support all your claims with legitimate examples. These are details that will make your cover letter stand out from the others. It is likely that this paragraph becomes a little long in spite of keeping it specific. Again, do not include unnecessary details that have been taken care of by your CV. As you close this paragraph, come back to the title of the position you have applied for, and conclude with the details that this is the reason you believe you are suitable for a job.
The third and final paragraph will conclude it, by providing information about the enclosed resume, to request an appropriate time and date for an interview, and let them know that you will contact them (say within 2 weeks) to learn about their decision. Also include details about when you would like to be considered for the position, now or in the future. Of course, if it is a mass recruitment program, this detail is irrelevant. The final lines should thank the reader for her/his time spent considering your letter. Sign off with ‘sincerely’, followed by your signature, and then your name.
You must ensure that you proofread your letter after you have written it. It should not be informal in any way, and should be devoid of any grammatical errors. Always write in active voice, but do not start too many sentences with ‘I’. The letter should not be too long, and should typically finish in three paragraphs.
Examples of Cover Letters
To see these aforementioned guidelines applied in effect, you can take a look at these samples for different purposes.
- Samples of a Good Cover Letter
- HR Manager Cover Letter
- Financial Analyst Cover Letter
- Accountant Cover Letter
- Career Change Cover Letter Samples
- Customer Service Cover Letter
- Retail Manager Cover Letter
- Cover Letters for Administrative Assistants
- Cover Letters for Teaching Positions
- Sample Relocation Cover Letter
- Cover Letter Examples for Medical Assistant
- Entry-level Cover Letter
Though the aforementioned piece has been written keeping job applications in mind, you should know that cover letter formats are similar for the various purposes you may be writing the letter for. For instance, if you are writing a cover letter to a publisher to go through your manuscript, it will also contain why you are writing to her/him, what makes your book stand out from the numerous offers for publication they receive, and thank them for taking the time and effort to go through your work. As such, with the information provided above, you will be able to attract the readers to your work and qualifications, a quality that is going to take you places.