It can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to find a job. You may be looking for one after your old job let you go due to the pandemic. Or, maybe you’re tired of your current job and are looking for the best opportunities.
The good news is that a cover letter can help ease you into the application. It gives you the freedom to express yourself and show what makes you different. Knowing how to write a cover letter will help establish what employers can expect before looking at your credentials.
The first thing you need to keep in mind with your cover letter is staying professional. While there is some room to express yourself within it, the letter itself should be formal. By setting up the format, you communicate that you understand the structure and can provide complete information. Here’s a simple one you can follow:
- Header with the current date and contact information
- Opening paragraph
- Closing statement
Make sure to use simple and easy-to-read fonts. Avoid going cartoony with your letter. Arial is a reliable font, and you can keep the size 12 points to stay readable. Your letter should also have single spacing and have left alignment.
You want your cover letter to be relevant to why you’re applying for that particular job. You don’t need to place your entire life story and career into it. Choose the most relevant points to appear as a prime candidate. Here’s a gist of what you need to include:
- Work experience that fits with the job requirements
- Why you’d want to work for the company and that position
- How your skills can meet or exceed the requirements
Avoid staying monotonous and generalizing with your statements. You don’t want to sound like you’re sending a generic letter that dozens of other companies will receive. A little personalization goes a long way. The cover letter is a way for you to convince them that you are the person for the job and you’re committed to your application.
Templates are a good backbone for your cover letter, but you have to inject your personality into it. One of the best ways you can do that is to tell a brief story. The story can be anything, but ideally, it should give managers some insight into how you work and what you can do.
If you’re looking for a specific story to tell, look at the job description and match it.
You’ll also want to do a bit of research about the company. They will appreciate it if they know their potential hire understands the company and its culture. It’s also a way for you to position your story so that it matches its tone.
Employers today are looking for honesty. Most would rather train an honest person rather than discover one who doesn’t have the skills needed for the job. You don’t need to fake any achievements or skills to land the job. You’ll find it much easier to transition to a new position if your employer understands what you are capable of.
Many people write a convincing cover letter only to lose its credibility because of typographic errors. Not only that, but some applicants don’t apply the best practices after writing. Here are some things you should always check:
- Long sentences (shorten them if necessary)
- Awkward phrases
- Spelling errors
- Proper names
Writing a cover letter can make or break your application. It’s a part of your job hunt that you shouldn’t neglect if you want your dream career.
If you want to know more about crafting cover letters and having everything prepared for a new job, learn more with Wealtheo. We offer personal finance fundamentals courses that can help you with employment, debt, wealth building, saving, and more.