Anyone searching for a new job will already know how exhausting the application process can be. First you need to search out a suitable position, then there’s the cover letter and resume, and finally, you’ll need to present your skills and experience in at least one interview, and maybe more.
However, while the job search can be intimidating, it should also be an exciting opportunity for you to showcase your talents and, your resume aside, a well-written cover letter is the perfect place to drive home your suitability for any given position and ensure you get the opportunity to meet face-to-face.
Here then, to help you along the way, we breakdown how to write the perfect cover letter for your dream job.
1. Write to a Real Person
Whenever you begin composing a cover letter, you should search out a real person in the company to address it to. Relying on “To Whom it May Concern”, or variations thereof, tends to show a lack of commitment and motivation. After all, usually all that’s required to find the name of the person dealing with job applications is a simple Google search. Include name, title, and company address at the top of the letter and ensure you use a formal greeting when you begin the body of the text.
2. Write Purposefully
Letters that run on for pages and never really get to the point are usually not very well received by recruiters and recruitment agencies. In fact, in many cases, your cover letter will only receive a cursory glance, so it pays to ensure that the information contained hits the right note. Your cover letter should be succinct and clearly state the purpose of your letter at the beginning. You should also ensure that the most important information is easily accessible—using bullet points is a good idea, but you can also use bold fonts and short paragraphs with headings.
3. Avoid Copying Your Resume
Your cover letter should bring added value to your application and it should never just copy the information in your resume. Of course, you can allude to certain experience and skills that make you a good fit for the position, however, you should always contextualize that information and tailor it to both the industry and company, as well as the job you are applying for.
4. Use Action Words
When applying for your dream job you want your cover letter to be dynamic while still remaining succinct. To do this, stay away from clichés such as “highly motivated” and “born leader” and use action words instead. Action verbs can convey the same kind of information without relying on empty statements. Examples include; accomplished, delegated, negotiated, moderated, examined, investigated, revitalized, and conceptualized. Finally, finish your letter with a call to action to guide the recruiter’s next steps.
5. Be Enthusiastic (and Say Thanks)
Your passion and enthusiasm for the position and the company should be evident at the very beginning of your cover letter—encouraging the recruiter to read on and take extra care over your resume. You should explain exactly what this position means to you, reiterate your passion for the job, and ensure that your cover letter thanks the recruiter for their time at the end.
6. Keep an Eye on Formatting and Always Proofread
As with any type of letter, checking your formatting is legible and free of mistakes is crucial when trying to make a good first impression. Your letter should be laid out so that it’s easy to read and all the information (especially your contact details) can be found quickly. Always proofread your letter at least twice to check for grammar and spelling mistakes.