It’s a competitive job market out there. And you need a cover letter that not only gets you an interview but makes you stand out from the rest. This article provides you with a cover letter template outline and some great tips to help you get started.
Writing a cover letter doesn’t have to be hard. You can break down that daunting task with the right strategies and make a winning cover letter. Let’s get right into it!
What Is a Cover Letter?
Writing a cover letter is one of the most important steps in your job search. It’s a chance to set yourself apart from other candidates and to demonstrate your unique skills and abilities.
Think of your cover letter as a “shop window,” allowing you to show off your skills and interests to your potential employer.
It is like an individualized sales pitch in the form of a letter. This is an excellent way to highlight your best-selling points and show them why you’re qualified for the job.
Resumes Vs. Cover Letters: What’s the Difference?
Some people use the term “cover letter” as a generic way of referring to all kinds of letters, emails, and resumes. But a cover letter is a different type of document.
Your resume presents you as a candidate in an itemized, brief, and informative way. The resume sections must be labeled with clear and professional headings.
A cover letter, on the other hand, is a longer, more personalized letter. You include this with your resume in the application for the job. It provides additional professional information about you and explains why you are applying for the position to the recruiter. Its goal is to supplement your resume.
How to Write a Cover Letter
A cover letter template is mainly composed of 6 parts. The cover letter should be succinct and should not use unnecessary words that do not contribute to the reader’s understanding.
It should be well-written, informative, and effective. It should also include a personal take on the company and the position.
The information in the heading provides:
- Your contact information.
- The date you are writing.
- Company information
For your personal information, you can include:
- Your name
- The address where you can be reached
- Phone number
- Fax number (if applicable)
- Email address
For the company information, you can write:
- Name of the specific person
- Title of that person (if available)
- Address of the company
Salutations are basically a preface or a greeting for a formal letter. They are usually located at the top of the letter. It is here that you identify your relationship with the recipient of the letter. Here are some common salutations you can use:
- Dear [Name of Recipient]
- To Whom it may concern
The cover letter’s Introduction should talk about who you are and where your expertise lies. State the position you’re applying for and where you heard about the company. You can also talk about why you want to apply for the particular position.
In this part, you can talk about your previous work experiences, credentials, and skills you have. It should highlight your strengths and how, with your skills and experience, this job would be perfect for you.
End your message with a polite and friendly closing paragraph. This includes thanking the contact for their time. It’s essential to emphasize your enthusiasm and how you are passionate about this opportunity.
Letter Ending and Signature
Some common letter endings include Sincerely or Respectfully. With signature lines, some may use first name and last initial. Others might use a full last name and their first name initial. When in doubt, it’s best to choose the one you feel more comfortable with.
Sample Cover Letter Template Outline
[Personal Contact Number]
[Name of Hiring Manager]
Dear [Hiring Manager],
- State Your Name
- The position you’re applying for
- Where you found the job post
- State Your Skills, Previous Work Experiences, Job Roles, etc
- Highlight your strengths and expertise
- Talk about educational attainment and professional achievements
- What special skills, knowledge, or other advantages do you bring to the table
- Talk about why you’d be a good fit for the company
- Why do you want to work for them?
- Thank them for their time
- Tell them you look forward to hearing from them in the future
[Your Name and Signature]
To Wrap Up
A great cover letter can make all the difference between getting your next job or not. It is your conversation starter. Think of it as a way to tell the hiring manager that you are a true professional match for the job.
Use a cover letter to go over your skills, attributes, and experience in a concise, informative, and professional manner. Let your skills, experience, and attributes speak for themselves, there’s no need to gloss over anything!
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