Cover Letter Writing Tips: How to Write a Short But Powerful Cover Letter

While some may think the cover letter has no much relevance in today’s job search I have come across many employers who still see it as an important tool to help them guage the person behind the resume or CV. Cover letters have always been a brief way to introduce and sell yourself (and your CV) to the recruiter. Many employers require some form of cover letters along with the CVs for job applications.

We also noticed that finding a distinct and well written cover letter was not easy to come by as many job seekers either do not know how to write one or don’t give the time they should to writing one.

Here are some tips on what to do and what to avoid in creating a captivating cover letter for any of your job applications.

The Right Format

There is no single rigid way to write a cover letter but you generally would want to start your letter by stating the position or job you are trying to get including the name of the company, then a summary of your career and accomplishments relevant to the job in question and wrap up by suggesting you’ll be willing to come for an invitation etc. The shorter the better for cover letters as many of the recuiters you’ll be sending your letters to will be busy and working through hundreds and sometimes thousands of other people’s letters as well.

Your Opening

The opening of your cover letter (as is all other written work) must make a great impression on the reader. While you shouldn’t exaggerate or write in empty flowing prose you should also avoid the various overused phrases such as, ‘I’m thrilled to apply for so so position’ etc. Try something more creative. If you have a contact person in the organisation or a mutual reference known to both you and the employer you could state that in your opening. eg “John Opeyemi recommended I get in touch about the sales manager job at XYZ Logistics Ltd” or something along that line. If there’s no such mutual reference you could think of the best way to start your letter that is unique, something along the lines of “One reason I want to work for you is I always remember something my father told me” and so on. Hope you get the drift; tell a short story or slightly humorous prose.

If you can’t come up with something genuinely refreshing stick to a brief opener stating your desire to take up the stated position with the employer.

Samples

I am writing in response to the opening for xxxx, which I believe may report to you.

I can offer you seven years of experience managing communications for top-tier xxxx firms, excellent project-management skills, and a great eye for detail, all of which should make me an ideal candidate for this opening.

I have attached my résumé for your review and would welcome the chance to speak with you sometime.”

For Applications where there is a mutual reference;

Rachel Tepfer suggested I get in touch with you.

I am a seasoned financial services marketer at SanguineBank with a strong packaged goods background and extensive experience in product development and merchandising, branch management, electronic banking, and innovative distribution planning.

I created the SanguineBank Investment Portfolio, the bank’s first complete presentation of its retail savings and investment products, and developed successful ways to sell the SanguineDip account in the retail setting.
As an Area Director in the New York retail bank, I doubled branch balances in mid-Manhattan in only three years.
Most recently, I have been developing a set of PC-based fund-transfer products for SanguineBank’s Financial Institutions FISI -2.52% Group.
Prior to SanguineBank, I rebuilt the baby shampoo division for Johnson & Johnson and managed all bar-soap marketing at Lever Brothers.
A résumé is enclosed for additional background.

I am seeking to move to a new assignment that would take full advantage of my consumer financial services marketing experience, and am extending my search outside of SanguineBank as well as inside. Rachel thought it would be worthwhile for us to meet briefly. I’ll call in a few days to set up a mutually convenient time for us to meet.

I’m looking forward to meeting with you.

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About Paul

Paul Eze is the Co-founder and CEO at NGCareers. He is an avid writer. Connect with Paul on Twitter

27 Comments

  1. anyanwu anthony says:

    yes i need cover letter

  2. Emmanuel D.Ojeifo says:

    Sir, I must say thanks for your on-time currency od job updates and a concise letters to us. I look forward to work for you.
    God bless.

  3. Victoria effiong says:

    Sir,in a case were your former job experience is not related to the current job your applying for. what should we do?

  4. legendary says:

    Awesome, thanks for going this distance for guys.

  5. Gold Adenike says:

    Sir I need cover letter and secondly I can’t upload my CV on my phone that is the main problem am facing in apply for the jobs in ngcareers. Please help me sir.

    Thanks

  6. Thaddeus Simon says:

    Good Work sir. Am working on writing à good cover letter.
    Je vous remercie.

  7. Abraham jonathan says:

    Am a fresh graduate, just rounding up my NYSC with no work experience. How do I write a captivating cover letter for a job? Thank you sir.

  8. Orjiugo I. C. says:

    Nice blueprints from you on cover letters for applications. Good and noted.

  9. Tolulope Odewale says:

    need job that can improve me , an challenging job

    • Stellamaris Obomanu says:

      Hello Tolulope Odewale,

      If you want to get a job that is both challenging and instructional, follow the link and register on Ngcareers. You’ll be glad you did.

  10. Obinna Alison says:

    Thanks for your assistance and this platform

  11. john says:

    what of someone that just finished school, no job experience. what will he/she do? thanks.

  12. Imoh says:

    how do I send my CV with cover letter to an employer out my region

  13. abatang says:

    this cover letter is suppose to be the application letter, but from your writers address, you added the writers name at the top. is that correct?

  14. JOY says:

    Good day sir/ ma, please,this is
    my email
    (joysticks19@yahoo.com)
    in other to get a
    preview of a good
    Resume and Cover
    Letter to compare?

  15. Victor says:

    Sir, i am a graduate of Engineering and i just rounded up wih my NYSC, i have no working experience. Please Sir, i need guidelines on how to write a short and impressive cover letter. Thank you.

  16. lydia says:

    Sir please, i have know working experience, i need guideline on how to write impressive cover page letter.

  17. ogunwale Ruth Kehinde says:

    pls Sir i don’t have an experience on the job am applying for how do i come about the cover letter

  18. Mohammed A says:

    sir I need covering letter meanwhile I got problem in uploading my picture

  19. Ndioti says:

    Hello sir, most job ads am seeing are not related to what I studied ,plus the fact that I don’t have a working experience,how can I write a well taught out cover letter, especially market- related. I did science, sir. Thanks.

    • ngcareers says:

      The essence of cover letter is to sell your capabilities to the prospective employer and convince him/her that you are the best for the job. Your cover letter should highlight your strengths with respect to the job in question. You should point out something significant you did while in school or in any social association that buttresses your point.

  20. Nwoke Onyemachi Romanus says:

    Please Sir I need a cover letter with one year NYSC working experience. I have a bachelor degree in french. Please how do I go about that. Thanks.

  21. Abigail Adamu Akusun says:

    Abigail Adamu Akusun. Please sir I need a cover letter with one year NYSC working experience. I have HND in Marketing. Please how do I go about that. thanks.

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