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.
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.
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;
Cover Letter Writing Tips: How to Write a Short But Powerful Cover Letter by Paul
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.