Writing Cover Letters That Make Recruiters Smile (Then Call You)

You know that next job? That one you are dying to have? Yes, that’s right, the really wonderful one with the bright co-workers, cool boss, and huge bonuses? That one.

You are wondering how you are going to nail it right?
By quickly showing your future employer that:

a) You’re going to perform incredibly well in this job.
b) You’re insanely likable.
c) You’re really going to fit in around there.

See also: Communication Blunders Job Seekers Make

Primarily, these three factors top the list when it comes to the selection process. The person who gets to keep that great job will be the one who shows the recruiters, quickly, that he or she has the capacity to be all three of those things.

But sadly, most people miss out on the number one opportunity they have to showcase their ‘awesomeness’ when they fail to plant positive seeds right from the introduction, à la your cover letter. Most people squander the opportunity; instead of using their cover to their advantage, they toss out bland, cliché-filled, or completely unnecessary resume lines. Or worse, they go on and on about all the things that they want out of the deal, without realizing that the company cares ‘more’ about what it’s going to get from you.

So, the big question is, how do you pull off a killer cover letter, one that conveys passion and talent and that makes the recruiter or hiring manager’s day?

Follow these steps:

1. Tell Them Why, Specifically, You’re Interested in the Company

Hiring managers don’t like reading those cliché lines in cover letters. They want to know that you have taken out time to research the company; that you are approaching the organization for very specific reasons, not for the same reasons that everyone else is giving.

Example: Try a high-personality lead in like this: “Having grown up with the John Doe Restaurant (literally) in my backyard, I understand firsthand how you’ve earned your reputation as one of the most family friendly restaurants in Lagos State. For 17 years, I have been impressed as your customer; now I want to impress visitors in the same way your team has so graciously done for me.”

See also: Why It’s Imperative to Update Your Resume regularly

2. Outline What You Can Deliver

Hold up! This is not the typical “Hey, I’m great. I swear” proclamation. You need to analyze the job description and use any other relevant information you’ve gathered about the opening, determine the key requirements and priorities for this job, and make it instantly clear to the reviewer that you can deliver the goods on these key things.

Example: Consider having a section within the letter that begins with, “Here’s what, specifically, I can deliver in this role.” And then expound upon your strengths in a few of the priority requirements for that role (they’re typically listed first on the job description or mentioned more than once).

3. Tell a Story, One That’s Not on Your CV

Quick fact, humans love stories far more than we love data sheets. (OK, this is me speaking for most humans). So, what’s your story? What brings you to this company? Were you good at mimicking TV commercials as a kid? Did the product make some incredible difference in your life? Do you sometimes pull into the parking lot and daydream about what it would feel like to work there? Tell your story. Just make sure you have a great twist.

Example: Say you’re applying for a sales representative position with a baked goods company known for its exquisite cookies and pies. You may want to weave a sentence or two into your cover letter about how you took part in a cake eating contest when you were 10, and that you’ve been a cake fanatic ever since. (Yes, this was me, but I actually came in second place. Sigh.)

4. Address the Letter to an Actual Person Within the Company

There is not one employee at your future new company who is named “To Whom it May Concern,” so please ditch that line. You’ve got to find a real person to whom you can direct this thing.

See also: Types Of CV: Chronological CV

This might seem so hard or overwhelming, but it’s often easier than you may think. Just take a stroll to LinkedIn and do a ‘People’ search using the company’s name as your search term. Scroll through the people working at said company till you find someone who appear to be the hiring manager. If you can’t find an actual manager, try locating an internal recruiter, the head of staffing or, in smaller companies, the head of HR. Address your masterpiece to that person. Your effort will be noted and appreciated.

And a last, critical factor when it comes to delivering a great cover letter: Be you! Nothing beats being honest. Genuine writing always goes much, much further than sticking to every rule you’ve ever read. Rules can be bent. In fact, if you truly want that amazing job with the brilliant co-workers, cool boss, and mouth-watering bonuses? Then by all means, bend those rules!

Check out amazing jobs on Ngcareers today

About Stellamaris Obomanu

Loves to read, loves to write, loves to laugh, loves life and yeah, she's as real as they come.

59 Comments

  1. AGAS ERONDU says:

    Please sir I will like to have a sample of your resume and cover letter

  2. Abu Ganiyu says:

    Hi! I’m Abu by name, I need your help and I want you to send me a cover letter that we help me

  3. aduloju olaoluwa says:

    could you please send me a copy of the cover letter.
    Thanks

  4. ifeoluwa says:

    thanks Stellamaris, i really appreciate this write up.

  5. victor ogoh says:

    pls send me a cover letter that will really help me . at list a sample .

    tanx so much

  6. queen says:

    pls send me sample of a cover letter. Thanks

  7. mayowa says:

    please, could you send me a copy of cover letter?

  8. Falade Seyi says:

    Please send me a copy of a cover letter . thanks

  9. Moses Egene says:

    Thank you sir for this wonderful writ-up. Please can i have a sample copy of a CV and a Cover Letter?
    Thank you.

  10. adex says:

    please i need a sample cover letter for software developer. Thanks

  11. Adefolalu Abiola says:

    Thanks alot Stella. I need a copy of a cover letter on administration and management skills.Also how do I go about analyzing my past achievement.Thanks

  12. OGBU MICHAEL UGOCHUKWU says:

    HI, I love your write up…I will love to see your sample of a cover letter please.

    Thanks.

    • Adefolalu Abiola Adeyemi says:

      my name is adefolalu abiola. I rounded up my ND at chartered institute of administration.Where i got my diploma certificate in Business Studies.I went further to study other courses such as Certificate in Travel and Tourism. Where i was trained on travel management also in airline booking and reservations.I also had alot of job experience which is being attached in my cv. I am a kind of person very friendly and welcoming to people. Always loving to be found in any job environment or atmosphere that allow my skills and potentials such as creativity,innovative,marketing and administrative skills to be unveils.

  13. Nwosu Rosita U. says:

    Pls send me a sample of a good cover letter

  14. Ebere says:

    This is quite insightful….hmmmm! I pray it helps in landing me a new pay cheque.

  15. Jennifer says:

    Pls send me a copy of the cover letter

  16. Peter Obinwanne says:

    please sir, can i have a sample of cover letter and CV as well

  17. Peter Obinwanne says:

    Please sir, can I have a sample of cover letter and CV as well
    thanks

  18. John O says:

    Please sir, i will love u to send me a copy of cover letter

  19. Ibanga Joseph says:

    wow! This is lovely , lady Stellamaris . Please can you do me the favor of sending one those sample of cover letter to my email ( jjibanga@gmail.com) thanks.

  20. chris says:

    Excellent piece!

  21. muna says:

    Please sir,
    Can I have a sample of cover letter and CV sent to my mail.
    Thank you

  22. oluwasusi kolawole emmanuel says:

    Pls sir I ned a sample of u cover letter

  23. AUSTIN says:

    sir , i am a graduate of sociology , i love working with the NGO and also as a MARKETER , sir i need a template of cover letter on the two field. THANKS

  24. Abangwu Patrick says:

    Good day, you are obviously doing a wonderful job!!! Please, kindly send me a sample copy of the COVER letter, Thanks, abangwupatrick@yahoo.com

  25. Ernestina says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful writ-up. Please can i have a sample copy of a CV for a recent graduate and a Cover Letter?
    Thank you.

  26. Idris says:

    Thanks for the write-up can you send me a copy of cover letter for a fresh graduate

  27. Abuh Godwin says:

    I will like to have a sample of a cover letter that will help me land that dream job of mine

    Thank you

    Abuh Godwin

  28. yusuf mohd says:

    sir i need your help please writing me a good cover letter

  29. Asoluka Ikechukwu says:

    Pls sir, I really need a sample of resume and cover letter .

  30. Joy Amodu says:

    good day,

    I will like to see a sample of a good cover letter that will assist me

  31. Olasunkanmi Damilare S. says:

    Good morning, pls can you help me send the sample of cover letter and how to write application to any organization. I will be looking towards your reply. Thanks…. olydray@yahoo.com

  32. Ololade says:

    Thank you madam! This is a volunteer service and very insightful. Kindly send me likely interview questions and answers to my mail oakinnawo@yahoo.co.uk. Thank you

  33. Josh A says:

    I need
    a sample pls

  34. Olagunju funke says:

    Pls can I have a copy of cover letter and cv please

  35. OLUSEGUN OPEYEMI AMOS says:

    could you send me a sample of cover letter

  36. Richard says:

    Please i need a cover letter that make employer sence great about me

  37. Richard says:

    wating

  38. Rejoice Niyi Animasaun says:

    Please kindly send me how to send a letter of appointment. Thanks

    • ngcareers says:

      A letter of appointment is a written offer of a specified position in an organization. After a candidate has gone through all the necessary interviews and pre-screening, they will be issued a letter of appointment if they are chosen for the job. It sometimes, but not always, confirms details of the said position and the start date. It may also include salary and bonus information.

      How to Write a Letter of Appointment

      1. Clearly state the position or title of the candidate, and give a brief overview of what this entails.
      2. Explain why the candidate was selected over other possible choices.
      3. List any salary, benefits or perks of the position.
      4. Cordially prompt the recipient to respond with their acceptance if necessary.
  39. Usman mustapha says:

    Pls i need a sample

  40. Opara Augustine says:

    pls I need a copy of the cover letter for broadcast engineering and electronics engineering job. pls soo urgent.

  41. Augustine says:

    Please, I need a sample of cover letter

  42. Imoh Augustine says:

    Am an administrative officer/executive secretary in my company but i need cover letter that comprises my field and customer service representative. I will appreciate if is been forwarded to my email.

  43. Adeleke Adenike says:

    Pls I need a copy of cover letter that comprises the field of Personal assistance to the managing director of a company. I will appreciate if forwarded to my email.

  44. onwuudiwe esther says:

    please ,i need a copy sample of cover letter

  45. Kigbu says:

    Thanks. With this i can write a very attractive cover letter.

  46. Fadare Abiodun says:

    This is a very good write-up, but sir, can I get a sample of a cover letter?
    Thanks

  47. azeezat says:

    Pls I need a copy of cover letter that comprises the field of business analyst to the managing director of a company. I will appreciate if forwarded to my email.

  48. Nwoke Onyemachi Romanus says:

    Please I need a cover letter. I have a Bachelor degree in foreign languages and Literature ( French).

  49. pls sir i need a copy of your cover letter..thanks: sunday_ajibade2005@yahoo.com

  50. jennypatra says:

    Gudmorning sir! please can you help me by sending a copy of cover letter and application letter, Thank you. Jennypatra22@gmail.com

  51. Onyebuchi says:

    Thanks,
    Can I please get a sample of cover letter as it concerns accounting. I would so much appreciate it.
    Thanks.

  52. oke says:

    Good afternoon sir..thanks for d wonderful write up. Pls sir can u send me a sample of a cover later and a resume? Email… okeoghenekohwofair@gmail.com

  53. Lumina Eyaro says:

    Good afternoon sir, well done. This is a great job.
    Kindly send a sample resume and cover letter to my email.
    I will really appreciate.
    Omokagbo0077@gmail.com

  54. Omowunmi says:

    Good day sir, thanks for dis wonderful writeup,pls sir can u kindly send me a cover letter sample on computer scientist,secretary,personal assistant and stock keeper on my mail.
    Olasco4u2c@gmail.com
    Will really appreciate if you can do that for me sir.

  55. CHINEDU NKEMDILIM ERICBENSON says:

    please can i get a copy of the cover letter? my email is dilim4eva@gmail.com thanks

  56. NKOMO NKOMO AKUNJOR says:

    Please my name is Nkomo Nkomo, can you please help me and sent a cover letter to my mail.

  57. Yakubu Ezekiel says:

    Good morning, pls can you help me send the sample of cover letter and how to write application to any organization. I will be looking towards your reply. Thanks… yakubuezekiel67@gmail.com

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