What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a document submitted with your resume or curriculum vitae to provide additional information on your professional experience. A candidate typically uses this to introduce themselves to a prospective employer and to explain why they are the best choice for a particular job.

Also read: Why Is Cover Letter Important?

How to write cover letter

A cover letter is an important document that introduces your resume to potential employers and highlights your qualifications and skills. When writing a cover letter, it is important to tailor it to the specific job and company you are applying to. Below are steps to help you write a successful cover letter: 

1. First, include header section in a cover letter

A header section in a cover letter should typically include the sender’s name, date, email address, phone number, hiring manager name and name of the company you are applying to. It should be clear and concise, making it easy for the recipient to identify the sender and the position they are applying for.

2. Use proper salutation

Greeting the hiring manager in a cover letter is important in demonstrating your professionalism, and a proper greeting should address the hiring manager by their name.

3. Introduce yourself

Start your introduction by briefly summarizing your professional background. This should include your education, work experience, and any relevant skills or certifications. The introduction should give a brief summary of who you are and grab the reader’s attention.

4. Explain why you are good fit for the role
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the company: Show that you have done your research on the company and how your skills and qualifications can contribute to the company’s success.
  • Showcase your achievements: Provide specific examples of how you have met or exceeded expectations in previous roles. These examples should illustrate how your accomplishments can benefit the company.
5. Show your enthusiasm for the role

Make sure to express your excitement for the role and why you are applying for it. Show that you understand the company’s mission and values and why you would be a great fit for the position.

6. Include CTA

Including a call to action in your cover letter demonstrates your interest in the position and signals that you are open to further discussion. At the end of my cover letter, thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration.

Examples of an effective call to action could include:   

  • “I look forward to hearing from you soon about this opportunity.”  
  • “Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience to arrange an interview.”  
  • “I am eager to discuss this position and my qualifications further in an interview.”
7. Use a professional closing 

Use a professional closing such as “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” or “Thank you for your consideration.”

Types

  1. Application Letter: An application letter is a type of cover letter sent in response to a specific job opening. The letter outlines the applicant’s qualifications, skills, and experience for the desired job.
  2. Networking Letter: A networking letter is used to communicate with potential employers, contacts, and other professionals to build connections and develop relationships. It also provides an opportunity to ask for assistance, such as job leads or referrals.
  3. Cold Contact Letter: This type of cover letter is sent to a potential employer even if there is no job opening. It should explain why you are interested in the company and why you think you would be a good fit for the organization.
  4. Referral Cover Letter: This type of cover letter is sent when you are referred to an employer by someone you already know. The referral letter should include information about your qualifications and explain why the referral source thinks you would be a great fit for the job.
  5. Prospecting cover letter: A prospecting cover letter, or a letter of interest, is a customized letter that a job seeker writes to a potential employer expressing interest in a position and demonstrating how their skills and experiences make them a good fit for the role.

Example 1

Dear [Hiring Manager],  

I am writing to apply for the [position title] position at [company name] that I saw advertised on [source]. With my current experience, education, and skills, I am an ideal candidate for this role.  

I have been working in [relevant field] for the past [number] years, gaining experience in [relevant skills]. This has included [list of key accomplishments], demonstrating my ability to [list key abilities]. I am particularly passionate about [aspect of the industry] and have been a [example of relevant experience], which has given me a unique perspective on the industry. 

I am eager to bring my skills, knowledge, and experience to your team and am confident that I can help [company name] succeed. Please let me know if you would like to discuss about this opportunity further. Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Sincerely, 

[Your Name]

Example 2

Dear [Hiring Manager],

I am writing to express my interest in the [Position Name] that is currently available at [Company Name]. I was referred to this opportunity by [Name], who is [Position] at [Company Name].

I have [X] years of experience in [industry], and I believe I have the skills and qualifications to be a successful addition to your team. I have a track record of [achievements], and I am confident enough that I can bring the same level of success to [Company Name].

Please find attached my resume and a list of references. As someone who is passionate about working for ABC Company, I am excited to learn more and discuss my qualifications in further detail.

Thank you for your consideration.  

Sincerely, 

[Your Name]

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