Every part of the hiring process is important—your resume, interview, and qualifications are all part of the package. When it comes to introducing yourself to potential employers, though, perhaps the most important component is your cover letter. This is where you have the opportunity to express your motivation for applying and summarize what makes you the ideal candidate.
Too many jobseekers send generic cover letters and give the wrong impression to recruiters. Needless to say, this won’t get you an interview. On the other hand, candidates who know how to write a cover letter for a job application will likely enjoy much success in the job market. Reviewing and using the tips included here can help you nail your cover letter and get the job.
How To Write a Cover Letter for a Job Application
Cover letters are one of the most important parts of attracting potential employers, so it is vital that every jobseeker know how to write a cover letter for a job application. If it seems like an overwhelming task, simply refer to the following steps for guidance.
1. Understand your audience
The first part of crafting an exemplary cover letter is researching and understanding your audience. Your ability to do this will depend on how much information is available. If you know the name of the recruiter who is hiring for the position, for example, you may be able to do in-depth research and learn about his or her professional background.
This might help you tailor your cover letter to appeal to his or her professional knowledge. If you cannot find this level of information, though, you should still attempt to become familiar with the audience who will be reading your cover letter to understand how to better write a cover letter for a job application.
2. Research the position
In addition to researching your potential employer and recruiter, you should research the position itself to be sure that you fully understand what it entails and why you are the right fit. Do not simply read the job description—do some additional research to find what department the position is in, what qualifications are generally expected, and why the position is important to the company.
All this information will help you write a more detailed, convincing cover letter—and it will show that you have gone the extra mile in learning about the job.
3. Showcase your qualifications
Your cover letter is not the place to be modest about your accomplishments. You should take the opportunity, in fact, to showcase them and tell potential employers exactly why your qualifications meet and exceed those required for the position. It is a good idea to show—not just tell—exactly what these qualifications are, too. Rather than stating that you are a skilled salesperson, for example, you might include in your cover letter the fact that you were a top sales performer with a margin of over 10%.
4. Create a compelling narrative
Words on a page have the potential to be completely boring or strikingly compelling—what you do with the space of your cover letter determines which yours will be. If you’d like yours to fall into the latter category, you can adopt a simple approach to do so by creating a narrative.
This is how to write a cover letter for a job application that will get noticed. Offering random details, facts, and qualifications is unlikely to attract a recruiter, but when this information is part of a cohesive story, you can convincingly show that your career has led you straight to the very position you are applying for.
5. Mirror language of position
You likely found out about the open position from a job posting online or in the classifieds. In reading the ad, you should be able to pick up on some of the language used to describe the job, the company, and the general expectations. Perhaps there are certain words or phrases that recur, and noticing details like this can be quite useful. Mirror the language used in the job posting in your own cover letter.
6. Include all relevant details
You only have so much space in your cover letter, and it can be a lot of pressure to use it all wisely. There are some essential elements that you must include—a greeting, your qualifications, and details on why you are applying—but after including all of these, it might be easy to overlook some of the other important pieces of information. You should include your name, email address, phone number, and any other relevant contact information.
7. Provide information not on resume
Some jobseekers make the mistake of simply regurgitating the information on their resume in their cover letter. This is important to avoid—you do not want your cover letter to be interchangeable with your resume. It is vital that you include new information and take advantage of the extra space a letter affords. Delve into your motivations for pursuing the job, the skills that are relevant to the position, and your long-term career goals.
8. Choose an appropriate closing
Once you have written your cover letter and explained your qualifications, it can be difficult to wrap up and sign off. Crafting the closing of your cover letter is just as important as every other part, and perhaps it is even more essential because it determines the tone you leave your potential employer with. You should close with enthusiasm, grace, and initiative. This tells a recruiter that you are ready to take the next step. Sign the cover letter with “sincerely,” or “thank you,” and close with your full name.
Cover Letter for a Job Application
This is an example of a cover letter. Notice how it is specific to the job the candidate is applying for.
I am writing in regard to the open brand development manager position at Integral Processors. I’m thrilled to see the job posting, and I am looking forward to learning more about it. As I understand, the position entails overseeing branding across all of Integral Processors’ platforms and developing a stronger brand awareness among the company’s clientele.
These responsibilities are in line with what I have achieved in several of my prior positions. As you will see on my resume, I previously worked as a branding strategist and a brand manager at two other companies. This experience solidified my understanding of a brand’s importance and my passion for investing in it.
During the time spent at these previous jobs, I excelled and brought my employers to new levels of success. In the former position, I oversaw new branding initiatives that preceded an increase in sales of over 20%. In the latter position, I managed a team of over 30 employees who successfully launched a new logo that achieved an approval rating of 87%.
I should clarify, though, why I believe Integral Processors is the ideal place for me to continue my growth. There are a number of reasons I would like to become part of your company’s team and contribute to your branding efforts.
The research I have done on your company indicates that you value innovation, collaboration, and progress—these are principles that I hope to integrate into my career, too. Long-term, I would like to work for a company that takes a progressive approach to branding, and I see great potential for this at Integral Processors. I believe I can apply my skills effectively and continue developing them, too, to the benefit of the company.
Thank you for taking the time to review my application and resume. I hope you will agree that my experience, skills, and values are an excellent fit for the position and the company as a whole. The opportunity to learn more about Integral Processors is exciting, and I would love to discuss the position further when it is convenient for you. You can contact me at 555-555-5555 or [email protected].