How to Write a Cover Letter to Increase Your Chances of Getting an Interview
A cover letter is a letter of introduction that normally attaches to a resume. Financial Analysts will send in a cover to compliment their resume and also introduce themselves to their potential employer. A well written cover letter will separate you from the “absolutely no” pile to the “let’s check out his or her resume” pile. A great cover letter that is suited for the exact position won’t guarantee you an interview but it definitely will increase your chances.
Composing a well organized and written cover letter is a tedious task for some but, if ignored, you could be wasting your time even applying. Some would call this a necessary evil but we like to call it another way to sell yourself.
The following is an article that will help you write an awesome cover letter. We also share 5 things to keep in mind when you write a cover letter.
Cover Letter Structure
- The date that your cover letter is submitted
Your Contact Info
- Name, Address, Mobile Phone #, Email
Note: make sure your email is professional. Don’t have something like “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Employer’s/Recruiter’s Contact Info
- Name & Title of hiring manager (if known)
- Name & Address of the Company
To begin the “guts” of your cover letter, you need a strong introduction stating the following;
- Who you are
- The position you are applying for and how you discovered the opportunity
- State why you are right for the job
This should be short and “sweet” – about three sentences catered to the specific application.
This will most likely be your most in depth paragraph. State the following in this section of the cover letter;
- Write what you’re currently doing (i.e. job, internship, schooling)
- Your acquired skills that benefit you in the industry
- Why you want to work for the company
- Why your skills and experiences will benefit the position and company
Try to use as many specific examples as much as possible.
- State that your resume is enclosed
- Carefully request an interview (without sounding too pushy)
- Thank the hiring manager for his or her time to look at your application
- Your name
5 Things to Keep in Mind When Writing a Cover Letter
- Keep it brief, specific and logical – Depending on the position and company, an employer may get several hundreds of applicants. The hiring manager does not have time to sit down and read through several pages of one cover letter. They will most likely “skim” it so keeping the document in precise order and to the point is your best bet in getting a second look.
- Don’t tell a joke – Sounding human is a good thing in cover letters but telling a joke sounds unprofessional. Remember that the person reading your letter is a professional who is the front line of the company. They are looking for someone to fit a professional role in their company.
- Writing for the wrong position or company – Keeping a unique cover letter template to work off is beneficial but make sure you customize it to the position and company you are applying for. You should see the cover letter all the way through and double check to see if there are any errors. Don’t immediately eliminate yourself from the other applicants by mentioning the wrong job title.
- Don’t come off arrogant – There is a difference between arrogance and confidence; sound like you are right for the job and not above anyone else. If you sound arrogant in a cover letter then you may be perceived as someone who is not a team player. Game over.
- Work off of the application – Employers like to see that you are thorough in understanding the position you are applying for. Jot down what the job is looking for and sprinkle it in your cover letter. Make sure that the keywords you are using flows with your sentences.
Need to start with a resume? Learn how to write a resume.