Writing a cover letter is becoming a lost art due to applicant trackers and online application processes. However, this introductory correspondence can still play a crucial role as you try to impress your future boss. Learn to write a powerful cover letter that makes a great impression with these practical tips.
1. Proper Structure
The structure of your cover letter should not deviate too far from industry norms. The letter should have six basic sections that contain pertinent information. First, include details about yourself, what job you're applying for and why you want the job.
The next section should explain the company's needs and how you plan to fulfill them. Based on your research, you might determine that the employer needs to increase sales to gain more market share as startups put pressure on the company. Show that you have the sales experience to help take your employer to new heights. Think of your cover letter as a pain letter, wherein you bring up a pain point for the employer and then explain how you will "cure" the company's pain using your skills, experiences and work ethic.
After you explain how you plan to solve the company's problem, delve into general information about your skills, giving general examples of past successes performing similar tasks. Then, close the cover letter by asking for more information or even requesting a time for an interview.
2. Keep It Simple
Your letter shouldn’t be longer than one page, so keep it simple and straightforward. Shorten long sentences, and keep your words concise and to the point. Clear communicators are an asset to employers, so relay this skill through your correspondence.
3. Brag About Achievements
Stress achievements in your cover letter. Your resume lists your positions, but your letter needs to highlight your biggest achievements in past positions. For example, your greatest accomplishment could entail increasing sales revenue at a previous employer 25 percent each quarter for four quarters in a row. This stellar achievement should be the main highlight of your first section.
4. Proper Execution
Once you write everything down, set the letter aside for a few hours. Return to it later and pay attention to what you wrote. Do the words on the page make sense to you? Do the words convey what you intend to say?
If so, you executed your letter properly. If the letter doesn't sound quite right or have a good ring to it, rewrite the portions of the letter that don't make sense. When you take a second look at your correspondence, find any grammar or spelling errors and correct them.
Your polished cover letter lets HR know you mean business. Follow these tips to ensure it accurately conveys your skills and experiences to your future boss and make a powerful first impression.
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