How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter

This 5-step guide to writing a cover letter is proven to get a hiring manager’s attention.

Statistically, recruiters and hiring managers only spend 5-7 seconds scanning a cover letter, so candidates must ensure that it is strategic, engaging, and concise.

As experts who have successfully written 25,000+ winning cover letters and helped 15,000+ senior leaders find their dream jobs, we are up to date with the ever-changing and volatile job market trends. We aim to apply our expertise to help job seekers worldwide find employment.

So, let’s dive right in…

Two of the most frequently asked client questions we have are:

Question 1: “Do I need a cover letter?”

The answer is YES!

Question 2: “Why do I need a resume and a cover letter?”

You need a cover letter to target the areas a resume is not equipped to handle, such as:

a. Communicating your expectations
b. Humaniz
ing your strengths
c. Demonstra
ting your seriousness
d. Showcasing your writing skills
e. Arranging follow-up

As Jodi Glickman said: “While your resume is meant to be a look back at your experience and where you’ve been, the cover letter should focus on the future and what you want to do.”

If you have ever attempted to write a cover letter, you would know that it’s no easy task to do it well.

So, here are 5 steps to guide you through the process:

1. Do Your Research

Before you write, find out more about the company and the specific job you’re applying for. Research the organization’s culture, its leaders’ online persona, and, most importantly, the employees’ testimonials about the company. This is the foundation on which you must build and customize your cover letter.

2. Have a Strong Opening

Find an alternative to “To Whom It May Concern” and refrain from using clichéd, overused openers like:

“I have attached my resume herewith. I’m interested in applying for Job X advertised in Place Y.”

Such phrasing is uninspiring and doesn’t help you stand out from the 300+ applications a hiring manager will receive per job opening.

Instead, start with an accomplishment, inform the company of what you like about them and what you can offer in return, and most importantly, exude enthusiasm and passion through your writing.

Example: “I was excited to find out that Company Y is hiring an event manager skilled at increasing brand awareness and driving growth with high-traffic events. With my 10+ years of experience coordinating successful events in the corporate space, I’m confident that I’m a great fit for the role.”

3. Cover The Bases

There are 2 main topics you need to address in your cover letter:

  1. Why you are the perfect candidate for the job – Justify this statement with data, facts, and accomplishments. Avoid using fluff or generalizations.

  2. Why you’re passionate about working in the company– An HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company’s culture. So, integrate some insights about the company’s mission and vision, business model, and product/service offering into the cover letter.

Example: I admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence in all its product lines creating market-leading tech. As someone who thrives in a self-driven environment, I am confident I will be a great match at Company XYZ.

4. Keep it Short and Have a Call-To-Action

Cover letters must be concise, scannable, and ideally only half a page in length (250 – 400 words). Always stick to the point when developing the cover letter and make it relevant to the job. Avoid incorporating an unrelated accomplishment or recounting an anecdote that never connects back to why you’re applying for the job in the first place.

Finally, wrap up your cover letter by thanking the hiring manager for their time and requesting them to act.

5. Get a Second Opinion From a Job Search Expert

The biggest challenge in DIY-ing your cover letter is being objective about your story. A few common mistakes job seekers make when drafting their resume or cover letter is overselling, underselling, or sounding desperate. Therefore, feedback and recommendations from a professional could increase your chances of getting called for an interview.

Secondly, job search experts and professional resume and cover letter writers deal with cover letters daily. They know your competition and job market requirements and have the knowledge and tools to assess your skills and position you in a way that gives you a competitive advantage.

That’s Why The Job Helpers Guarantee 4 Interviews out of 10 Job Submissions.  

Our guarantee is tried, tested, and proven to be 100% accurate.  Our clients are guaranteed to land 4 interviews for every 10-job submission, and if they do not, we have pledged to redo their documents for FREE 5 times per month until successfully employed for every resume and cover letter we take on. 

Our team of experts follow the structure below when writing a cover letter:

Introduction: Carefully written to grab the hiring manager’s attention and explain why the client would want the job.

Paragraphs: At least two paragraphs detailing relevant education, skills, work experience, and why the client is a good fit for the position.

Achievements: Detail achievements relevant to the type of jobs the client is planning to apply for.

Conclusion: A concise ending that reiterates the client’s strengths and asks the hiring manager to contact them (known as a call to action).

Example: “Thank you for looking into my application. I’d love to discuss further how my previous success at Company XYZ. can contribute to helping Company Y increase your brand awareness with high-traffic events.”

Want Help with Developing a Cover Letter That Will Land Your Dream Job?

*You will receive a FREE critique from our job search experts within 48 hours

The Job Helpers assisted me with interview after interview and multiple offers with high-potential companies within weeks. The first interview came only a week after redoing my resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn. They also applied for jobs for me, and let me tell you, this was the best experience!

Tessa Collins, CSP

Safety Manager - WestRock Company
"My goal is to help Job Seekers worldwide find employment fast."
Chui Senanayake

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