How to write a Cover Letter| Cover Letter Formats | Step By Step Guide

How to write a Cover Letter| Cover Letter Formats | Step By Step Guide

Cover Letter A-z guide, samples & templates. 

Looks like you have just found a job advertisement that you wish to apply for. You have got your resume ready and you were about to hit the send button, but wait! Is that enough? Sending a resume without a cover letter a straight no-no. For that, you need a strong cover letter format

I’m a recruiter and I receive a hundred job applications a day. Once I open the email, the first thing I want to read is the purpose of the email. I want to know if it’s a job application. If yes, for which position. And most importantly I need a good reason to download the resume attachment. 

If you ever sent me an email or a job application, and if I did not check your resume or did not reply to your job application letter. Trust me I did not find it worth downloading your resume. 

So What is Cover Letter?

If you do not know what a sales pitch is, look at your cover letter. Now imagine, would you buy something uninteresting? Or if someone tried to pitch you a product in a poor way. Would you buy?. 

The answer is no. If your resume is a film, your cover letter is a film trailer. Let me tell you something, It is the second most important document after your resume. Even before you start writing your resume, start working on your cover letter

If you are a potential job applicant, It’s your first chance to impress the hiring manager, it’s your first attempt to explain your candidature, the position you are applying for and why you are the most suitable candidate for the job.

A cover letter allows you to express your interest in the company, talk about the extra skills that you haven’t mentioned in the interview and an opportunity to connect with the hiring manager. You can talk about a specific skill that you have and also is a key requirement for the job. 

You can also use this opportunity to talk about your past achievements, learnings and experiences. You can also talk about your future plans and convince the hiring manager of your potential. 

 By writing an effective cover letter you are allowing yourself an opportunity to showcase how you can bring the change and why you should be considered for the role. 

We feel writing a cover letter for a job is more of a science than art, a little mix of this, a little of that and you have a perfect cover letter.

I would say a well written cover letter is a secret weapon. A weapon that can put you in a winning position. Also I would never recommend those resume builder sites to make your cover letter. Put yourself at the recruiters position and imagine, he/she  has already seen tons of those cover letter templates. 

Would you choose someone with copied content? I would not. 

Though, You can always refer to a sample cover letter for your resume. You must write your cover letter in your own words. Do not just go ahead and download a cover letter template from a free resume maker website or those fill in blank cover letter kind of portals. 

We have a few sample cover letters for you to check out. Go through them and you’ll get a fair idea on how to write an effective cover letter for resume. 

And if you are still not confident in writing a cover letter, don’t worry we have got you. Our expert resume writers will write a perfect cover letter for your resume. A cover letter that will get you 60% more interviews. A cover letter that will get you hired. Do check out our professional resume cover letter sample for more information. 

Aside from creating a job winning resume or curriculum vitae (CV), your must invest time in a nice cover letter, afterall your cover letter is the most important job searching tool. 

Your cover letter is your wingman. It introduces you to potential employers and allows you the opportunity to draw the hiring manager’s attention to most notable skills and experiences. 

A cover letter if done right, can cut a long que short. move your job application to the highest of the lot. 

Now if you know how important writing a cover letter is, it’s time to write a cover letter for your job application or i must say your resume. Please take your time, understand the process, learn the secrets of a professional cover letter and resume and make it count. There are a few trade secrets that we would like to share with you. Our resume writers carry over a decade of experience in writing professional resumes, cover letters, professional LinkedIn profiles, hiring and interviewing job seekers for various roles for multinationals and fortune five hundred companies. The do’s and don’t we are going to share with you can help you write a perfect cover letter for your resume. Use our step by step guide on writing a cover letter to lay down the foundation of your job search. 

We have listed out some of the cover letter secrets that nobody will tell you. Use them wisely and make your cover letter and resume stand out. 

Ready to learn the secrets and nail that job interview? Here are seven secrets of a professional cover letter for resume that will get you an interview call in no time. 

How to write a professional cover letter for your resume?

1. Find the name: I get a lot of emails with generic terms like “Dear Sir/Madam” and  I hate it. And at times, I find myself in cc mentioned along with other 100 emails. I hate it. Trust me I do not entertain such emails. 

A word of advice for you, never address a cover letter to a generic being, If you do not have the name, find it. Period. 

I get it, sometimes it’s not easy to find the name of the hiring manager. But trust me all it takes is a call to the boardline and ask the name or email ID of the hiring manager.  Make that call. It’s worth it. And also you may try some other ways like linkedIn, google search, reference etc. addressing the cover letter/ email to a specific person allows you to connect with him/her. It’s more professional. 

2. Don’t waste time, get to the point: Hiring managers are busy. You must learn to value their time. Do not write a 2000 words article. Let the reader know why you are writing, talk about how you can help, keep the context on the topic and and you are done. 

Do provide the reference of the ad for the position, or you have a personal reference, mention that. The first paragraph of your resume cover letter must convince the reader to read further. If you fail to do so, do not expect a reply from them. 

“Or as they say, keep it simple silly, i’d say keep it simple and straight sily.” 

3. Make sense, don’t show off: you know, personally we all hate show offs. If you believe you are the fittest applicant for the role. Prove it with numbers, data and references. It’s not like telling your girlfriend I can get the moon for you. The best way of wooing a hiring manager is by demonstrating your preparedness. Show them that you have done your homework. 

Even before you start writing your cover letter, start with researching the company, and find the pain areas. Analyse and come up with a solution.  Go through the recent changes, mergers, acquisitions, news etc. put that data into your cover letter and match it with your skills and expertise. Tell them how they can be of great help. 

4. Match the steps: if you are responding to a job advertisement, you probably have a job description with you. Craft your resume and cover letter in line with the requirement. Offer what the company is looking out for. 

Read the job description multiple times to understand the requirement, research your job role, research about the company and then when you have enough points, you may start writing the cover letter. Again, focus on your skills and expertise that can solve the problem. 

Also, the companies are more interested in someone who can start immediately with minimum training. So if you think you need some training before you can start, believe me you will be their last preference. 

5. Be realistic: Are you one of those who claim to be the reincarnation of Alexander the great. It takes a minute to find out the truth behind your tall claims. I have seen a lot of job seekers make this mistake. Claim only if you have evidence to back up. Do not go just bragging about something you have not done. Do not underestimate the recruiters or hiring managers. They are there for a reason. Be it your interview or your cover letter for resume, talk about realistic figures. 

You may include one of two of your accomplishments in the second or third para of your cover letter. Back it up with a detailed story and how you achieved it. And don’t forget to connect it with the requirements of the company. 

6. Ask for a date: the whole point of writing a letter is “call of action” either you ask the reader for a reply or you promise them to follow up within the next few days. Asking only for a reply won’t cut the job for you. A successful job hunt demands follow ups. If you’d ask me, I prefer people who follow up over those who don’t. 

If you are applying for a sales job, and you don’t follow up. What kind of sales person you are. A follow up email gives you an opportunity to show how professional you are. It also shows how serious you are about the opportunity. 

7. Read it one more time: you did your research, you wrote a very compelling cover letter and you are all set to press the send button. But wait! Read it one more time. 

What? You have already read it a 100 times, read it again. It’s always better to go through the document one more time. Check for the typos, spelling error. Grammatical mistakes or tone of the letter. If you think it’s perfect. Give it a friend, a relative, someone who has a better understanding. Sometimes we fail to see what others can. They offer a fresh perspective, a new angle. 

And then when everything seems to be fine. Shoot it. 

Are you a beginner with zero work experience or a senior management professional with decades of work experience, we all make some mistakes while writing a cover letter. 

Here are a few do’s and don’t before your start writing your covering letter. 

Do:

  • Address the letter to the right person (include their title)
  • Check the tone of the letter, it must be polite
  • Explain (with real numbers) specifically how you can benefit the company and role
  • Talk about skills and information that is not there on the resume 
  • provide references
  • Limit your paragraphs to three or four sentences each
  • Include call to action
  • Sign your name
  • Have someone else check your cover letter before sending it

Don’t:

  • Do not send it, if you do not have the contact name
  • Do not make false claims
  • Do not place your needs over those of the organization. You wont get a call back
  • Do not make demands.
  • Be too general or vague.

Elements of an effective cover letter for resume

Your Street Address (or Post office box number)

City, State, and Zip Code

The date

(Enough spaces to center the letter on the page)

Name of contact person (including Mr. or Ms.)

His or her title

Name of the company

Street address

City, state, and zip code

The opening or the first paragraph of your cover letter should explain which position you are applying for and how you came to know about it. Next, you should mention why you are interested in the position. Next, if you were referred by an individual, you should include that person’s name.

The second paragraph is where you try to match the requirements with your skills and back it up with relevant information or your accomplishments, experience and courses if any. By the end of the para you should be able to convince the hiring manager that you are the best candidate for the advertised position. 

The final paragraph is where you show gratitude towards the hiring manager for his/her time. And ask for a schedule for a short call or a meeting to discuss your candidature. Also you may include your availability for an interview. Also reiterate your interest in the position and you will follow up in the next few days. 

Sincerely,

(Your signature)

Your name typed

Enclosures (ex. Resume enclosed or Resume attached)

Cover letter examples

We have listed out a few of covering letter samples to help you write your own covering letter

Internship Cover letter format

the image is an job application letter written by a fresh graduate seeking an internship opportunity with goldman sachs. you can use this internship cover letter format/template to write your own cover letter.

Cover Letter Format For Coordinator position

cover letter format

Cover Letter Template/Job Application Letter to Newspaper

The image is an excellent example of a job application letter written by a young job applicant seeking a position with a leading newspaper

Cover Letter Sample Freelancer job

image is a Cover letter sample for freelancer job

Cover Letter Template

image is a excellent example of job application letter sample

Job Application Letter format

the image is best example of cover letter template

Job Cover Letter Sample

the image is a great example of job application letter email cover letter format

Job Application letter sample – Employment gap

job application letter sample after employment gap - cover letter after a break

Cover Letter Format Example

The image is a brilliant sample of cover letter format example

resume with cover letter format for waiting staff

Dear Restaurant Manager,

I am Lou Anne Briggs. I am a highly-driven individual with a genuine desire to deliver the best hospitality and customer service. I have worked as a fine dining waitress for the last 3 years mainly at Strauss Elixir Restaurant. I am known by my pleasant demeanor, patience and my big smile. I am used to a fast-paced working environment, I have no problem explaining and answering menu questions from hungry patrons. As for juggling food orders, I have a very good memory. I am very much hands-on and I have adequate knowledge of food handling and kitchen skills.

I consider being part of the waiting staff as a personal commitment to my on-going training and career development in the competitive world of the Food and Beverage industry. I believe there are diverse opportunities available for me in an esteemed establishment such as yours.

I am looking forward for an interview. Please do give me a call anytime at 55507873.

Sincerely yours,
Lou Anne Briggs

Cover Letter sample Teacher

the image is an excellent example of a teacher cover letter format. written by an elementary teacher seeking a job at a school

Professional Cover Letter Format

professional cover letter format

Proper cover letter format

the image is a proper cover letter format for a PR assistant job role

Cover Letter template for Kitchen Staff

the image is a cover letter format for a kitchen staff position

Preschool Teacher Cover Letter sample

preschool teacher cover letter format sample. if you are looking for a preschool teacher job, this can be a great cover letter format for your application

Cover letter format for job application

cover letter format for job application

Cover letter Template

nurse cover letter template sample

Cover Letter Sample for Project Manager

the image is an example of cover letter template for project manager

Learn how to write a formal letter, download formal letter format more.

Harry

An avid reader who loves reading sci-fi and modern mysteries. Partake in endless conversations, and find new friends along the way. I have 13+ years of experience working in industries ranging from tech start-ups to HR bigshots. I have found that nothing satisfies me more than meeting new people, developing new relations, gaining and sharing knowledge, solving problems, and contributing to the overall growth of the business.

Leave a Reply