Learn how to Write a Cover Letter in Simple Steps

These Guidelines Will Help you Know how to Write a Cover Letter

If you don’t know how to write a cover letter, there are basic things that you need to learn first. The first thing is knowing what is a cover letter.

A cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume while applying for a job which gives more information about your skills and experience meeting the job requirements.

It is true, cover letters require a lot of work yet, they present an ideal opportunity for you to cover qualifications you have not fully explained in your resume. A cover letter also personalizes a job applicant making it possible for them to be viewed as real people by potential employers.

Knowing the kind of cover letter you intend to write as well as the purpose you want it to serve will make it easier for you to write an impressive letter. There are a couple of things you need to bear in mind while writing your cover letter. A good example can be found at career-advice.monster.com.

Tips on how to write a cover letter

  • Start with a salutation

As earlier mentioned, there are different cover letter types to pick from. The salutation will vary in accordance to what you know about the company. In this case:

  • If you are aware of the hiring manager’s name, the salutation should be “Dear (insert name)” which should be followed by a colon or a comma. Ensure you address the manager by using their proper title.
  • If you are not aware of the managers name, address them as “Dear (company name) Team” or “Dear Hiring Manager”
  • The salutation “To whom it many concern” should be used as a last resort since it has the tendency of coming off as a template.
  • Writing the first paragraph

Next, you have to write your first paragraph and mention the position you are applying as well as how you came across that job listing. Ideally, this should be one to two sentences in length. Note that you should avoid repeating yourself.

The cover letter should be used to describe any additional details that were not squeezed into your CV. It presents the opportunity to use fuller sentences rather than bullet points as such, you need to expand on them to prove you are an ideal fit for the company.

  • Writing the body paragraphs

As you learn how to write a cover letter, it is essential to know what the body paragraphs entail. Ideally, most cover letters have one or two body paragraphs. This is for the purposes of not overwhelming hiring manager or using a lot of their time. There are a couple of questions you need to answer in the body of your cover letter paragraphs and these include:

  • Why you are a qualified candidate for the position
  • The kind of work experience you have that fits the requirements set by the company
  • Why you are interested in working for that company specifically.
  • Writing the final paragraph

In the final paragraph you should wrap things up and discuss how you intend to proceed with your application. Some of the things you should consider as you learn how to write a cover letter include:

  • In one sentence, reiterate why you feel you make the perfect fit for the position
  • Discuss what you are going to do next. If you have plans to follow up with the hiring manager, state the specific date. If not, you can simply say you are looking forward to an interview for the applied position and a discussion of your qualifications.
  • Provide contact information. This should include your phone number and email address in order to make it easier for the manager to contact you.
  • Mention your resume or references are attached
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time.
  • End the letter with a closing statement that is respectful

The classic options of ending a cover letter are “Best” or “Sincerely”. If you are sending the letter by email, type your full names since you cannot sign the letter.

More tips on how to write a cover letter

Include a letterhead

The letter head of your cover letter should have your full names, telephone number, email address and address. There are a couple of things you need to remember while writing your letter and they include:

  • The name ought to be in point 14 or 16 font and in bold
  • Your address and other contact information should be normal font of 12 point
  • The letterhead font does not have to necessarily be Times New Roman or Arial like the rest of the letter. Rather, it should be easy to read and have a professional look. In addition to this, make sure to include information that is up-to date to make it easy for prospective employers to get in touch with you.
  • You might be interested in including an extra line under your letterhead for purposes of creating visual appeal and separation of letterhead from other sections of the letter.
The recipient’s name and address

Ideally, these two should come below your letterhead. It does not matter if you put the date last or first or the number of blank lines you leave between them. The most important thing to remember is that it must look professional. From there, you can use 12 point Times New Roman or Arial font through the rest of the letter. The margins should be set one inch and the spacing should be single. The font must be black and if the letter is to be printed, it should be done on a standard paper.

You can also find a good example of a cover letter at quintcareers.com. It is perfectly written with the letter head, salutation and all the other details in place. This is an ideal example of how to write a cover letter that is impressive.

Always address your letters recipient

Be certain to refer to the letter’s recipient by their proper title (Mrs., Mr., etc.). If uncertain about the recipient address it as “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom it May Concern”. At all times though, it is advisable to address the letter to an actual person in order to make it appear that what you are sending is not form letters.

Review the cover letter

Before sending your cover letter, it is crucial to review it first. In essence, this is one of the most important guidelines you need to remember while learning how to write a cover letter. In this regard you are supposed to:

Proofread and spell-check

Spell-check features should be put to use. Programs like Microsoft Word have grammar check and you can use it. Also, you need to proofread the letter yourself. Some of the things to avoid include:

  • Common misspellings
  • Use of passive voice. Own accomplishments and steer clear off phrases such as “The experience game me the chance to…” or worse, “the goals were attained by me”. You do not want to sound as if everything simply happened to you or that it was done by another person. You should be the active subject in the cover letter in all sentences for instance “In this capacity, I reinforced/learned/developed…” It is however important to note this does not mean all the sentences ought to begin with “I…” as such, vary the syntax accordingly
  • You should avoid colloquial writing since you want to sound well educated and professional. This means you should avoid slang, use of abbreviations that are unnecessary as well as texting lingo
  • Also, avoid incorrect punctuation
Read the letter out loud

As part of learning how to write a cover letter, it is important to read it out loud once done with the writing. You should not solely rely on grammar and spelling checks to note mistakes. You might also ask a friend to proofread the letter.

If none is available, take time off the final draft (a couple of hours or even a day). This will enable you to return to the letter with a new perspective making it easy to spot errors and mistakes.

You can review another sample cover letter at susanireland.com.

From the above guidelines we hope you no know how to write a good cover letter.

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