Successful Cover Letter Formula
Cover letters are extremely important when applying for new jobs because they are the first things employers read about the candidate. Cover letters are also often called statements of interest or motivation letters. These two definitions fully describe their nature. In this article, we will tell you how to write a persuasive and effective cover letter.
What is a cover letter?
The above-mentioned question may sound weird but it is extremely important to answer it before describing the successful cover letter formula. Actually, a cover letter is a document aimed at expressing the applicant’s interest to a certain position. It should include the candidate’s motivation and a brief description of his or her experience. A cover letter is the first document the recruiter sees when viewing any job application. It means that the formatting and wording should persuade the hiring manager to read the resume.
Another important thing you have to remember when writing a cover letter is that it should not repeat the information mentioned on your resume. Some applicants just take the descriptions of job duties from their resumes and include them in their cover letters. This is a bad practice because it results in unstructured documents that are hard to read. Try to make your cover letter interesting for recruiters. Tell about your career like if you were writing a school essay. Describe your motivation and focus on professional competences instead of professional experience.
Cover letter structure
Some people think that cover letters have no strict structure. However, this is a wrong opinion. In spite of the fact that each jobseeker can choose his own cover letter writing formula, there is a common standard appreciated by American recruiters. According to this standard, a cover letter should have 4 paragraphs.
- A paragraph about current work.
- A paragraph about previous works and job duties.
- The closing paragraph.
By using this structure, you will simplify the work of hiring managers and increase the chances for an interview invitation.
The first paragraph should express your motivation. Recruiters like seeing candidates who are passionate about their work. Your main goal in this paragraph is to show your interest to a particular position in a particular company. Don’t make the first paragraph of your letter generic. Remember that you have a real chance to get a job only if your cover letter is targeted to a particular job posting.
It is also a good idea to mention one or two of your key competences in this paragraph. The main idea of placing this information on top of your letter is to make the recruiter see it in the first seconds of cover letter reading. Most psychologists say that these seconds are the most important because a person always digests the main information during them.
If you are currently employed in a certain company, you have to tell about your job duties in it in this paragraph. In case if you don’t have a job at the moment, describe your responsibilities in your last position. We recommend you to use combinations of skills and duties to present your professional background in the most effective way. Mention certain job responsibilities and don’t forget to say that these duties equipped you with certain competences and knowledge.
We recommend you to use the above-mentioned approach combining skills and job responsibilities to describe your career. Another important thing you have to remember is that there is no need to describe the positions you used to work in 20 years ago. Include only descriptions of the most important and relevant works to this section.
The closing paragraph is rather formal than very important. It is necessary to thank the hiring manager for his or her attention and express your desire to get an invitation for an interview. You can use phrases like “Looking forward to hearing from you” and “Thank you for your time and consideration” in this paragraph.