Besides your resume/CV, applying for a Job requires a letter of application that’s called a Cover Letter. This letter briefly defines your skills and experiences to the recruiter.
In order to analyze a qualified candidate for a position, detailed information is required. It provides a desired sequence from the resume to the interview.
Cover letters are a necessary thing to expand your personality, achievements, and show a good fit for the firm. Recruiters screen your cover letters before meeting you in person.
How to Write a Cover Letter or Job Application Letter?
- Before writing a cover letter, you must know, know that almost every organizations ask us to send a CV (How to Make an effective CV) and Job Application Letter which is also called a cover letter.
- Why is it called a cover letter? Because it covers the CV page and is stapled/ attached to the CV above it.
- In the case of online submission, you copy/paste your CV and cover letter or attach files.
- Why Job Application Letter/ cover letter is required? CV is for formal information about your education and professional career. You have no room to sell your skills and achievements in the CV.
The cover letter gives you the chance to tell you about:
- Brief Professional Introduction
- Your suitability for the job
- Your relevant prior education, experiences, and end exposure
- Your relevant skills and motivation to contribute to the required post
- To tell professional things about yourself that you had no room for in your CV.
- How and when you can be contacted for any test/interview (if you are writing a letter on your own without any formal advertisement of a job).
- The BIGGEST mistake is made in Cover Letter when people try to write just whatever they wrote in their CV. It is like getting rejected on the first proposal for marriage because your “wealth” factor doesn’t satisfy the other party and you knock the door a second time saying, “Please marry me I am wealthy”. So you MUST take it as a second chance for selling yourself, instead of repeating the CV material, write in a more personal way, mention those things and qualities that make you the best fit for the very job.
- In Cover Letter and also in CV never ever claim anything for which you have no backup evidence like; team player, event management skills, goal-oriented, high integrity, etc. unless you have standard certifications or relevant experience, etc. to support your claims. Otherwise, recruiters don’t even bother thinking about them.
- Like a CV, a cover letter is also the shorter the better. Don’t use any flowery language to boast out of nothing. I don’t mean don’t sell your skills but remain within the domain of your level of education and experience otherwise recruiters get the signs that you didn’t write it really about yourself rather just to impress.
- Keep it simple and straight forward with short paragraphs inflow. Like every formal document, use formal and error-free English.
- If you don’t know the name/ gender of the person whom you are writing and submitting your application (e.g. HR Manager Etc.) then use both Sir/ Madam.
- Always keep in mind that when you are new to any industry or fresher always tell them that “I am available for test/interview at your convenience.” And when you have established expertise and demonstrated track record then you can be at the high-end and you may speak about the reality that you are available to say for example from 9 AM to 2 PM only on Saturday and Sunday.
- I mean at the start of your career you have to be at the requesting end and when you will get credibility then you will command as the employer will request you, “Sir/ Madam please join us” 🙂
- Secondly use terminologies keeping in mind your field and the organization you are applying to for the job.
- Always use “Times New Roman” or “Verdana” font style for this and the ideal font size should be 12 with paper size “Letter” and “normal” margins, UNLIKE CV where we use a broader page to keep it to one or maximum two pages and we may use relatively smaller font there like 10.
- Always sign your Cover Letter at the End after your full name, if you are sending a hard copy, for soft copy name is enough, even though applying abroad they may require you to sign the document electronically which is available in MS WORD but it is usually not required.
- Brief Tips for a Quality “Job Application Letter/ Cover Letter:
- Your Address on the top right (use right-justified style in WORD), under the address, write your contact number and e-mail address for the employer to contact you back.
- Give one-line space and come to the right-justified style in MS WORD and write; the name of the person whom you are writing to, designation, company name, address of the office. (Skip those which are not known)
- Give one space and come to the justified extreme right again (justified means Ctrl+J) and mention date.
- Give one space and write Dear Sir/Madam (if gender and name not know) otherwise write Dear Mr.XYZ, use Mrs. for married females and Miss for unmarried females, when you don’t know marital status just write Ms.XYZ that covers both.
- Give 2 spaces now and write the SUBJECT LINE like in e-mail it should be bold and straight (no italics or underline and no need to write “Subject:”)
- Leave one line and start writing on the left extreme and leave a one-line gap after each paragraph. In the first para write what are you applying for and if you are applying IN RESPONSE to an advertisement then also mention where you saw the ad and on which date.
- The second Paragraph should tell briefly about your professional but RELEVANT qualifications and skills (don’t repeat the CV all in all).
- The third Paragraph should consist of about what you studied/worked upon at the previous places and how it is relevant to the job you are applying for. Prove your worth and relevance here.
- The fourth Paragraph should tell them INDIRECTLY that you have read and researched about their organization, culture, and what things the organizations do and demands from its people and match yourself to it by association.
- The fifth Para is optional. Up to you to write something or not.
- The sixth para should reinforce your skills and should show the motivation/inherent and keen interest to add something valuable to the organization and what you look forward to in this job. (as one is not valued just by saying: I have an interest in Psychology, and if that person has never read anything about psychology and has no knowledge what it really is about we don’t call it interest. Interest means your keen rational desire for something about which you have the know-how).
- Tell them about your availability if you are sending a job application letter without any job being advertised. (such things are called impromptu meaning “unasked/not requested”).
- Finish it off with a “call-to-action” and with thankful remarks.
- Leave 2 spaces again here and write centralized “Curriculum Vitae Attached”.
- Leave 2 spaces again and come to the left (justified style) and write; Yours sincerely.
- Leave 2 spaces and write your full name.
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