Just like the extra cheese that enhances the appeal and taste of a freshly-baked pizza, a cover letter enhances one’s impression and adds value to their Curriculum Vitae. It is simply a way to elaborate one’s abilities and qualifications and also referred to as Motivational Letter at times.
Cover letter has a meaning similar to its name. It’s a letter in the form of a document, which covers up the resume you send to a company, when applying for a job. A good cover letter contains additional information regarding your skills, experience and offers an overview of your qualities that the CV couldn’t cover. Though it’s already mentioned in your resume but writing a cover letter could mean leaving that extra pinch of impression on the reader. Its basic purpose is to capture the attention of the reader to consider you for the interview purpose.
Don’ts of a cover letter
There are few things which are essentially important to keep in mind while writing a cover letter as even a slightest mistake can lead to your profile being rejected.
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- Ensure there are no grammatical errors
- Do not give informal personal information
- Do not write long and pathetic paragraphs.
- Do not imply any wrongful information
Many applicants commonly ask how to start a cover letter? It is not a big deal but yes, you need to be extremely attentive while writing one. You must include a cover letter unless it is mentioned by an employer to not include one. Here’s how to start a cover letter:
Header- You need to start your cover letter with a header. This part includes-
- Your name, address, phone number and email.
- The present date
- The name of the hiring manager, company and their address.
(Just in case the letter is in the email format, type your personal information at the end i.e., after signature).
Salutation- A proper selection of salutation is very much important to please the hiring manager. You must be aware of the gender of the hiring manager and if not then simply write their full name and escape the ‘Mr./Ms.’ part. For example – ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ or‘Dear Mr. XYZ’ etc. Often the hiring manager’s name is not unveiled. So, in this case you can use his/her position to refer to, in your salutation part.
Introduction- Introduction is the most important part of any write-up. Introduction can either generate interest in the reader or can turn-off the reader almost quite instantly. It should give a strong glimpse of your whole page. An impressive and eye-catching introduction is the mark of a good cover letter.
You need to mention the position you are applying for, why you are fit for the company and for the mentioned position. Do not over praise yourself but briefly state your skills, abilities and qualities. You can also indicate how you came across this vacancy.
Body- After introduction, the body copy is the next area of focus. The key is to keep it conversational, concise and professional. Here you need to briefly elaborate your job experiences. Make sure that you keep it strictly professional at all times and nothing out of the box is mentioned as that could damage your entire application.
Closing-This part contains statement similar to that of any other document’s closing. Mention how affirmatively you want to get hired for the company. Forget not, this is your pitch, and you need to come across as desirable and valuable candidate. Simply rehash your skills and how they would be perfect addition to the company you’re applying for. Mention that you hope for an interview call and thank the manager for your consideration.
Complimentary close- This is where you can show your kindness, respect and appreciation towards the person you’re addressing the letter to. Though it conveys a sense of feeling it needs to still be formal i.e.end with ‘Best Regards’, ‘Sincerely’, ‘Thanking You’ etc.
Signature- After mentioning all of the above details, provide a handwritten signature and then lastly your full name below the signature. In case it is a typed letter, only mention your name and leave out the signature part.
These are the basics of how to start a cover letter and are fairly simple to abide by! Just be focused and attentive while writing, make sure you proofread your letter before sending and everything will be in your favor. Cover Letters are what gives your job profile the final nudge.