A how-to series that’s meant to help you with everything from prepping for a job interview to boosting your confidence or negotiating a raise. Here’s today’s question: Job searches are hard. And as if finding the job that you love and can spend more time in isn’t hard enough, you also have to have a cover letter and resume that are tailored to the specific job. And before you feel overwhelmed, because Iknow if you don’t have any experience, you’re probably thinking, “Where should I start?” We’re going to help you out. Even if you’ve never worked a day in your life, you do have skills and experience that you can draw upon that will impress a hiring manager for that entry-level role.
After your CV your cover letter is the next most important document in your application. Employers will often look at your CV first and only if their interest them will they look at your letter. This article will teach you how to write a good cover letter.
Important Things In Cover Letter
There are three important things you must remember about cover letters.
One the core of your letter is a personal pitch of why you want the job and why they should give it to you. You will use the best parts of this pitch everywhere in the profile section of your CV on your LinkedIn profile and job interviews and video applications. To write a good letter you start by creating a good pitch to clarify what motivates you and what your best qualities are.
A cover letter isn’t about you it’s about the match between you the organization and the position. You should constantly be emphasizing facts that support that match
Your cover letter should supplement your CV not repeat it. Although your letter will be based on the information contained in your CV it should focus more on your motivation and how well you match the organization in the position.
How do you write a good cover letter? You start by analyzing the job opening and the organization. What does the job entail? What competencies are required? What do I know about the organization?
Next you take this information and you use it to answer the following two questions.
1: What motivates me to apply for this position
2: Why am I the best person for the job
As soon as you have your answers you can start writing. Here is an example cover letter by Lisa Henson. We’ll be going through this letter and discussing what information to present in each section.
Beyond the formal requirements cover letters often have four sections
* Opening. The opening is an opportunity to grab the reader’s attention straight away by starting with an anecdote or personal experience. Why are you so excited about this position in this specific organization. Introduce yourself and hint at your qualities and motivations.
* Motivation. The second section explains your motivation which you can discuss on various levels. You can explain why you’re attracted to the industry the organization and the position.
* Suitability. The next section is about your suitability. What arguments and examples can you put forward to convince the reader that you’re a good fit? Support your arguments with experience you’ve gained from your studies jobs and extracurriculars and when you tell them what you did be sure to include the results of your actions.
* Conclusion. The conclusion is where you briefly summarize your motivation and what you have to offer as a suitable candidate. An original way to close is to refer back to an earlier section of your letter.
Tips to write a powerful cover letter
Here are a few key pointers that you can snag to write a great cover letter and land your dream job.
Determine your skills. You might be applying to your first full-time job, and that’s why you want to start by identifying your skills. If you’re a college student, you can draw on skills from classes you’ve taken and papers you were assigned. You probably have strong research abilities, in addition to time management and teamwork management. Maybe you have experience presenting in front of an audience. Do you have a volunteer or extracurricular experience? Even if you can only draw on an experience where you were required to be reliable by showing up at a certain time, on a certain day,
Compare your skill with the job posting. Now it’s time to look at the job posting. Inside the job posting, there’s a lot of clues on what exactly the employer is looking for, including the skills that they want you to have. You might find these under responsibilities, the description, or even the requirements. A great thing to do is look at this job description, see what skills are required, compare it to your list, and see how you can change your language of the skills you wrote down, to match exactly what they’re looking for. And you’re going to want to use this in your resume and your interview, but you’re also going to want to make sure that it goes into your cover letter to sell them on why you’re the best fit for the job.
Write your 5-part cover letter. We won’t get into the logistics here because we detailed the step-by-step directions that you want to follow for your cover letter in a post. But here are the five things that you want to make sure to include. The introduction, why you’re the perfect fit, why the company is a perfect fit for you, your closing, and the postscript. It’s natural to be nervous during a job search, but especially when it’s your first time searching for a job. Something that you want to remember is that confidence is key to conveying your skills and your fit for the role.
Then those are the broad strokes of writing a cover letter. This example was created with the Dutch labor market in mind if you’re applying abroad be sure to check the rules and guidelines applicable in that country