A convincing and compelling cover letter is crucial when applying for a job. It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself, highlight your qualifications, and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you write a compelling cover letter:
1. Header and contact information
At the top of your cover letter, include your name, address, phone number, and email address. Beneath that, have the date and the recipient’s contact information, such as their name, job title, company name, and address.
Address the letter to the specific person who will be reviewing your application. If the job posting doesn’t mention a name, research who the hiring manager or relevant person is. Using “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear [Company Name] Recruiter” is also acceptable if you can’t find a specific name.
3. Introduction paragraph
Start your letter with a strong opening that grabs the reader’s attention. State the position you’re applying for and how you learned about it. Express your enthusiasm for the role and briefly mention why you are interested in the company or organisation.
4. Body paragraphs
In the following one or two paragraphs, highlight your relevant skills, qualifications, and experiences. Connect them to the requirements and responsibilities mentioned in the job description. Provide specific examples to support your claims and demonstrate your competence. Use action verbs to describe your achievements and responsibilities in previous roles. Focus on what you can bring to the company and how your skills align with their needs.
5. Show your knowledge of the company
Research the company and include a sentence demonstrating your understanding of its goals, values, and recent achievements. This shows that you’ve taken the time to learn about them and are genuinely interested in working for them.
6. Address potential concerns
If you have any employment gaps, career changes, or other potential concerns, briefly positively address them. Explain how these experiences have helped you grow, develop new skills, or gain a unique perspective that can benefit the company.
7. Closing paragraph
Conclude your letter by reiterating your interest in the position and expressing your eagerness to discuss your qualifications further. Please mention that you have attached your resume or CV for their review. Thank the reader for their time and consideration.
8. Complimentary close and signature
Use a professional closing such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your full name. If you’re sending a digital copy, you can type your name. If you’re sending a physical copy, leave space for your handwritten signature above your typed name.
9. Proofread and edit
Review your cover letter for any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. Read it aloud to ensure it flows smoothly and makes sense. Consider asking a friend or mentor to review it, as a fresh pair of eyes can catch mistakes you might have missed.
Keep the letter concise, ideally fitting on one page. Use a professional font and a clean, readable format. Align your text to the left and use standard margins. Use bullet points or subheadings to break up long paragraphs and make them easier to read.
Remember, your cover letter should be tailored to each specific job application. Customise it for the company and position you’re applying to, showcasing your relevant skills and experiences. By following these guidelines, you can write a convincing and compelling cover letter that increases your chances of landing an interview.
And remember to have a look at our blog on how to compile a compelling resume:
And look at how you can prepare for that interview: