You have now successfully defended your final year project and completed your degree programme. Like every fresh graduate, you are excited to have crossed this important milestone in your career journey. Now it’s time to get a job and you’ll soon realize, like most recent graduates eventually do that the job market is highly competitive and you need to find ways to stand out from the crowd.
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One sure way to stand out from the competition is to develop the skills to craft excellent cover letters for your job applications. If you’re wondering what the secret is to writing an outstanding cover letter, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, you’ll learn what you need to include in your cover letter to make it appealing to the recruiter or hiring manager. Learn this and you’ll get rewarded with interviews and your dream job soon!
5 top things you should include in your cover letter
Here! Let’s look at these 5 top things you need to include in your next cover letter:
Use the recruiter’s name, if possible
Personalizing your cover letter by using the name of the recruiter or hiring manager in your greeting is one cardinal rule of a great cover letter. People like personalization and it shows the recruiter that you did your research. There are some effective ways to find the name of the recruiter:
- Check the job description: the name may either be listed or you may discover it as part of an email address that you’re expected to forward your application to. Where you don’t have the full name on the email address, for example, the email may contain only the first name like firstname.lastname@example.org, a Google search combining the company name and the email address could help you find the full name.
- LinkedIn: If you found the job posting on LinkedIn, it was most likely posted by the recruiter, so you can use that name.
- Company’s website: You can check out the site of the recruitment agency. It’s likely you’ll find the bio of the recruiter.
Personalizing your greeting is essential, as it can make the difference between a job application that’s noticed or one that’s completely ignored by the recruiter.
Clearly state these three key components of your letter
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel in writing an outstanding cover letter as the basic components remain the same. So, here are the three main components you need to include:
- An introductory section stating why you’re interested in the job. This section should show that you’ve done some background research and are knowledgeable about the organisation.
- In the middle section, discuss why you’re a perfect fit for the job. What are your skills and experiences that align with the requirements for the role?
- In the last section, show some enthusiasm about the job and don’t forget to let them know that you’ll be following up!
Don’t leave out those keywords!
It’s important to include keywords that are related to the job you’re applying for in your cover letters. This can significantly improve your chances of being selected for an interview. If you’re wondering what keywords are, they are words or short phrases related to the specific job requirements. They include the abilities, qualities, skills, and credentials that recruiters/hiring managers expect from the ideal candidate. This is particularly important in today’s world, where many companies use automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) that eliminate cover letters and resumes that don’t have certain keywords.
Pay attention to your subject line for an email cover letter
Typically, the information in a document cover letter is the same as that in an email cover letter. One major difference, however, is the need for a subject line in an email cover letter. Most recruiters get hundreds of emails daily, so whether an email gets opened is a lot of times dependent on the subject line. Many times, employers give specific instructions on what you should include in your subject line and you need to pay attention to these instructions and follow them closely. Note that if you decide to leave the subject line blank, your email may end up marked as spam or deleted.
Include a professional closing
How you end your cover letter would give the last impression on your recruiter and this shouldn’t harm the goodwill you have built up in the rest of your letter. As a cardinal rule, it’s important that you use formal closing options. Some examples of suitable closings are:
- Kind regards,
- Respectfully yours,
- Sincerely yours,
- Yours truly,
- Yours sincerely,
- With gratitude, etc.
There are also certain closings you should avoid, as they are casual and inappropriate for professional correspondence. Some examples of such closings are:
- Talk soon,
- Take care,
- XOXO, etc.
With these points, you can now successfully write an excellent cover letter. The key is to read the job description carefully and brainstorm on how you meet each requirement, then write a cover letter that speaks specifically to the organization’s needs. Also, ensure that your resume is as sound as your cover letters and you’ll get job interviews and your desired job in no time. All the best!