Ask yourself: “What is a Cover Letter?” This article will explain the basics of cover letters and their purpose. We also discuss what you should include in yours.
A cover letter is as important as a resume when you apply for a job. When you submit your resume, a cover letter is a must. This allows you to personalize your information and tailor your application for the job.
It can be difficult to know what to write if you’ve never written one before. This expert guide will give you a brief overview of the subject and point you in the right direction so you can learn everything about them.
This post will cover:
- What is a cover letter?
- What’s the purpose of a cover letter in a job application?
- What to include in a Cover Letter
We’ll also show you how to structure your cover letter to increase its impact. And we’ve made it easy by providing some great cover letter examples that you can check out.
What is a cover note?
A cover letter is a 1-page document you attach to your job application. A cover letter that is well written will grab the attention of a Hiring Manager and get you to the next stage in the hiring process.
Every job will require you to fill out a particular application form. It’s important to include one.
A resume summarizes your education and work experience. Your cover letter provides context for that experience.
Cover letters are tailored for the job you are applying for. They highlight your qualifications and how they relate with that company and role. It can be used to show how your experience relates to the job and how you are the best candidate for it.
A cover letter, as the name suggests, is written in a letter format. It includes a greeting, three to four paragraphs of body text, and a closing. Your cover letter should not be shorter than a resume. You want to use the first person – “I’m sending this letter to …”.”
Your resume should not be a repetition of the same words. Your cover letter should include real examples that show how your skills and interests are relevant to the job.
To learn more, visit our Differences Between a Resume and a Cover Letter article.
What’s the purpose of a cover note in a job application letter?
It’s your chance for a great first impression. This is a tool that you use to grab the attention of a hiring manager and get them to look at your resume more closely before inviting you for an interview.
Although a cover letter might not be required by a job posting, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. A cover letter that is good and professional is always a good idea. Here’s why.
- You can tell your story in a cover letter which digs deeper into your qualifications.
- Experience and your interests will show that you are the right candidate for the job.
- Many candidates don’t bother to write a cover letter. By including one, you can instantly stand out from the rest!
- You can present yourself more personally and tailor your application for the job.
- A little flair or personality can make it more appealing to hiring managers so they ask you for an interview.
- This shows that you have put in effort to your application. Again, this puts you ahead most of the competition.
This is only a small example of what a cover letter can do for you. If you’re interested in learning more about and the purpose of a coverletter, we have a great article.
Do you need to send a cover letter when applying for a job?
You must include a cover with your application.
This is what we know: Most hiring managers require or expect a cover letters, even if they are not mentioned in job postings.
They are not only expected but also a great tool for your business:
- Describe the reasons behind any work-related gaps
- Clarify the application of your experience from previous jobs
- Demonstrate how you fit into their culture
- Tell them why you are changing careers or areas.
While a cover letter is not necessary, it’s extremely helpful and something you should write.
What should you include in a cover note
The basic elements of a cover letter should be the same. Below is a brief list. For a complete explanation, please visit our complete guide what to put in your cover letter.
- A header – This is where all contact information that the hiring manager will expect to see. It is important to provide the information they are looking for.
- Opening statement – This is the place to start. Your skills and experience should be summarized. Give one reason why they are important for the job that you’re applying for.
- Body – The body should provide more information about you. Employers hire people for who they are and not what they know. This is your chance to prove that you would be a great addition to their team.
- Closing and Call for Action – Your cover letter should be closed with a thank you note and professional signature. Let them know that you are eager to hear from you and to get in touch with you to follow-up.
Make a lasting impression by closing your letter. To hit the right notes, it’s important to know how you should close your cover letter.
Cover letter layout and format
Each resume on a hiring manager’s desk takes 7.4 seconds. There may be hundreds. Strong cover letters can catch their attention and get them to put you in the callback pile, rather than the recycling bin.
We have compiled the details of how to grab recruiters’ attention with your cover letters. But here are the basics:
- Font – Use a simple font such as Times New Roman or Arial. It should be at least 12pt.
- Heading – Always use a professional heading format. This includes your name, contact info, date of writing and contact information for the person to whom you are writing.
- Spacing – You should single-space the body of your cover letters, but leave space between the heading, greeting and each paragraph.
- Length – We understand that it can be tempting to squeeze in everything in a cover letter. But, this is definitely a case where less is more. The content should not exceed half a page. Instead, aim for 250-400 words.
It can be difficult to keep your cover letter concise the first time you write it. To learn more about how to achieve the perfect length cover letter , check out our article ideal .
Use a template cover letter or an example
You might be able to write your own cover letter if you are a professional. If this is your first cover letters, or you are unsure, check out our Cover letter Examples for great ideas. We have a few examples below.
These examples are from different industries and positions so you can tailor your letter to the job you are applying for without having to recreate the wheel. These cover letters are designed to help you get interviews so you know you have a solid start.
We have a Cover Letter Templates page that will give you a head start. Simply go there and enter your details to create a winning cover letters.
Takeaways: What is a cover letter?
- To explain why you are the right person for the job, a cover letter is a 1-pager that you attach to a job application.
- Even if the job posting doesn’t specify it, you should always include a cover letter.
- Hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes and quickly scan them. Your cover letter should grab their attention.
- Personalize your cover letters and tailor them to the job you are applying for. This includes sharing specific skills and letting your personality shine through.
- To get great results, make sure your cover letter is in top shape. To make sure you have everything covered, and aren’t making any mistakes that could lead to you losing the job, use our Cover letter Checklist.