Want To Get Hired? Start With Your Cover Letter

This one-page cover letter technique is the secret to getting interviews, and it’s free!

 

Want To Get Hired? Start With Your Cover Letter

Would you like to be more confident in presenting your professional skills and get your resume and cover letter noticed 40% more often?

A cover letter, like your resume, summarises who you are and why you're qualified for the position. If you're looking for a new job, it’s likely your cover letter will be your first impression. The key to a good cover letter is to address the company's needs precisely and back up why they should hire you.  In this blog post, we'll go over some tips on how to write an engaging cover letter that captures hiring managers and employers’ attention and gets them excited about hiring you! We also answer the most common questions to ensure that your cover letter helps you stand out.

You’ve been looking for a job, but you can’t seem to land the interview. Maybe it’s time to take your cover letter up a notch?

The generic cover letter never works! This all-in-one document has been submitted and recycled for various roles across multiple fields, such as administration, customer service, and even that job you are trying to land on. However, these days are gone. Using a general cover letter can cause more thumbs-down than making a positive impact on the people you want to impress.

Instead, you need to know the exact position you are applying for and what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Then match these two aspects with your experience, personal qualities, and skills. To take the cover letter up to the next level, you want to make sure that each cover letter strengthens your pitch as the perfect candidate. It is concise with information, so it is easy to read, and what you are writing about is something the reader is interested in.

After you start the cover letter off with a great first impression, you need to sustain it. Therefore, it is essential to provide the reader with pertinent information about yourself, a short, very brief sentence about what made you interested in the position and give them insight into what skills you may bring to their company. It can also be beneficial for many positions to list your qualifications for the job; these are important, especially when companies require specific certifications. 

Strong cover letters also synthesise all relevant aspects of your background in 2-3 main paragraphs. In one brief page, you will be making it clear to the hiring manager the experience and skills you can specifically bring to their company. Keep your letter concise and focused on accomplishments, so readers don't waste time figuring out what you are talking about.

Remember, your cover letter is accompanied by your resume, which should speak for itself. However, there may be stand out achievements in your resume that can easily demonstrate your ability to undertake a particular responsibility in the new job. Hiring managers have also seen lots of poorly constructed resumes and cover letters; therefore, the secret is to proofread! To easily and positively stand out, give yourself a headstart by presenting how grammatically articulate and well-written you are! It is an easy mistake to make, and bad grammar reflects so poorly on your image, so always ask a friend to read what you have written before hitting “Apply”.

What to include in a cover letter?

This is a fascinating question about the difference between function and form. You MUST include your contact information. However, many people are interested in the idea of format over content at this point. So, if your cover letter contains a list of your qualifications and emphasis is placed on why you're an excellent candidate for that position, it should be fine.

If we think about what's vital to HR or recruiters when they hire someone, they want to know three things:

  1. What value will you bring to the company?
  2. Are you proficient in your skillset?
  3. Are you available to take on this position if we shortlist you?

A general framework can be followed to make it easier for you to draft your cover letters. Start with a personal branding statement, outline where you are currently working, where you have worked, and the transferable skills you can bring to the role. Next, list your qualifications and any specifics related to your suitability. These might include your transferable skills to undertake the duties if you were successful in the position.

How do you begin a cover letter?

It helps to begin your cover letter with the employer’s contact information, and a sentence or two about what you can offer the employer related to their role. It’s crucial that your cover letter is written in the first person and addressed specifically to the person who may end up being the employer and professionally presented. For example:

 

The Perfect Resume

Recruitment Team

Gold Coast, QLD, 4216

Dear Melissa Peacock – Director,

As a lover of the English language, I will write the best resumes for your clients! 

 

See the first sentence of the body? As the Director, potentially looking for a new resume writer, would I prefer to go with someone who starts the cover letter with,

 

“Hi, my name is John Smith.”

 

Or someone who immediately tells me what I’m looking for, “a lover of the English language” and the purpose of the job “to write the best resumes for clients”. Arguably, I’m going to go for the English Lover over John Smith!

If you can’t find the recruiter or hiring manager’s actual name, start the cover letter with:

 

Dear Hiring Manager,
Given my experience with customer service over the last five years, I…

 

NOT

 

Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to express interest in the open position of Resume Writer.

 

Let’s face it, when was the last time we called someone, Sir or Madam, to their face? This is also the first indication of a very generic, old fashioned cover letter. With the advent of technology and social media, you have no alibi for not recognising whom you are addressing the letter to. AND we know you are applying for the position, so you don’t need to tell them that you are expressing an interest.

End the cover letter by thanking the reader for the opportunity and presenting how you can be contacted for an interview, including your email address and phone number.

How do I say I want a job in a cover letter? 

There are many ways to say that you want a job without saying “I NEED THE MONEY!” in your cover letter. Be concise. You only have one page to engage them!

To ensure that you can provide your best impression, you want to put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Ask yourself, why does the hiring manager want to give the job to you? What benefit do they have in filling the position? Then, you can work backwards from there to demonstrate why you want the job. Sometimes, the hiring manager gives these reasons away in the job advertisement. For example, they might say, “we are looking for an employee who has values which match with our own.” Your reason for working with them becomes clear, “I am eager to work with your company as your values of respect, teamwork, customer service, and innovation align with my values of honesty, working with others, communication and always finding new and improved ways of working.”

The other way to say that you want the job in a cover letter is to align your relevant skills and past experiences to the benefit of the role in a short paragraph (or two). For example, “Recently, I completed a Master of Public Health, gaining theoretical understanding around population health, global healthcare and patient experiences. Therefore, I am eager to share my insights to support your team in implementing contemporary health practices.”

How do I write a cover letter for a job with no experience?

There are several ways you can go about this. The most important thing is to be genuine and focus on what they need instead of what is motivating you to get the job. The most obvious is to explain why you believe that you would make an excellent employee, given your education or other qualifications. Other experiences you may relay include your volunteer work, school project outcomes, internship experience, or other things you have done in your life. Then, you need to describe why you think those qualities would bring to their team. For example, what are they missing by not inducting someone like yourself on their team now? It's also great if you offer any links to samples that will help illustrate your experience too!

If work experience is mandatory, it would be worth your while to gain voluntary experience or complete an internship. Organisations such as the Red Cross or Salvation Army serve as great outlets to simultaneously practice your verbal, written or interpersonal skills. Social service or education providers in your area may also offer case management to help establish goals and set you up with a volunteer opportunity within your skillset.

Internships represent an excellent way to explore fields of interest while getting real-world experience closer to home. However, it is essential not to take too much time off from studying because it can be difficult for anyone but recent graduates who are "just coming out" into the world of work to get back in after an extended break.  

Can you get hired without a cover letter?

Most hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals will require you to submit a cover letter with your job application. Even if they don’t request a cover letter, they will be expecting one. But put in the effort to tailor it. You will not only be wasting your time but that of the employer as well if it's not tailored specifically for the job advertised! So, can you get hired without a cover letter? Yes, however, it's always best practice to send one simply because your resume is a formal document that highlights everything you are currently doing and what you have done. Whereas the cover letter is an opportunity for you to explain who you are as a person and why you are qualified for the position.

How can The Perfect Resume Team Help?

To be successful in your job search, you need to have a compelling cover letter. It's the first thing that hiring managers will read, and it can help make or break an application. A well-written cover letter should tell the hiring manager why they want you on their team. However, if you still don't know where to start, contact The Perfect Resume today!

The Perfect Resume is here to help you get ahead in your career by providing high-quality resumes and cover letters. We offer professional writing services to make sure your resume or cover letter is perfect before submitting it anywhere. Our team of writers is experts in crafting resumes and cover letters to impress any hiring manager or recruiter. They know what employers want to see on paper and how they want their candidates presented online. Let us do all the hard work so you can focus on getting an interview! Please send us an email info@theperfectresume.com with your resume and link to the specific position. We can review what you have and provide some feedback so you can stop wasting your time writing generic fluff and increase your interview chances now!

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