Writing a good cover letter can be a time-consuming and laborious task but if you are seeking a job in a highly competitive industry, then a cover letter is the one thing you need to make your application stand out from the hordes of resumes that reach an employer daily.
According to the 2017 Job seeker Nation study, about 26% of recruiters are particular about cover letters in an application; that is, 1 in every 4 employer wants to see a cover letter alongside a CV.
So what is a cover letter for a job application?
A cover letter is a form of introduction to a proposed employer that establishes your key accomplishments while documenting your particular interest and fit for the job opening in question.
Like they say in HR circles, a resume on its own is of limited value without a cover letter to provide context.
So from an employer’s standpoint, Cover letters are an essential part of every job application.
5 Things a Cover Letter does for you
- It helps you add important details about information mentioned in your resume.
- Cover letters help recruiters with the task of differentiating between two similarly qualified candidates.
- It helps outline or emphasize the particular skills that make you an ideal candidate for the job at hand.
- It helps explain things that a resume cannot; like gaps in your employment history, your career path change or your employment hiatus and the reason for re-entering the labour market.
- It highlights your ability to create a compelling argument about your skill set.
But before we show you how to write a convincing letter, we need to first explain how not to write one.
Here are 5 things not to add to your cover letter, no matter how tempted you get.
5 Things not to do with a Cover Letter
- Using the Same Cover Letter for Every Single Job
Every cover letter should be uniquely crafted to factor in the particular job positioning you are applying for per time. A generic cover letter is unacceptable and often creates the opposite effect, rather than the desired one.
That doesn’t mean you have to start a cover letter from the scratch for every application you are interested in. Just build on an existing one, taking into account the factors that make you an ideal candidate for the particular position.
- Being Overly Personal
Recruiter, regardless of how much detail they require to select a candidate, are generally unconcerned about your personal ambition to win the Lagos State Marathon some day.
Keep your personal details personal. It generally keeps everyone sane and keeps your resume on the recruiter’s desk and not in the waste bin.
- Making it all about you
Your cover letter should be crafted to also cater to the employer. What that means is that, you need to help the recruiter understand how you intend to benefit the organization, using the skill set and overall experience mentioned in your cover letter.
- Drawing attention to your weakness
You know that famous concept about unpacking your weakness for a recruiter to access and maybe help manage? It has landed many applicants back to the labour market, rather than land them a job.
It is generally okay to have a weakness but don’t make a big deal of it and definitely do not draw attention to it in your cover letter.
Your best responses to this, if it ever arises, is to make your weakness look like a strength when viewed from the other side.
- Being too keen
Avoid debilitating statements like “ I don’t mind working long hours and taking less pay to prove myself…,” in your cover letter.
It generally makes you come off as desperate and needy, and no one wants to cater to that particular skill set.
So now let’s get down to business. As effective as a well-written cover letter can be, a poorly-written one can have a detrimental effect on your chances of landing the job.
No one gives brownie points just for showing up with a cover letter.
Some hiring managers have been known to instantly discard badly written cover letters or just cover letters that don’t carry the tone they seek.
But we’ve got you. Here’s are 6 tips to help you write a super compelling cover letter that will instantly put recruiters on your case.
6 Tips to Help you write a Better Cover Letter
- Address a specific individual where possible.
Some cover letters instantly get tossed for their generic salutation and not a more directed opening to a hiring manager. Although this doesn’t always apply because of recruiter confidentiality but in cases where you can research a hiring manager, please do and address the cover letter specifically to that individual.
- Let the first paragraph count.
Put your good foot forward. Start with a strong, persuasive first paragraph. It usually reels recruiters in faster than any other thing and in turn guarantees that they go through your resume.
Typos and errors are unacceptable in a cover letter, so proofread your work properly to find any; you will definitely be better for it.
- Sell yourself
Are there particular segments or projects you want the recruiter to be aware of on your resume? Then the cover letter is the way to professional do it.
Using data and numbers to explain the achievements, highlight the most important details about certain skills, experience, or credentials in your resume.
- Programme yourself into the company.
Use the cover letter to prove to the employer that you are invested in the company. By creating a tie in between yourself and the company’s mission, products or news. This solidifies your position as a top contender and gives you an edge above the rest of the unremarkable applicants.
- Be Brief.
An ideal cover letter should incorporate all the important facts and yet be brief. In the recruiter’s world, concise messaging is important to finding the right fit for the job. Going on and on for several pages only hurts your chances of making a mark on the recruiter, who might probably be tired after going through tons of applications.
Be clear and concise.
- Proofread, and then get a second opinion.
Proofreading your cover letter is critical to making a good impression. Getting a friend to scour through it for errors and typos and give a second opinion, might just save your career.
Be sure the flow is cohesive and smart so it doesn’t get tossed by hiring managers and recruiters midway through reading it.
Cover letters don’t only help you make an impression, but they show that you are invested in the process and are willing to put in work to get what you want. Be sure to include it in your applications to considerably improve your chances at getting your desired job.
Sample Cover Letter for a Job Application
Below are some sample cover letters
Sample Application Letter for School Teacher Job
2387 Simpson Street
Milan, IL 61264
31 December, 2019
The Human Resource Manager
Torrance Unified School District
2335 Plaza Del Amo,
Hello, my name is Alejandra J. Hyde. I graduated from South High School and I am currently attending California State University Dominguez Hills. I plan on earning a master’s degree in Liberal Studies and becoming an elementary school teacher.
I was a two – year member of South High’s Academic Decathlon, as well as a captain during my senior year. I earned medals in Speech, Interview and Essay during the Academic Decathlon competition season. I also earned the Presidential Scholar Award, the College Board AP Scholar Award and both a scholarship and lifetime membership to the California Scholarship Federation.
I am able to efficiently use Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Presentation, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Power Point and Microsoft Excel.
I’ve enjoyed working with children for as long as I can remember. I started my own babysitting business about five years ago by going door to door, and I earned my certification as a Red Cross Certified Babysitter. Now I have multiple clients that I babysit or tutor regularly. I have also volunteered as a soccer coach and worked at the Riviera Little League Snack Shack on multiple occasions. Additionally, I worked as a personal assistant to an accountant for a year. The accountant I worked for was blind and she owned her own accounting business, so I helped her with tasks involving both her business and her home.
The time I have spent as a babysitter and a soccer coach has given me the opportunity to gain experience learning how to interact and work with kids. I would describe myself as a hardworking, positive, organized and kind. I feel that my personality is compatible with the teaching profession, as I always strive to make sure that everyone around me is happy and feels comfortable expressing themselves. As a teacher, it’s important to provide students with an environment that allows them to grow in a positive direction and makes them feel comfortable expressing themselves in a positive way. I know that I would be a good fit as a coworker to my fellow teachers, as I am very open to other people’s ideas. I think that I work well with others, and because collaborating with other teachers in such an important part of the profession, I am confident in my ability to solve problems and make decisions with my coworkers.
I have always wanted to be an elementary school teacher, for many reasons. I love working with kids and I’m passionate about education. I have strived for academic excellence since the beginning of my education and I want other children to feel the same ambition that I did as a child. Teachers are a vital part of encouraging children to strive to reach their fullest potential, and because of that, I have made it my goal to become the best teacher I can be. I am lucky to have had some amazing teachers that nurtured my passion for learning and growing as both an individual and a student. I want to embody the skills and characteristics of those teachers and use those tools to become a teacher that inspires children to work hard and follow their passions. Becoming a teacher would be an incredible honor because it would give me the chance to fulfil my dream. I want to inspire my students to strive for their fullest potential, work hard and follow their dreams.
I greatly appreciate this opportunity and I am available for an interview at anytime.
Alejandra J. Hyde
Sample Cover Letter for Product Manager Job
3935 Pineview Drive
16th July 2021
The Human Resource Manager,
JP Morgan Chase
8181 Communications Pkwy,
Plano Texas 75024
Dear Sir/ Madam,
My name is Beth C. Webber and I am a first-year full time MBA student at Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. I am currently concentrating in Finance, Strategy and Entrepreneurship. I graduated from the Southern Methodist University in 2016 with a BBA degree in finance. I am proficient in Microsoft Office, Outlook, SharePoint, PowerPoint Pitch Pro, Microsoft Project and Project Management.
I write this letter as I would like to apply for the Product Manager role in your company. I have over five years work experience in product and project management as a business analyst with Bank of America. While there, I worked with a diverse number of teams such as Sales& Marketing, Technology, Digital, Product and the Project Management teams. I encourage you to look at my resume as it provides more detailed descriptions of tasks and accomplishments with each of the teams I worked with. I believe that with my experience and skills acquired while at Bank of America specifically with product management I am a good fit for the job position.
It has always been a dream of mine to work for JP Morgan Chase as you all are not only leaders in the Consumer banking industry, but you all also have several lines of businesses which include Merchant services, Credit card services, digital, commercial banking, business banking making you all such a big and diverse company that I stand to learn a lot from. Your company culture speaks to diversity, togetherness and the value of a working together as a team. These are all things that I look for in a company and that I am looking to be a part of in whatever company I work for. I also believe that my diverse background and upbringing, having lived and schooled in Nigeria, Liberia and the United States also make me a good fit not only for the position but also your company as well. I believe that the true success of a company is not only determined by the amount of revenue a company generates but also by the satisfaction of its employees. This is a sentiment also shared by your CEO Jamie Dimon. I yearn to be at a company that values its employees just as much as it values its customers and your company does that. Coming from Bank of America which has a very different company culture, where the customer always comes first and is always right, I dream of being a company that respects and values its employees just as it does its customers and your company is one of such.
Others may look at JP Morgan Chase just as a Fortune 500 company and leaders in the banking industry, but I look at you all as a company that cares and seeks the development of its employees and its community. In 2016, you all launched the $10 million dollars inter-city development fund aimed at investing in the urban and rural areas in Detroit Michigan. This project enabled over 10,000 kids and youths in the area gain quality education and healthcare as you all invested in schools and hospitals. You all also established the black entrepreneurship fund aimed at helping young black entrepreneurs establish and grow their business. This is the first of its kind done by any financial institution not only the United States but also in the state of Michigan. All these are the reasons why I would love to work for your company, all the things JP Morgan Chase values are the exact things I value. Social impact, youth empowerment, quality healthcare and education are just a few of the things that I respect and love about JP Morgan Chase. It would be an honor to work for a company that not only seeks to make a profit but also to give back to various communities. I also believe that I can bring a lot of ideas that can be very useful in launching future products at your company that will not only bring revenue but also financially empower the youths in the communities.
Please find attached a copy of my resume, I look forward to hearing from you soon and I am available at your earliest convenience if you have any further questions.
Beth C. Webber
Cover Letter Sample for Content Writer Job
14 Admiralty Way,
Lekki Phase 2, Lagos.
10 Eden Street
COVER LETTER FOR THE POSITION OF CONTENT CREATOR
With over 6 years of creating content for brands across multiple industries, I have developed myself to a point where I am highly proficient in content audit, curation and development, regardless of the intended use or the industry it addresses.
My track record as a content manager has sharpened my skills in key areas like business development and marketing and my prolonged stint with more than a few tech start ups, not unlike your organization, has given me the orientation on the kind of value to bring to the table as an integral part of a cohesive team.
I am looking forward to the opportunity to bring my years of experience in crafting SEO-compliant content, to help give your business better visibility.
Sample Cover Letter for Software Developer Job
December 12, 2019
James S. Woods
483 Berkley Street
Fort Washington, PA 19034
Cynthia E. Smith
Software Development Manager
Amazon.com Services, Inc.
2250 Roswell Dr
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Dear Ms. Smith:
Hello, my name is James S. Woods. I am writing in reference to the position of Software Development Engineer posted on your website. With my skills and experience, I believe I can offer exactly the kind of support and experience necessary in your fast-paced corporate culture.
In addition to my customer relations, communications, and technical skills, I bring the following experience:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Muskingum University
- Multiple years of professional software development experience
- Proficient in multiple object-oriented programs including Python and Java
- Strong verbal and written communication skills and repeated demonstration of technical leadership
- Maximize office efficiency through maintaining and implementing best practices in invoicing, vendor relations, and workflow management
- Multiple years of experience in development of scalable systems and high-volume transaction applications
- Lifetime experience of working with LINUX platforms
I am an avid communicator and have worked the earlier part of my life as a front-end developer and understand the needs of your company well. I understand firsthand what users want in a product and I know I can bring valuable insight and opinion to the table. I am a team player and know how to use my resources to maximize the efficiency of my team. I graduated with a minor in mathematics and know how to propose ideas in tightest, simplest forms. With my training and expertise, I know I can provide what you are looking for and more in this position.
I understand the tech world inside and out and know how to trouble shoot problems. I am a problem solver and combined with my robust communication skills I can provide the necessary leadership this position requires. My expertise lies in strategic thinking and I can provide a solution and a plan in any situation. My quick-thinking team identity lead me to adapt to any situation as a team and provide the necessary push and pull to get my team going in the right direction. I am a strategic planner and implementing and possess the skills to make calculated decisions in stressful situations. Whether it is working with one customer or a thousand, I can adapt to any problems to create a fluid plan of motion to execute with promising results.
I know how to translate small budgets to global scales using my financial experience mentioned in my resume. I understand how small changes correspond with larger outcomes in businesses. I have a global mind and seek to spread our impact beyond all boarders. I am capable, strong, able, and the leader you need for this position. I can communicate thoroughly and precisely with my team members to accomplish any task in record time. While I have a global attitude, I recognize my connections and relationships as my biggest strength with my team, management, and especially the customer.
The object of attention is always the customer and I am dedicated to responding and reviewing any criticism and feedback. My goal is to provide the customer with the best possible experience and provide quality support to their needs. I can listen, adapt, and change any product or application to provide a quality experience. I am experience with implementing new ideas and collaborate with my team to execute the proper ideas. I can translate objectives from management into tangible ideas for my team and therefore provide an excellent experience for any customer using our products.
Thank you for your consideration as a valuable addition to your team. All of my qualifications are expanded and match even closer with what you are looking for in my resume. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss how I can bring my positive energy to your administrative staff and help your company continue to grow and succeed.
James S. Woods
Sample Cover Letter for Speech Therapist Job
Brittany J. Evans
628 Ryder Avenue
Dear (Potential Employer),
My name is Brittany Evans. I am a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, and I plan to attend Western Kentucky University in the fall of 2020, where I will be majoring in Communications Disorders in order to be a speech therapist. I intend to complete four years at WKU with this major, along with additional years in order to attain my Master’s. I have researched your clinic and am aware of your incredible speech program, along with the opportunity of an internship. As a prospective speech student, I hope that you will take me into consideration for your program.
I first developed an interest in this career when I was ten years old, attending my younger sisters’ speech lessons with my mom. One sister, Julian, only took speech therapy lessons for a year, as she only needed to correct her “r”s. My other sister, Connie, has completed years of speech therapy, as she has several speech impediments. I used to watch through one-sided glass as a speech instructor used various strategies to get my sisters to cooperate and participate, from classroom set-ups to games involving candy. I was always fascinated with these lessons and knew that this was what I wanted to do when I was older.
Since then, I have considered other jobs but always come back to speech therapy. For example, I thought for a while that I would work with special needs as a career. I discovered an interest in this line of work due to volunteering in my church, where I teach lessons to kids with several disabilities. I don’t specifically work with speech in this area, but it has given me the experience of teaching lessons to kids that have needs more specific than other kids. It is also a constant test of patience, empathy, and understanding, which come naturally to me but are still skills in need of honing and developing over time.
Recently, I considered using my language skills to be a Spanish translator. I have taken Spanish classes for four years and have found that learning a new language has been challenging and yet rewarding. I love taking in and applying the language, and have earned high A’s for every semester of Spanish instruction. I’ve received awards for dedication, achievement, and hard work from several of my Spanish teachers. Although I want to be a speech therapist now, I still consider my language skills to be very important and beneficial to that career plan. Knowing how it feels to learn new sounds and unfamiliar words will help me to teach kids the process of forming words they cannot say.
I have known for years that I definitely want a career where I can work with kids. I love babysitting and have earned money this way since I was eleven years old. Throughout the years, I have babysat for several parents and families. In addition to this, I work every summer at an overnight camp called Bluegrass Chrisitian Camp, where I serve as a counselor for kids of ages five to eleven. This experience has taught me many lessons, including how to truly get down on a kid’s level and attempt to understand how they think, which I think would certainly help me in the speech department. I am currently employed at Lexington Athletic Club, where I work in the Kids’ Club, which is the gym’s daycare. Many of the kids’ parents are immigrants, giving me the opportunity to converse with the Hispanic families in Spanish.
Overall, I have come to find out that speech therapy is the perfect job for me. I have applicable experience working with special needs due to volunteering in church, from Sundays with the children to other events such as Southland’s Jesus Prom. My undertaking of learning another language will help me empathize with patients by helping me understand what it’s like to say difficult words. My constant time spent with kids of all ages gives me the experience necessary for working one-on-one with kids during speech lessons.
You will find all of this information and more on my resume. I am thrilled to combine all of my passions into one career, and I hope that you will allow me to learn more about my dream job through an internship with your program. I look forward to hearing back from you! Thank you for your time and consideration.
Brittany J. Evans
Cover Letter Sample for Social Media Manager
Ella E. Smith
4642 Goldie Lane
December 9, 2019
DM Fashion House
1519 Ryder Avenue
DM Fashion Hiring Management Team,
I recently came across this job posting for the Social Media Executive for DM Fashion and I could not pass up this opportunity to reach out to you. I have 5 years of experience in Social Media Management, managing several businesses and my own Social Media Platforms. The skillset I have developed over this amount of time is one that can benefit the Social Media Team.
I am fluent in key social media platforms with an emphasis on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I know the importance of Social Media and the key role it plays in brand presence. I have an eye for design and my written communication skills encourage audiences to engage.
Additionally, I am very familiar with scheduling tools such as Buffer, Hoot-suite, Plans, and many others for regular content scheduling and management. I have also worked with social media analytics tools and I am able to analyze data, draw solutions, and move future campaigns forward.
Having been an influencer in the past, I know the importance of influencer marketing, organizing campaigns, working with a budget, influencer relationships and outreach, event attendance and coverage, and the PR skills in that realm. I thrive by being able to connect with people and executing campaigns regardless of the demographic.
My passion for social media shines through my work. It is an effective tool in connecting people together and as a social person myself, I know the importance of relationships with other business, customers, clients, and colleagues.
I am confident that my experience and abilities in the realm of social media will enhance your team and I look forward to learning from those around me as well. I am grateful for your consideration and I look forward to setting up an interview where we can discuss this position further.
Ella E. Smith