Cover Letter Examples

 

You may have heard the popular advice that a cover letter isn’t necessary, but we’d argue that in most cases, it’s a valuable addition. Even though hiring managers may not pay detailed attention to your cover letter, they will often still expect you to submit one. And if they do spend the time to read it, then you can use it as a chance to set yourself apart from other candidates who may have similar qualifications. That said, there are plenty of ways to write your cover letter. Let’s get into what you need to know. 

 

What’s In A Cover Letter?

To start off, you’ll want to know what’s vital to include in your cover letter, and what you can leave out. While length is always a debated point, we’d say that roughly a page is a good guideline—no more, but less is certainly appropriate. The goal is more to share your personal “why” and give insights into your personality while also showcasing specific experience and abilities. Brief, direct statements that quickly and clearly convey your message are ideal. So long as your resume is impressively laid out and doesn’t skimp on comprehensive but relevant information, a shorter cover letter can be a very good thing. However, in the case that a prospective employer uses an applicant tracking system (ATS), shorter may not be better. Working with a dedicated job search consultant ensures that the details you want hiring managers to know are seen.

 

Here are some non-negotiable details to include in every cover letter:

  • contact details
  • the date
  • appropriate salutation
  • two to three short paragraphs
  • call to action
  • polite conclusion and signature/farewell

 

A couple of optional inclusions, based on the type of position you’re applying for:

  • links to professional social networking sites
  • links to a portfolio, website or social media

 

Once you’ve got the essentials, you want to spend the rest of your not-quite-a-page prose showing why you're the perfect candidate for the advertised job and why you want to work for this employer. Online templates are a good guideline, but you really want to make your cover letter your own, spoken with your voice. That said, too much personality can work against you. So ensure that spelling, grammar, punctuation, and verb tense are on point, and that potentially distracting visuals are eliminated or kept to a bare minimum. This is a chance to display the soft skills you’ve cultivated and illustrate how your past experiences and learned skills will contribute to your future in this position, with this company.

Pro tip: Remember that a mere three sentences makes a paragraph–there’s no need to go on and on. Economy of words is a virtue here, so use shorter synonyms of longer words and phrases. And if the application stipulates ideal length, always go by the provided guideline.

 

Specific Cover Letter Examples and Tips

Your opening paragraph can include the position you’re applying for and include details that explain how you heard about it. Graciously ask for consideration based on your qualifications and feel free to mention anyone who referred you early on. Include a brief, general summary of why you’re perfect for the position. 

The second paragraph is there to help you build a bridge from your skills and experience to the hiring company’s current needs. Share what you bring to the table and what specific experiences and history you have that have led you here, to this position, at this moment. This isn’t about restating what’s already in your resume–repetition isn’t ideal here. Instead, you can expand and share more detailed accounts and information. 

A third paragraph can be where you highlight the qualities, passions, and motivating forces that will help you to succeed in the position you’re applying for. Showcase what you know about the company and how it aligns with your own goals and personal philosophy. You can then wrap up the letter by restating your interest and informing the reader that you will be in touch and thanking them for their time and consideration.

The overall goal in a cover letter is to make it clear that you can bring value to the company via the position you’re applying for. Depending on the nature of the position, hard data in the form of key metrics can best illustrate that value. This is also a place to showcase your motivations and how they align with the company’s mission and purpose. Whether your letter sticks to the basics, is speculative, more story-driven, or written directly to someone you know personally, the specific tone and language will shift, but the overarching message is the same. 

 

Cover Letters for Specific Circumstances

If you’re applying for an internship, if you just graduated from college, or if you don’t have prior experience, then it stands to reason that your cover letter will have its own special considerations. Focus on what you’ve been doing, and how your life and work experiences make you well suited for the position in question. You may not have much of a story to tell, but you can always focus on your personality and ambitions and how they make you the ideal candidate, despite your lack of experience. Showing that you can be succinct and pointed may in and of itself be of value to the hiring manager.

 

Technical Search Consultants Can Help

If you’re looking for a specific position and you haven’t yet worked with a staffing agency in Cleveland, now is the time. A professional job search consultant like Technical Search Consultants helps serious job applicants find positions they are qualified for and connects them with employers who are in need of their skills. Applicants can easily peruse open positions or submit a resume, and employers can contact our team to post a position they’re looking to fill.

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