How to Write a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document that comes with your resume when applying for a job. It serves as an introduction of yourself to the hiring manager or recruiter. A successful cover letter will lead to an interview, inching your way closer to your desired job. That’s why you need to show that you’re a strong candidate. Think of a cover letter as your elevator pitch, preferably even shorter than that.
Steps in Writing a Cover Letter
For most people, writing cover letters is difficult. How can you get the attention of hiring managers and “sell” yourself without focusing on the information that’s already in your resume? With so many cover letters hiring managers browse through regularly, how can you make yours stand out?
Here are some of the things that you need to know about cover letters and how to write a good one:
#1 Do your research
Before writing your cover letter, make sure that you know who will be receiving and reading your cover letter, the job requirements, company culture and values, and the latest industry trends. Knowing a bit more about the position, company, and industry will greatly help you customize your cover letter and demonstrate your passion and interest in the job.
#2 Use the preferred format
Writing a cover letter follows a specific format, but it can be customized to match the specific position that you’re applying for. In general, your cover letter should have these details:
- The position that you want and why it interests you
- Relevant skills and work experience
- What you can contribute to the company
- Interview request
#3 Include all relevant details
The body of a cover letter is divided into three, four, or even five paragraphs. Here are some guidelines on what to include in each paragraph:
This part should state why you are sending a cover letter. Include the position you’re applying for and where you saw the job listing. If you were referred to the company, include the name of your referrer as well.
In this part, give more information about your educational background and skills that are relevant to the position. Try not to reiterate what is listed in your resume. Instead, explain more about your specific accomplishments and show how they can be useful for the company.
This is your opportunity to highlight your knowledge about the company and the industry. Explain why you’re interested in working at the company and what you can contribute to its success. You can also include details that show why you think you will fit into the culture and values of the company.
Express your gratitude for the company considering you for the position. Add details on how you will follow up. If you will ask for an update through phone, make sure to call. Also, it would be great to inform the hiring manager of your availability for a callback. But if you plan to wait for a response, end your letter with something like “I look forward to hearing from you.”
End your letter with a professional closing such as “Sincerely, [Name]”, then your signature. If you will send your cover letter through email, your typed name will serve as your signature.
#4 Include keywords
Make sure to add relevant keywords when sending your resume online. Many hiring managers use an applicant tracking system to pinpoint which resumes and cover letter share the keywords related to the job requirements.
#5 Add your contact information
Since your aim is to be called for a job interview, make sure to include your contact details in your cover letter, either at the top of your letter or below your signature.
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to how to write a cover letter. CFI is the official provider of the global Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional resources below will be useful: