Written by Catherine Adenle
As a job seeker, preparing a cover letter to accompany your CV when you contact a potential employer is an important aspect of your job search campaign. In order to create a great first impression on paper, you must ensure that your cover letter is well crafted. Even a well-targeted and crafted CV on its own is not enough. The covering letter has to be equally effective to market you and further introduce you as a potential employee.
A poorly written covering letter can ruin the impact of a great CV. This post is dedicated to the principles of writing an effective cover letter.
The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce you briefly as a candidate, indicate your career goals and objectives. Essentially, it is a slightly longer version of the profile section of your CV if you have one, but your cover letter should not be overly wordy, ideally remaining under 100 words.
The recommendation by a lot of experts is that your covering letter should be as easy as a PIE (P = Passion, I = Interest, E = Excellence).
If you are looking to stand out and not to follow the pack of 90% of job seekers who get the same results, see your cover letter as your self-marketing document and compose with the PIE method in mind.
Write the letter with energy, enthusiasm and passion. Draw the connections between the company’s needs and what you, the candidate can offer. You build a rapport with the reader when you write with enthusiasm. Passion helps to overcome obstacles and liabilities. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, a lifeless letter reflects a lifeless person.
Using passionate words but having little to say is a waste of passion. Obviously, you must have something of interest to say that would result in a prospective employer developing a strong interest in you as a potential contributor to their organization.
You must determine, in advance of writing the letter, what information will spark their interest in you. Uncover the critical messages that you feel must be conveyed to generate immediate interest in you. Address the company’s needs as you understand them and draw the connections between those needs and your skills as means to meet them.
Any potential employer is interested in knowing your level of commitment to excellence. Today, the job market has shrunk, only the ones that are ready to commit to excellence will survive. Most companies look for a few good people to hire and retain. Though, it may seem difficult to find a good position, hiring managers are probably of the opinion that it is just as difficult to find good candidates. So, it is imperative that you are able to package yourself for that first dynamic introduction so you will automatically be perceived as a potential good hire.
Remember to communicate your level of integrity, competence, confidence, and trustworthiness that most employers seek. Make your cover letter a powerful cover letter that will embody a compelling message. Let it depict a professional commitment to excellence in your chosen career, and it must be communicated with passion.
Let your cover letter answer the following 10 questions:
If you can answer or address these 10 points, you are on your way to constructing a winning cover letter. However, you must always edit and polish your letter, get two other people (your mentor, knowledgeable colleague, or any other hiring manager that you know) to read through the cover letter for you. It is recommended that a good cover letter should include the following information:
In the attempt to fit this information in such a small space, you may adopt the following policies with regard to the writing style of your cover letter:
In addition, there are a number of layout considerations to be aware of when writing your covering letter:
You can achieve a professional, business-like approach with every cover letter you write if you follow the recommendations above.
Are there any further recommendations that you can add? Please add your comments below.