7 simple steps to create a cover letter that grabs attention and makes the employer want to learn more about you.
You need convincing content in your cover letter. Use these easy-to-follow steps and top cover letter tips to write a letter that clearly shows the employer what you have to offer and why they should consider you for the job.
Creating effective cover letters can be a straightforward process if you know what the employer wants from a cover letter.
1. Know your target job
The first step is to have a clear understanding of the job you are applying for. You need to know what the potential employer is looking for in a successful candidate. Go through the job posting carefully. Consider the stated requirements, find out which competencies are needed for successful job performance and what the key job criteria are. These job descriptions will help you with this.
2. Consider your own work experience
Create a cover letter that works by doing this initial preparation. Make a list of your current tasks and responsibilities that relate to the job
opportunity. Write down the knowledge and skills you have that contribute to successful job performance.
Make a list of your most relevant work-related achievements. Think of examples of when you demonstrated the desired competencies or behaviors. Use your knowledge of the target job to make sure this information relates directly to the job requirements.
3. Find out a name to address your letter to
Contact the company and get the full name and title of the person to whom you should address your cover letter.
Never send a cover letter just to a position such as The Human Resources Manager or To Whom it May Concern. Make sure the spelling of the name is correct.
4. Write an attention-grabbing introduction
State why you are writing the cover letter and why the employer should continue reading the letter. Good sample cover letter introductions include:
I read your advertisement for a Sales Associate with great interest, as my experience and skills closely match your job requirements.
Your job posting for an Administrative Assistant seems to perfectly match my background and experience.
Your advertisement for an Office Manager caught my attention because my experience appears to correspond closely with your needs.
It is with great enthusiasm that I respond to your job posting for a Secretary. I am confident that my skills and experience make me an excellent candidate for the job.
In response to your advertisement for an Accountant please find enclosed a copy of my resume for your review. I believe the combination of my qualifications and solid accounting experience offers me the distinct opportunity to make a positive contribution to your company.
5. List your relevant skills and strengths
To create a cover letter that gets the reader's interest, summarize clearly and compellingly your suitability for the job opportunity.
Generally a cover letter should not be longer than one page, however include enough detail to whet the reader's appetite and make them want to learn more about you. Make it short but powerful. Using bullet points is a good way to focus the reader's attention on your skills and competencies. Examples include:
6. Get the reader to take action
You want the employer to read your resume and to call you for an interview. Reinforce your confidence that it can only benefit the reader to continue with your application. Make it clear you are expecting the employer to contact you. Close your cover letter strongly. Useful closing phrases include:
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss further with you how I can make a valuable contribution to your team and the company. I look forward to hearing from you to schedule an interview at your convenience.
I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the results you can expect from me as a member of your department.
I am confident that I will be a valuable asset to your company and look forward to an interview to discuss this further.
7. Thank the reader
Always thank the reader for their time and consideration.
Adapt sample cover letters for specific job opportunities to create a cover letter that works for you.
Include your own details into this cover letter template.
Resources for Writing a Powerful Cover Letter
Find out how to create cover letters for different jobs.
Always send a persuasive cover letter with your resume and job application.