A lot of job applicants don’t know how to write emails or cover letters and as a result, they fail to convert their applications to interviews. Having a well-written cover letter that can maintain the interest or grab the attention of the employer is considered a core job search skill. When applying for a job, your résumé should always be accompanied by a great cover letter. Ideally, an effective cover letter will do the following:
- Inspire your potential employer to offer you an interview.
- State why you strongly believe that you are a person the company would greatly benefit from having in their organisation.
- Broadly explain how you fulfil the stated job requirements and selection criteria.
- Explain your main reasons for applying for that position.
- Capture your potential employers’ attention and interest.
In your cover letter, you should highlight your experiences and skills which address the job requirements and show that you have the ability to do the job that you are applying for. Mention all relevant qualifications and experiences to support your claims.
You should also mention your personality traits that would benefit the company; such as motivation, punctuality, dependability, natural leadership and problem-solving skills.
Your cover letter should also explain the reasons why you fit into the company by showing that your own personal values are a good match to the goals, values, and branding of their organisation. However, in order for you to do this, you need to know what these are and to have seriously considered how your goals, values, and personality would suit the organisation. This requires genuine thought and considerable research.
You should keep in mind that you have less than a minute to make a positive impression on the employer through your cover letter. In other words, your cover letter needs to be clear, and it needs to get to the point quickly. Employers don’t have the luxury of time to read your life story. That’s why your cover letter should quickly show how you fit the selection criteria by outlining your qualifications, experience, and skills while also demonstrating your communication skills, your attention to detail and your level of professionalism.
People who don’t know how to write effective cover letters often mask their professionalism with verbose, flowery language; and even worse, the words are used in the wrong context in an attempt to look more intelligent. This kind of mistake could cause your application to end up in the bin.
Effective cover letters are written in plain English using formal but simple natural language. Always try to use positive phrasing and avoid mentioning adverse situations from your previous employments. Before printing or sending your application online, proofread your work several times to ensure that there are no errors in your document. Don’t indent your paragraphs, but use block paragraphs with a line space between them. Ensure that there are no marks or smudges on the paper.
That’s it! With these things in mind, you can now write an effective cover letter and turn your job application into a real interview.