Crafting a Compelling Cover Letter: What to Include for Success

Crafting a compelling cover letter serves as your first impression to potential employers.

It is your chance to showcase your personality, qualifications, and passion for the available position. However, crafting a compelling cover letter requires more than just regurgitating your resume.

Here is a breakdown of what to include to make your cover letter stand out:

  1. Contact Information – Start with your contact details at the top of the page, including your name, address, phone number, and email address. Ensure that this information is professional and accurate so that you can be contacted about the position.
  2. Salutation – Address your cover letter to the hiring manager whenever possible. If you are unsure of their name, you can use a generic salutation like “Dear Hiring Manager”.
  3. Introduction – Begin with a strong opening sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. Express your enthusiasm about the position and mention where you found the job advert. Briefly introduce yourself and state the position that you are applying for so there is no confusion.
  4. Body Paragraphs – This is the main section of your cover letter. Use the body paragraphs to highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that make you a suitable candidate for the role. Draw connections between your qualifications and the job requirements. This will demonstrate how you can add value to the company.
  5. Tailored Content – Customise each cover letter for the specific job and company you are applying for. Avoid using a generic template and attempt to tailor your content to match the company’s values and culture. Researching the company thoroughly can help with incorporating relevant details into your cover letter.
  6. Keywords – Pay attention to the keywords and phrases used in the job description. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your cover letter to demonstrate that you understand the requirements of the role and possess the necessary skills.
  7. Quantifiable Achievements – Back up your claims with specific examples and quantifiable achievements wherever possible.
  8. Soft Skills – Make sure you highlight your soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, and leadership abilities. Employers often look for candidates who can effectively collaborate with others and adapt to various situations.
  9. Closing Paragraph – End your cover letter with a strong closing paragraph that reiterates your interest in your position. This should express your enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the company. Thank the individual for considering your application and express your readiness for the interview.
  10. Signature – Sign off formally with “Sincerely” or “Best regards”, followed by your full name. If you are sending a digital cover letter, you can simply type your name.
  11. Contact Information (again) – Repeat your contact information at the end of your cover letter to ensure it is easily accessible for the employer.
  12. Professional Formatting – Pay attention to the formatting of the cover letter. You need to ensure that it is well-organised, easy to read, and visually appealing. Use a professional font and standard margins

Remember, a well-crafted cover letter can make a significant difference in whether your application stands out or gets lost in the pile. By including the above elements mentioned and showcasing your unique qualifications, you increase your chance of securing the job interview you desire.