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How to Write a Professional Cover Letter

How to write a professional cover letter.

The year started a few weeks ago and most people are sourcing for their dream jobs, some have it in their goals for the year to get that job they have been looking for. The trick to getting your dream job might be as easy as sending the right cover letter. Yes, the right cover letter. It is awesome to have a good resume but also great if attached with the resume is an interesting and professional cover letter. Some persons focus more on their resume and pay little or no attention to their cover letter.

As we are all familiar with a formal and informal letter, a cover letter is a formal letter that builds upon what is on your CV and sent alongside your CV. CV or Resume does not give room for so much explanation, it is punchy and direct. A cover letter is the one that performs that interview before the real interview. It speaks to what is on your CV and gives it a voice. It can be in many forms; it can be a stand-alone pdf/word document, it can be in the form of a filled-out website form or a job application mail.

An application letter is similar to a cover letter, but they are not the same thing. You mostly do not need a cover letter to apply for an internship, you need an application letter. A job application letter is needed to get a job. Sometimes recruiters do not focus on cover letters, some ask for it and it is also used to select candidates when chances are slim. I have worked with an organization that directed that we should not forward applications that do not have cover letters. This is even before the selection stage. In as much as some companies do not pay attention to it, some do and if you do not have to wait until it is required before you start running around to fix it up. Fix it now!

COVER LETTER OUTLINE

It is one thing to know that a cover letter is important for an application especially when you want to get your dream job and another thing to know how to write the professional cover letter that can get you your dream job. Anybody can write a formal letter but not everyone can write a premium and excellent cover letter. The following are the outline to write a professional cover letter;

Heading

Just like every formal letter has a heading, a cover letter is not excluded. The heading should contain your name, phone number, email address, date, the name of the hiring manager and their position, the company’s address to which you are applying. Make sure that the contact information on your cover letter is the same on your CV.

Salutation

Any form of a letter should carry a salutation. In this case, a salutation or greeting is needed. “Dear sir” “Dear Mr John” Make sure there is a defined salutation.

Introduction/Opening Paragraph

The opening paragraph must be as catchy as possible. A boring opening paragraph or introduction will allow the reader to sideline such cover letter. Your opening paragraph will determine if the recruiter will read through to the next paragraph or stop at the first sentence. Your introduction must carry values and details. Tell the recruiter how you can fix the company’s challenges and how you can improve on their profitability and visibility. Your achievements and growth.

Second Paragraph

As much as you have shown them that you are the one for the job as you have shared your experiences, you do not to continue the showoff. Keep it short and on point. Your second paragraph should be about your experience in the position required. Companies hire because they have a need that needs to be met, tell them how you can fill that need. Tell them why you want to pick up that role in that company and not any other role. Make sure that you are not too generic, “I have great communication skill” that is too generic and does not help you win the job, make it peculiar to you.  Let them know the reason why you are perfect for the role.

Third Paragraph

The introduction and second paragraph entail your skills and experience and why you are perfect for the role. Now, your third paragraph should entail why the company is perfect for you. How the company or project matches your personal interest and goals and how you want to use your existing knowledge for the company’s growth.

Closing Paragraph

Your closing paragraph is as important as your closing paragraph. Close by telling them you are looking forward to a meeting where you can share how your experience at your previous place of work generated growth for the company. Do not round up coming off like you desperately need the job rather, focus on how you are willing to fill the need of the company. Do not repeat generic or overused phrases like “thank you for your time”. Make your cover letter is as unique as possible.

Formal Closing

Just like the letter started with a formal salutation, it should end with a formal closing. End with “yours sincerely”, followed by your full name with your signature. Other words to use instead of “sincerely” is Best regards, kind regards, thank you, etc.

Postscript (P.S)

This is like an icing to the cake.

“P.S I would like to show you how my editing skills, increased the engagement and reach of this YouTube channel.”

Those are the basic outline to write a professional cover letter. Remember not to be generic, get guidelines but do not copy google cover letter, make sure yours is tailored to you and peculiar to your field. You can also send a follow-up email to the recruiter after the supposed deadline of the job application. Also, do not only send your CV and cover letter an keep the email blank. Pick the important parts of your cover letter and make it the body of your application email.

Also, keep it simple and short. Do not make it too wordy and difficult to understand. Nobody has the luxury of time to consult a dictionary while reading your cover letter. If you follow this outline through, you should get your dream job. And remember do not wait till the need to submit a cover letter arise before you fix it up, fix it now!

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