Everything you need to know about cover letters
The cover letter, in addition to your CV, is another way of presenting yourself to companies. The idea of a cover letter may seem unfamiliar to you, but it is commonly used in the Anglo world and is a good way of showing your interest in a job offer.
What Is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter, or covering letter, is a written document used to present yourself and your résumé to the recruiter. The format differs from a CV and allows you to explain any positive aspects of your skills or experience that you were unable to fit in your résumé. That is why you should send a personalized cover letter along with your CV for each job you apply for. It can mean the difference between landing the job and having your candidacy go unnoticed.
It is important that you dedicate enough time to preparing a cover letter to ensure that it is creative, original and effective. Before you start writing, remember that each cover letter should be tailored to the job you are applying for and that you want to try to pique the hiring manager’s interest.
When you write a cover letter, you should address it to the person in charge of the selection process if you know his or her name. The letter must include why you’re interested in the position you’re applying for and any relevant information about yourself that is not reflected in your CV. It should also be clear that you are familiar with the company and their products or services. This will not only improve your chances of getting the job, but will also help the recruiter. And that is always a good thing.
In terms of the structure of your covering letter, the EIO recommends the following:
- Presentation and introduction. Introduce yourself and explain the purpose of your letter: why you are interested in the company, sector or the post in particular. If you know a lot about the company, be sure to use that knowledge in your cover letter. If not, do some research: it’s always a good idea for you to mention something about the company’s current projects or any recent, and favourable, news published about the company.
- Highlight your strengths. Explain why you think that you are a good fit for the position. Write about yourself and explain what you have to offer and why they should hire you: explain what you can contribute (academic or professional achievements, work experience), what skills and abilities you have and will be able to use to carry out the functions of the post.
- Conclude your cover letter by letting them know you are available for a personal interview in which you can discuss your résumé in more detail. This reiterates your interest in the position. Also be sure to thank the person you are writing for their time and consideration and to close your cover letter in a professional manner. You can be creative, but stick with a more formal language and tone. For example, you can add your phone number below your signature as a reminder.
Don’t miss the chance of landing your dream job. For the next job you apply for be sure to include a cover letter along with your résumé.