OUTLINE:
☑ What is a Cover Letter?

☑ Why is a Cover Letter Important?

☑ How to Write a Cover Letter?

☑ Dos & Don'ts of Writing a Cover Letter
☑ Cover Letter Format for Job Application

☑ Cover Letter Template for Job Application
cover letter

What is a Cover Letter?

Cover letter, as its name implies, is a letter, while it can be presented under various circumstances and in different forms. A cover letter is usually required when you apply for jobs, which is why it is also known as “job application letter”, but it is so much more than that. You can utilize cover letters for application, networking, prospecting, and etc..

Why is a Cover Letter Important?

You might think cover letter is insignificant, but actually it can be leveraged to achieve certain goals. Apart from your resume/CV, a cover letter is the best way for the recipient (mostly your potential employer, hiring manager, and etc.) to know who you really are and how you can contribute to the company. A good cover letter can undoubtedly distinguish you from other candidates. See the importance of cover letter? To help you write a compelling cover letter, there are tips, dos & don'ts below, along with some successful cover letter samples & templates just for you!

how to write a cover letter
Cover Letter Writing Tutorial

How to Write a Cover Letter (Job Application Letter)?

After knowing the importance of cover letters, the next step is to write one. What is the structure of a cover letter? There is a general format for cover letters, but note that it should be adjusted accordingly for different mediums and scenarios.
Typically, a cover letter should not be more than 1-page long (the average time for hiring managers to read one resume is less than 20 seconds!), and within this 1 page, you should include the following 5 parts: contact information, greeting, hook, body, closing. Let’s dig into each of them!

Part 1

Contact Information

In this part, you should include your full name, email address, mobile number, and address (not necessary). You can also add links of your professional personal websites like LinkedIn, CakeResume, Medium, if you have been building personal brand on them.

Further reading:  Why Every Professional Should Have A Personal Website

Part 2

Greeting

You can definitely make a good first impression on the hiring manager if you greet him/her with the right name! By searching the company’s website or LinkedIn page, you can easily find the name. A good beginning is halfway to success!

Part 3

Motivation

In this part, you will elaborate on the reason why you are applying for this job. At the same time, it is a good chance to show that how deep you understand the company and its product, and also, how much you admire the value the company is bringing to the society!

Part 4

Qualification

Here comes the highlight, the main body of your cover letter! Let’s be clear, this part is all about promoting yourself! That’s what you are going to do:

  1. Be clear about what the qualities and skills are required for the job you are applying for.
  2. List all your past experiences and achievements related to the job requirements.
  3. Pick the top few accomplishments that can make you stand out from the competition to put in your cover letter.

Note that you should avoid job-description writing. By quantifying your performance by numbers & statistics, it would be clearer for your employer that how much value you can bring to the company!

Part 5

Closing

Hang in there, this is the last part of your cover letter! The main intention/function of closing is to thank the hiring manager for spending time reading your cover letter, also mention if there is any resume, portfolio or relevant certificate attached. Don’t forget to sign your full name at the end of the letter!
Ta-da! Congratulations that you have finished your cover letter!

Further reading:  What to Include in a Portfolio Resume? 3 Tips to Build a Professional Portfolio for Interview

Dos & Don’ts of Writing a Cover Letter

Before sending out your cover letter, you should refer to the following dos & don’ts!

Dos:

  • Do customize your cover letter for different jobs, companies, industries.
  • Do use keywords of specific skills or qualifications so that employers can spot you more easily.
  • Do explain and quantify how you can bring value and contribution to the company.
  • Do perform research on the company and job that you are applying for.
  • Do double check and modify your cover letter every time before sending it out.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t make your cover letter too long.
  • Don’t use description writing while mentioning your experience.
  • Don’t use a template without making your cover letter more personal & interesting.
  • Don’t repeat everything on your resume, but choose some special one to elaborate on.
  • Don’t speak ill of your former employers & colleagues.
tips for writing a cover letter

Confused about the format of cover letters for different purposes & situations? Let’s see how to format cover letters for finding jobs, internships, or even career changes!

Cover Letter Format for Job Application

Contact Information

    • full name, email address, mobile number, address
    • links of professional personal websites (e.g. LinkedIn, CakeResume, Medium)

Greeting

    • greet the hiring manager/employer by his/her name
    • briefly introduce yourself and state your purpose of reaching out
    • state how you found this job opportunity (e.g. job-search website, company’s website, friends’ recommendation, and etc.)

Motivation

    • state your reasons & motivation of applying for the job
    • show your insight of the company and job position
    • show your insight of the company and job position

Qualification

    • specify your experience & accomplishments that are most related to the job position
    • elaborate how you can bring value to the company supported by your past achievement mentioned previously

Closing

    • briefly show your gratitude to the hiring manager and your expectation to interview
    • mention if there is any document attached (e.g. resume, portfolio, relevant certificate, and etc.)
    • use valediction (e.g. Sincerely, Yours, Best,) before signing your full name at the end of the letter


Don’t worry if you are still struggling with writing a compelling cover letter, there are some successful cover letter examples from different industries for you! Software engineers, designers, marketing, consultant, you can find all free cover letter templates here that suit your industries!

Cover Letter Templates for Job Application

Cover letter example for Software Engineers

cover letter examples
cover letter template for Software Engineers

Further reading:  Software Engineer Resume : Do's & Don'ts of a Perfect Engineering Resume

Cover letter example for Designers

cover letter sample
cover letter template for Designers

Cover letter example for Marketing

cover letter sample
cover letter template for Marketing

Cover letter example for Consultants

cover letter format
cover letter template for Consultants

Cover letter example for Internship

cover letter template
cover letter template for INTERNSHIP

Cover letter example for Career Change

cover letter template
cover letter template for CAREER CHANGE

Further reading:  Considering a Career Change? Here Are 3 Tips to a Successful Job Switch

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