Cover Letters Need an Effective Format to Stand Out

Cover letters need a practical format and top-quality content. Whether you’re writing one for a senior management position, an entry-level position, or somewhere in between, you need to choose a format that’s easy to read and fits your personality.

The cover letter should complement your resume; it’s your way of introducing yourself to employers in your absence. Companies are looking for professionalism, not imitation. If you use a standard, generic form that many job seekers use, they may take it as an indication that you’re lazy or looking for shortcuts.

Create a laser-focused cover letter for the position you are applying for. It should contain some details about you and be current and fresh. It’s doubtful any of these criteria will be met in a secondhand format you downloaded online.

There are several different formats you can use.

These will give you an idea of where to start:

Cover Letters Serve as An Introduction

Your cover letter must say more than “Here is my resume.” It’s your chance to convince the employer that you’re the best person for the job, so sell yourself, introduce yourself, and explain why you want to work for their company.

Capture Your Audience Right Away

Grab the reader’s attention immediately, or you risk losing it for good. Right at the beginning, clarify which job you’re applying for and why you’re the best candidate. Write about your experience, achievements, and skills, but keep it short and to the point.

Research the Company to Ensure You Have Topics to Discuss

Do your research. Research and find the decision-maker’s name and address the letter directly to them. Remember the specifics of the position and give concrete examples of how you’ve excelled in these areas. Find out as much as possible about the company and demonstrate how you share their vision and ideals.

An employer is likelier to want to meet you in person if they feel connected through your letter. Show that you understand the company’s vision and explain how you can contribute.

Be Passionate About Your Work and Expertise

Be passionate; it’s infectious. Communicate your enthusiasm for the company and the job to the employer. Talk about how satisfying and rewarding this type of work is for you—about how you love a challenge. Talk about being driven to succeed, but whatever you say, say it with the passion you feel about your work.

Communicate You Are Creative

Show your creativity. Employers are looking for innovation and can solve problems and approach things in a new and creative way. Give examples of some innovative projects that you’ve been involved in.

Check and Recheck It

This might sound strange, but if time allows, finish writing your cover letter and put it away; don’t read it for a day or two. Then, take it back out and read it with fresh eyes.

If you read it and think it’s perfect, consider analyzing it again. One or two parts could be improved. However, if you read it and think, “Oh, grief, what was I talking about?” throw it away and start again. You may also want someone else to proofread it for you. If you know someone in the hiring field, have them or an employment coach review the letter.

Keep in mind that your cover letter is the initial document an employer will review before delving into your resume. It presents an opportunity for you to demonstrate why they should peruse your resume and contemplate hiring you for the role.

Need additional help? Reach out to Candace for assistance!