While the internet is filled with tips, tutorials, and templates on how to write the best cover letter, HR managers would likely agree that most cover letters, if not all, are predictable. Evidently, this is a primary reason why most job applications get tossed straight into the bin. Instead of combing through a dozen articles on writing “unique” cover letters, focus on how you craft the information on the inside. The content has to be your personal story, not what someone else wrote on the internet. Here is how to write a cover letter unique to you that stands out from the other template-driven submissions.
The Cover Letter Structure
Always remember that the time and effort you put in to writing and crafting your cover letter for a job application will pay off. A good cover letter will increase your chances of landing the job interview and cause you to stick out in the hiring manager’s mind.
The first key to a good cover letter is knowing what you intend to write before you actually start typing. This can help prevent you from drawing a blank and provides the time needed to truly consider how you want to present your story. Your cover letter is not just your resume in paragraph form, and it should exhibit other sides to yourself outside of what a resume typically holds. The following pattern has been observed as an efficient structure to formatting and crafting a cover letter.
This goal of your introduction is to grab the HR manager’s attention and explain why you want the job. Do away with canned introductions such as “My name is…” and “I am…” and avoid basic catchphrases. Instead, focus on one of the main reasons why you are a good fit the position.
The main part of your cover letter should be at least two or three paragraphs if possible. Tell your story and share what makes your skills unique and applicable to the position, while weaving in your education and experience. Don’t runaround your history, and instead mention your different professional milestones, even if they may not all be applicable to the role. This enables your story and experience to appear well-rounded and explains how you got to where you are.
In the final paragraph of your cover letter, recap on your best experiences and strengths. Keep anything negative out of the conclusion, so the last thought in the HR manager’s mind about you is your story and the assets you will bring to the company. Lastly, sign your cover letter with a positive and polite note, such as “Respectfully,” or “I look forward to hearing from you.”
While creating your letter, make sure to include work and education experience with important life aspects, but avoid overdoing it on the fluff. The overall goal should be to stay on point while providing an authentic view of why you are best suited for this position. Remember, first and last impressions are what stick out in people’s minds, so avoid the cheesy first and last sentences.
In the last segment of this series on cover letters, we will delve into the importance of having an array of relevant experience and how you can create a personal cover letter template for multiple types of positions.