Contrary to the fact that everything has to be professional and sound formal when applying for a job, a cover letter actually allows the applicant to be a little more personal. This is not to negate the entire idea of professionalism but to simply add a bit of humanness to the process. Gone are the days of interviewers and interviewees running from one question to another. Today, more companies adopt a less tense and more spontaneous way of conversing, rather than simply waiting for answers to a typical list of questions. This way, the interview sounds more natural, although remains formal, making it easier for the interviewers to acquire the information they need as well as get a good grasp of the applicant's behavior and personality.
The cover letter should sound the same. In theory, a cover letter is the face of your application. This means that this is the first thing employers will see before they even take a look at your resume. This is your first chance to create a good impression and make the employers want to know more about you. Take a look at this general template of a cover letter for a job application:
What should I write in a cover letter for a job application?
Header - Your Name
The topmost section is called the “header” and it often features your full name and in many cases basic information such as your address, mobile number, email, and any relevant online presence such as the link to your LinkedIn page. In many cases, the name is written in a much larger font size. There’s usually a line below the header.
[Date] This should feature the date the letter is written. Commonly used formats are date-month-year and month-date-year.
[Hiring Officer’s Name] Indicate the name of the specific person or recipient you are writing to.
[Position, Department, and/or Company Name] If you know the specific position and department, include them.
[Company Address] In some cases, you might include contact details like email and phone number.
[Salutation] A common salutation is “Dear” followed by the recipient's last name and a comma or colon.
A cover letter for a job application usually has three or four paragraphs. The first paragraph serves to introduce you and convey your intention to apply for the job. It should (a) specify the position you want to fill and (b) where you came across the information regarding the vacancy. This paragraph should end with a concise statement of why you think you are suitable for the job. The first paragraph must express the main point of your letter: that you are applying for the position and why you should be hired.
The second paragraph gives you the room to showcase yourself as the perfect candidate for the position. Indicate specific academic projects or fieldwork you handled; skills and awards you acquired; and extra courses, training, or seminars you attended that are relevant to the position you are applying for. If you have a long list of achievements, choose three to five among the recent ones or just the most memorable experiences you got. Try to keep this part to a paragraph and be as concise as possible. Allow your attachments to do the talking. Note: If in case, you lack current experience or merits to identify, you may briefly indicate the reason why e.g. you may have taken a one-year vacation due to sickness, death in the family, etc. End that note by ensuring that this will not affect your performance later. Honesty can go a long way, but do not over-romanticize your story.
Conclude your letter by thanking the reader for taking their time to read your letter as well as your attachments. Politely let them know that you will be waiting for their call and that you are willing to submit further documents needed.
[Closing] Use a more formal closing such as “Sincerely,” “Respectfully,” or “Best regards.”
[Signature Over Name] Attach your signature over your full name.
[Attachments] List the documents you have attached with your cover letter such as your resume, transcript, employer references, etc.
Cover letters are a little challenging to write because there is a tendency that you will just write what is already included in your resume and portfolio. A good rule of thumb is to stick to the narrative of your experience because none of your certificates will specify the activities or projects you handled under a program. However, a narrative is also tricky for a cover letter because of the limited room you got. You have about 300 words to squeeze all those information in, and the best way to finish your cover letter faster and easier is to get help from our professional writers. Have a chat with us today and let us help you by making things easier!