A cover letter can be attached on any kind of formal document. In fact, it is one of the tips for writing a resume. It can be attached with a grant proposal, a scholarship essay, even with an admission essay. However, the function of a cover letter often confuse people, particularly students. Often, people use cover letters as a file that describes the document attached with it, which is not wrong. But, what people forget is the function of a cover letter depends on the document attached with it and sometimes on the purpose of the sender.
For instance, a cover letter attached with a dissertation paper allows the sender to give an overview of the document as well as its author, so the receiver can immediately know what the file is for. In some cases, a cover letter can also indicate that a file is strictly confidential, allowing the privacy of the file to be intact until the specified receiver gets a hold of the document.
In the case of a job application, a cover letter should not, at all cost, summarize the content of the curriculum vitae attached with it. This is because the cover letter will defeat the purpose of the said document, and since cover letters are supposed to be concise, it will not be able to serve the applicant well.
Is the cover letter the same as the email I should write when sending a company my resume?
What is the purpose of a cover letter for a job application?
A cover letter for a job application must complement the curriculum vitae or resume of the owner. This is the applicant's chance to show sincere interest for the position, as well as impress the employer with details that cannot be found in the resume. The applicant may cite a strength or weakness that will help the employer picture the applicant in a good light. You may express your willingness to learn and recognize the benefits you can offer to the employer.
A cover letter should be clear, direct, and concise. Try not to exceed 300 words when writing a cover letter because the other details your employer would like to know should be found in your resume and/or portfolio should you decide to enclose one with your application. In some case, you may opt to immediately give the employer your character references within the letter or you may indicate that such information is available and shall be forwarded to them upon their request.
Also, be consistent with your verbs as well as the writing style. It pays well to understand the differences between the British and American writing styles, since it will show how mindful the applicant is in writing.
What should I write in a cover letter?
Writing a cover letters may sound intimidating because it functions as the face of document, but in reality, writing a cover letter is easy because its content is simple:
- Objective. First item is your objective or purpose why you are sending your resume. Identify the position you are interested in as well as note all the files you enclosed with your letter e.g. resume, portfolio, character references, etc.
- Subjective. Your resume, in essence, should showcase your skills and qualifications well, but as mentioned before, you have a chance to let the employer take a peek at your personality through the cover letter. Describe yourself with details that are not found in your resume which you think will give you an edge to acquire the position you wish to have.
- Contact Information. Although your resume already contains your contact details, adding this information to your cover letter will not hurt, because this is the information that you want the employer to easily find.
- Receiver. It is important to indicate the name, and if possible, the position of the person you are sending your resume to. This is to ensure that your files will reach your employer. The best option is to send the files to the Human Resources Department of the company you are applying for.
- Format. Most formal letters are wriiten in block format. In the case of a cover letter for a job application, one may skip specifying the address of the sender and only indicate the details of the recipient. No specific number of paragraph is also required, but a good rule of thumb is to begin a new paragraph for a different topic sentence.
- Closing Remarks. When closing a formal letter, choose a remark that is also formal such as "Best regards", "Sincerely", and "Regards" among others.
Sample Cover Letter for a Job Application
Text is italized for emphasis only. Formatting should always be formal, using easy-to-read font and font size such as Arial or Times New Roman at 12pts. The cover letter can be written with single spacing, but make sure to leave a space in between paragraphs.
150-369-7854 | email@example.com
January 26, 2021
Crown Star Inc.
1876 Delaware Road
Hatfield, California 8065
This letter represents my interest to apply for the advertising agent position in your company. Attached with this letter is an accomplished job application form I found in your website as well as my curriculum vitae. I took the liberty to also enclose my portfolio to showcase a few materials I made for the advertising projects I handled before.
I believe that the experience I acquired from working as a freelancer for advertising companies enabled to become a qualified candidate for the position. I am aware that being a freelancer posits a few limitations on my knowledge in the field, and I recognize this as my weakness. However, this weakness became my very reason to try for the position. Upon reading through your company’s profile, I believe that I will be able to augment my skills under your training.
Having a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I believe I have a competitive knowledge on the processes of Advertising and Marketing. You may find the specific companies I worked for as well as my credentials in the attached files.
You may reach me anytime by phone at 150-369-7854 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am hoping for your consideration and I look forward to speaking with you about this wonderful opportunity.