If you’re applying for a professional job, your cover letter could be the deciding factor for whether you are hired or not. Your cover letter should tell your professional story. It’s an add on to your resume that gives you the chance to go more in-depth about what you have learned in your previous positions, and how you plan to take those skills to a new one. If you’re applying for a job, and instructions state that you can include a cover letter, you should always include one, even if they say you don’t have to. Here are some tips on how to write the perfect cover letter that is going to get you noticed and hired in no time.
DO NOT start your letter with “To whom it may concern,”
Ninety percent of applicants are going to write this to start their cover letters. Do some research to find out the name of the hiring manager if you can. That will make it much more personal. If you can’t find out their name, begin the letter with, “Dear Hiring Manager at [Company Name],”.
Get their attention with your lead
When you begin reading something, what is the one thing that makes you keep reading? The first sentence, or the “lead” right? So obviously, your first sentence shouldn’t be, “I’m writing to apply for the position of…” Instead, grab their attention with something unique. If you’re applying for a job that’s within a field you’re passionate about, hint towards that. For example, you could say “It has always been my dream to be [the boss, an artist, a writer, etc.]”
Write the letter as if you are trying to sell yourself as a product, but in this case, you are selling yourself as a professional. Talk about your skills and how they have challenged you and prepared you for the position your applying for. Talk about who you are in the workplace, are you reliable, creative and a great team player? Tell them that. If you are relocating, include that as well.
Use a template
You can use this template to help you get started:
Dear hiring manager at [Company Name], (Learn their name first, if you can!)
[Attention grabbing first sentence(s)] [A statement on how you found out about the position.] Based on my experience and skills, I believe I am a good fit for the position of [Job Title.]
My name is [Name]. I am searching for a new [field of interest, ex: marketing, recruiting, electrician, etc.] opportunity with a great company. I am currently a [Current Job Title] in [The city where you work.] [Describe what your company does and how you contribute.] Within my professional experience I have been a [List all titles that are in your resume] which has allowed me to grow my skills in [List set of skills that are relevant to what this company is looking for.]
[Write a short paragraph about what you like about this field of work and why you believe you are the right fit for the job.] I have many different examples of what I can do within my portfolio, which I will be happy to present upon request.
Within my professional preferences, I like to [Ex: stay busy and take on multiple projects at one time.] My past and present employers and coworkers can all confidently tell you that I am [professional traits, ex: easy going, driven, creative and diligent.] I look forward to hearing from you, and if you have any questions do not hesitate to call me or send me an email.
The Basic Do’s and Don’ts of a Cover Letter:
- Do: Grab their attention in a personable and intriguing way.
- Don’t: Go into detail about why are leaving your current job.
- Do: Show confidence in your abilities with specific examples.
- Don’t: Oversell yourself, lie about your skills, or come off as cocky.
TPI Staffing Service does not require our applicants to submit a cover letter. However, those that do submit one, catch our attention, and allow us to get to know them better so we can place them somewhere where they can be happy and successful.