Still have no idea how to write a cover letter? Just include these 5 things.
You’ve got the perfect custom resume, you found the perfect job, your references are on call and ready to go, there’s just one thing standing between you and hitting send on your application… the ever-dreaded cover letter.
At the sight of a cover letter requirement, most people cringe. Even if you know the basics of what should be covered on it, it can still feel overwhelming to know exactly what an employer is looking for and how to translate that into a few perfect paragraphs.
Cover letters are not only inevitable, but they’re also extremely important, as you likely know — hence your anxiety around writing it. Outside of your resume, it’s the only other space you have to make a good impression and encourage the potential employer to dig deeper and actually read your resume.
If you’re letting job opportunities pass you by because you’re too unsure about your cover letter, you’re in luck because I’m about to spill all the beans in this article. Cover letters are not one-size-fits-all, but I’ll break down what your cover letter REALLY needs to say and give you the actionable steps to create one simply and easily.
And if you still feel overwhelmed, you can always enlist the help of cover letter writing services to make sure you really nail it.
The Secret To The Perfect Cover Letter
Cover letters don’t need to feel daunting, they’re simply an introduction to who you are and why you’re applying to the job. You can think of them like a handshake or an elevator pitch.
There are essentially just five elements that you need in your cover letter to show any employer that you’re the real deal and that they should straighten up and pay attention.
While I can give you the formula for an epic cover letter, it’s still up to you to do your research on the job description, the company, and the specific skills and abilities the employer is looking for in their candidates. You’ll need to include job-specific keywords in your cover letter for the best results.
You should never submit the same cover letter to multiple companies. The success of your cover letter hinges on your ability to effectively do your homework on the job listing and custom tailor your cover letter to it.
The Five Cover Letter Must-Haves
Here they are, the five must-have elements of a good cover letter:
1. Powerful and enticing intro paragraph with keywords / phrases from the job ad
Here’s your chance to grab their attention! Your intro should quickly tell who you are and what skills, talents, and experience you have that’s pertinent to the keywords in the job listing. You want to tell the recruiter or hiring manager right off the bat that you understand the job opening and you’re the perfect fit.
2. Brief career history or overview and how it’s relevant
After you’ve introduced yourself and proven that you’ve done your research into the job and have what it takes, here’s where you provide the proof. This paragraph should tie into the information on your resume, without sounding redundant.
Give a brief career history of only the most relevant jobs that tie directly into the competencies they’re looking for. Be as brief and to the point as possible here.
3. Bulleted list of related experience with keywords from the job ad
Next up, add in a bulleted list with highlights of your career that are aligned with the responsibilities of the role. Be sure your bullet points include the keywords and phrases from the job description.
A bulleted list allows potential employers to quickly and easily scan and read your qualifications, as opposed to a solid block of text that will leave them losing interest quickly. Remember, on average, your cover letter is read for 10-20 seconds tops. Make sure you make it’s easy for the potential employer to make it all the way through.
4. What makes you stand out
Again, this section should be short and sweet. Choose one or two attributes that you possess that make you stand apart from the crowd. It’s your last chance to show them what you bring to the table and why you’re a great fit for their company.
5. Closing paragraph with confident language and a CTA for them to call you
This is where you should get a little bold with your language. You don’t want to say things like “I hope to hear from you.” This sounds weak and like you don’t really think you’re capable of landing the job.
Be confident and say “I know I’m the perfect candidate for this job, so please call me at…”
Professional Cover Letter Writing Services
There you have it, the secret sauce to crafting a confident cover letter that’ll increase your chances of making it to the next level of the hiring process.
Still feeling a bit anxious about writing your cover letter?
As a professional cover letter writing service who’s been in the industry for over seven years, I know that cover letters are dread-inducing, so I created a comprehensive cover letter template that spells it all out for you — it’s plug and play!
Never worry about writing another cover letter again... and there are three ways to accomplish this!
Apply the concepts in this article and write your first winning cover letter with no doubt that it'll be effective. (Still about 75% stressful.)
Purchase my cover letter template and instructional guide for a more in-depth run-down of the 5 cover letter must-haves, plus a sample winning cover letter that I wrote so you can see these concepts in action. (Easier option, but probably 50% stressful still.)
Hire me to write your cover letter(s) from start to finish, completely customized. (Easiest, most stress-free option, 0% stressful.)