Getting a job starts with an application: Here's to give it your best shot with 5 tips on writing an impressive cover letter.
The cover letter is an extension to specific areas in your resume. A cover letter should replicate everything in the resume. There are certain facets of your candidature that you can share with the employer through the cover letter.
There is a lot of scope to mention areas such as accomplishments and value-additions in the cover letter; whereas, areas such as years of experience and educational qualification details need not be repeated in the cover letter - if these details are already mentioned in the resume. In the resume, you cannot quote the praise you received in your ex-job but it can be quoted in the cover letter.
Let us begin to explore the features of an impressive cover letter in more detail:
A cover letter can sound both responsive and accountable of your candidature. You are writing a cover letter to the employer for a specific reason, and so it is important to highlight this reason. Yes, you are applying for a specific job, but the question that you are expected to answer in the cover letter is - ‘why you are a good fit for the job’? In other words, ‘why is the job a good fit for you’?
It is also a good idea to write additional details about your skill-set and qualifications. But, make sure that you are not simply repeating everything from the resume.
You are expected to write more about your accomplishments.
For instance, you could begin like this:
I would like to discuss my candidature with reference to the advertisement about pre-sales job with XYZ LTD as published in the A to Z periodical on Jan 1 2015.
My 2 years of work experience in the pre-sales role with ABC LTD, makes my candidature a great fit for the experienced pre-sales assistant job with XYZ LTD.
Here, you are doing two things: Firstly, you are highlighting the fact that you have thoroughly read the job profile and secondly, you have also begun writing about your experience in the first paragraph itself which indicates that you are aware about the exact requirement.
A branding statement in the header of the cover letter can make a lot of difference to your candidature. An eye-catching statement or title can encourage the recruiter to read the cover letter till the end. Besides it also tells a lot about your profile. For instance: ‘2 years in direct sales with defined accountability and winning attitude’. This title sounds better than just writing – ‘2 years in pre-sales’.
In case the candidate does not have direct exposure in the pre-sales field then ‘Aspiring Pre-Sales Executive with 1 year of Direct Sales Experience’ can also be impressive. It means that you are highlighting the experience you have and also relating it to the current requirement; and you are doing so just in one line.
Knowledge and Skills
It is important to talk about the knowledge and skills gained during your experience with the earlier companies. For instance, you can write: The 2 years of direct sales experience has taught me to accomplish results within the set deadlines. I can relate to a company budget as much as I can relate to my own business target. My attitude of portraying ownership towards my work makes me more accountable towards my duties and responsibilities.
In the above instance, you are achieving two things: you are talking about your experience with emphasis on your understanding about the company expectations. The brief also talks about ‘how you are managing your work skillfully’, and ‘how you are leaving no stone unturned to achieve your goals within the set deadline’.
We have noted above – ‘how establishing relevance with the job requirement can do wonders to your cover letter’.
Similarly, it is also important to establish relevance with the company profile that is ‘what the company management is set to achieve’. You can do so by reading the company vision, mission and about us page on the employers website. This will give you a fair idea about the company’s long-term and short-term goals.
You can relate to these goals effectively. For instance: the company vision is – “Our vision is to be the leading player in telecom industry by catering to customer needs through innovation and high caliber performance”.
Now, considering this vision you could write your own vision, for instance: “I endeavour to achieve brilliance in telecom industry technology by applying mindfulness along with my existing know-how”.
In the above statement, you have made a commitment to yourself that you want to be a seamless part of the telecom industry and you are also aware about ‘how you intend to set your goals and make those goals achievable in the short-term and the long-term’.
The closing lines should suggest your interest and willingness to meet the employer personally to further discuss your candidature. An enthusiastic ending will show the employer that you are really serious about scheduling a meeting to take things forward.
For instance, you could end the letter saying: ‘I look forward to schedule a mutually suitable day and time with you to further discuss my candidature for the Pre-Sales associate role. Thank you and Kind Regards. Yours Sincerely, Name, Date, Cell phone number, Email and other details such as Skype or IM messenger ID.
Thus it can be observed that, you can gain a good impression of the employer by writing a highly persuasive cover letter which is appealing to both the job role and the company profile.