How to Write a Cover Letter (Layout with Examples and Templates)
When writing a cover letter, the overall style and design is extremely important. The cover letter layout needs to be structured in a way that catches the attention of your potential employer.
We can help with that!
Continue reading for tips and advice on how to properly write a winning cover letter.
Cover Letter Layout
What is the purpose of a cover letter?
What to include in a cover letter
How to write a cover letter (4 steps)
Cover letter layout (graphic)
Cover letter template
Cover letter examples
What makes a good cover letter?
How long should a cover letter be?
The recent stiff competition for limited job opportunities has prevented many people from landing decent jobs.
Although many applicants are qualified for a particular job, few realize that presenting the right documentation is the secret to staying ahead of the competition.
What is the purpose of a cover letter?
A compelling cover letter speaks to the hiring manager, telling them why you're the best candidate for a particular job. It describes what makes you suited for the job, and what you'll put on the table when given the opportunity.
What to Include in a Cover Letter
Your cover letter should include a short overview of your skills and expertise with the main purpose of capturing the hiring manager's attention. You want to convince them that you're the person they've been looking for.
Most employers often glance through the cover letter to get a taste of who you are, even before delving into a resume.
Therefore, it's crucial to write a cover letter that markets your application and creates an excellent first impression.
A cover letter is also generally accompanied by a Resume or CV which lists your skills and experiences throughout your career.
Below are the key sections of a cover letter to focus on:
How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?
Cover letters should be half page to a full page long (nothing beyond that). Look to limit your cover letter to around 3 to 6 paragraphs and try not going beyond 500 words.
The recruiter or hiring manager should be able to quickly glance through the content (15 seconds or less).
Page Length: 1/2 - 1 page
Can a cover letter be two pages? No
Paragraph Count: 3 to 6 paragraphs
Word Count: less than 500 words
Cover Letter Layout (4 Simple steps)
Writing a cover letter isn't such an easy task, but you could be facing a lifetime of opportunities by writing a great one.
People who know how to write a cover letter generally have a better chance of getting hired.
Below are the 4 steps you should take to create a compelling cover letter:
1. Contact Information | Cover Letter Introduction
Your cover letter intro should include your name, official email, phone number, and perhaps LinkedIn profile.
You can also include the hiring manager/organization's contact information, address, and number where applicable.
A cover letter example intro might look something like this:
Providing your contact information gives the employer a way to reach you when they find you fit for the job.
Note: Nowadays, recruiters are using LinkedIn to find potential employees for their organizations. Feel free to add your LinkedIn profile url if you would like.
2. The Salutation | Cover Letter Hello
It's always courteous to greet the hiring manager with an appropriate title. After all, they're also human.
You can research a little bit about the employer and find out who they are. This way, the salutation won't be awkward and there won’t be any mistakes..
But if you can't find out much about them, don't worry.
Use "Dear Sir/Madam." This is the most appropriate salutation in case you have no clue who the recruiter or hiring manager is.
3. Main Content | Cover Letter Body
This is where the bulk of the content goes.
Start by writing down the job you're applying for and inform the employer where you learned about it.
Whether it's on the Internet or from a newspaper advert, mentioning where you learned about the job opportunity shows your application's seriousness.
The second paragraph should capture what you have to offer the organization.
In this section, describe how you're equipped to handle the responsibilities of the advertised position.
Write a short but concise summary of your skills, experience, and achievements, but don't overdo it. The resume will have covered the skills section.
Use bullet points to break down the text to make it easy to read.
The third paragraph should highlight what and how you know the employer.
For example, an article post on your favorite social media platform might have drawn your attention to the company. Or maybe it's been a lifelong dream to work with them.
Capturing this information shows the employer that you're interested in the organization's operations.
Don't make up stories or give false information as this could ruin your credibility. Provide accurate details that you could still remember even when invited for an interview.
The fourth section is about closure. It's a call to action for the employer to consider your application and interest in the job.
Ask them to contact you and give feedback. It's also wise to leave final regard or a formal closure.
Words like "Yours Sincerely," "Best Regards," are highly recommended because they offer a professional approach.
4. Proofreading | Cover Letter Review
A letter full of mistakes is a turn off for most employers and will almost all but destroy your chances of an interview.
It shows that the applicant didn't take enough time to read through it, and might not be serious about the job.
Always read through the letter to correct any mistakes and make the message as clean as your intentions. Ask family members and friends to run through it or use a grammar checking website like Grammarly to correct any mistakes.
Cover Letter Layout
Cover Letter Template
Cover Letter Sample
ResumeGenius has a large number of cover letters to utilize. Check them out here
What makes a good cover letter? (Key Points)
Research the Employer
Always research the hiring organization and the job being offered. A good cover letter shows that you understand what you're signing up for.
In most cases, the employer will prioritize applicants who demonstrate a good understanding of the organization's mission and the responsibilities they'll be allocated.
Optimize the Cover Letter With related keywords
This will increase your visibility to the employer. For example, if a job opening entails journalism, use terms related to journalism such as editing and writing.
Many recruiters are busy people and have limited time to read through the entire cover letter. Most will only go through the first few lines (or use the “ctrl F” find function) to get a picture of who you are.
Make the introduction short, precise, and engaging to encourage the employer to read more about you.
Your cover letter should be relevant to the job you're applying for.
Some recruiters use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS); software designed to filter applications and present the best matches for a particular job. These systems are primarily used for resumes but cover letters are also filtered through.
Many applicants don't make it past the ATS, especially if they didn't read through the job posting.
If you don't want to get filtered out by the ATS, ensure that the cover letter is relevant and rich with keywords related to the job.
Since it goes with the resume, the cover letter will have given more space to add those keywords and increase the chances of getting discovered.
Wrapping Up | Cover Letter Layout for 2022
Your cover letter is an introduction - understanding how to properly write one specifically for the targeted employer will leave an amazing first impression!
To recap we ran through:
What to include in a cover letter such as the introduction, main content, and closing
The cover letter template to help make into your own
The cover letter examples to reference when writing your own
The suggested length of a cover letter
Good luck out there!
Title: Cover Letter Layout (How to Write a Cover Letter with Examples)
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