Cover letters are one of the most important factors in successfully landing a job. Discover how to write a cover letter that captures your key skills and qualifications in this step-by-step guide.
Did you know that a great cover letter is often just as important as having a strong resumé when looking for a job? A cover letter provides additional information that can make you stand out from other applicants.
Wondering how to create one? Read below to learn how to write a compelling cover letter that will help you to build the career you want.
1. Header: Contact information
The first section should include your personal information. This includes your name, address, phone number and email address. The second half of this section should include the recipient’s name, position, company name and address with the date of when the document was created below. Having clear information at the top of your cover letter makes it easier for employers to follow up with applicants.
This section should include the name and position of the human resource professional or hiring manager mentioned on the job posting. Always use a professional greeting such as “Dear” when addressing them, followed by their full name or position title. An example would be “Dear [first and last name]” or “Dear [position title].” However, if you are unsure of the information, you can simply use “Dear Hiring Manager.”
3. First paragraph: Introduce yourself
Start your first paragraph with a sentence that will grab the reader’s attention. This can be a qualification that is mentioned in the posting and connect it back to your past experience or skills. It is good to mention the job position you are applying for, and briefly explain your work history that highlights your professional experience in the field. Focus on the key skills that demonstrate why you are an ideal applicant for the position, and how you can contribute to the company.
4. Body paragraph: Highlight your skills and achievements
In your body paragraph, expand on the skills you have mentioned above and discuss how your experience and achievements will benefit you in the position. Focus on your skills that align with the job posting and explain how it led to positive outcomes in your past experience. If applicable, quantify your achievements to make it more eye-catching. Here is an example:
- Increased overall sales by 20%.
- Coordinated a project that exceeded the fundraiser goal by 50%.
5. Another body paragraph: Connect to the company
In your last main paragraph, further emphasize the skills required for the position and show what you can do to contribute to the company’s success. It is a good idea to research the company beforehand and state how your goals align with their mission.
6. Signing off
Conclude your cover letter by highlighting how you are a great fit for the position. Thank the recruiter in advance for considering your application, followed by showing your interest in getting to know more about the company and the position during an interview. At the bottom of the document, write your full name, signature and contact information so that employers can reach out if there are any questions.
Have more questions on how to further tailor your documents and skills? DIVERSEcity offers different programs that will help you prepare for the workforce and create a compelling resumé package. Visit dcrs.ca/employment.